STOP PRESS: First Irish Three Strikes decision

The IPKat thanks his friend Deirdre Kilroy (LK Shields) for telling him that the first Irish High Court decision on the Republic's "three strikes" law has just been handed down today by Mr Justice Charleton in EMI Records (Ireland) Ltd and others v Eircom Ltd [2010] IEHC 108. You can read the decision in full here -- which is more than this Kat has done, since he is just in the act of winding down for a day off.
STOP PRESS: First Irish Three Strikes decision STOP PRESS: First Irish Three Strikes decision Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, April 16, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. That's not quite an accurate summary since Ireland has no "three strikes" law. What the case is about is whether a settlement agreement between the music industry and Eircom (the largest ISP in Ireland) which would implement a "three strikes" system for Eircom, is lawful.

    So it was a settlement approval decision.

    The Irish Data Protection Commissioner had challenged the lawfulness of the settlement. The judge reject the Commissioner's criticisms and approved the judgment.

    This is a different approach (and a different reaction by an ISP) to that taken in the UK where the music industry has been reluctant to try to use injunctions against ISP's to achieve the same result (I think wisely) and has tried to obtain the same result via legislation (perhaps not so wisely).

    So really this is a decision to appeal to data protection buffs rather than copyright watchers. Interesting nonetheless.

  2. A remarkably disappointing judgment! It reads in places more like an IFPI press release than serious common law jurisprudence.

  3. Charleton J agrees with French judges in not swallowing the notion, much pushed by privacy commissioners and the copyleft, that an IP address is per se personal data even where there is no possibility for the person processing it to connect it with a specific machine, let alone a specific individual, through his own efforts. Refreshing.

  4. Please correct this when you're less tired and have read the judgment. This is a three part Judgment which the Court may have erred on. The third question deals with the lawfulness of a settlement agreement which agreed the '3 strikes' deal, it remains inapplicable to others until ordered by a Court. No legislation exists to the contrary unlike the UKs Mandelson led bill ... This man complained of lobbying when C4 exposed the various MPs in the UK, yet he was directly lobbied by Music firms before rejoining government. Just ask the former Head of Ofcom, Lord Carter who may have resigned over Mandy's approach.

    This Irish ruling also declares IP addresses as not being personal data. It conflicts with the French Constitutional Courts findings and also maybe elements of the Article 29 Working Groups views.

    I'm not convinced this also sits correctly with Directive 2000/31/EC which should allow for mere conduit protection for ISPs and also Article 3A of the 2009 New Communications Regulatory Framework which was Amendment 138 to same.

    Please amend your main post. Thanks.


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