Thursday, January 29, 2009

Big four music labels and Eircom in piracy deal.

"A landmark settlement today at the High Court in Dublin between big-four music labels Warner, Sony BMG, EMI and Universal and internet provider Eircom will give the labels the firepower they need to curb music piracy.
Eircom has agreed to implement a 'three strikes and you’re out' policy against illegal peer-to-peer (P2P) downloaders, while also agreeing to work with data provided by the big four labels to help them pinpoint and pursue illegal downloaders and uploaders." - read the rest of the article on Silicon Republic.

Eircom was Irelands national phone company, so as far as I know Eircom owns most of the communications infrastructure in Ireland. If there is any internet activity in Ireland regaurdless of your ISP it will go through an Eircom exchange somewhere. The UK last week announced that they would not force ISP's to give up the users private information, the RIAA recently announced they would not be sueing individual downloaders anymore but in backwards Ireland the old boy courts are still agreeing with arguments from back in the mid nineties.

Rather than acknowledging the change the Internet has made to their business models and try to invent new ways to make money for musicians, they try and legally force people into buying habits from the 60's and 70's.

Being honest this argument is already dated. As the RIAA tries to make inroads with p2p sharing the world has moved onto hosting sites like Rapidshare, Megaupload etc. I think these kinds of services make it very difficult to persue piracy through legal processes. Firstly the silly claims of $70000 compensation for 70 tracks will end. With rapidshare you only download so courst cannot claim crazy money for possible uploads. The only ground then is to claim sharing as theft. They make a analogy between illegally downloading music and stealing a loaf of bread from a shop. The RIAA are arguing that I have deprived them of a sale if I download illegally. However this applies an analogue argument to a digital age. If I download a track illegally I have not deprived them of a sale. That digital loaf of bread is still on the shelves I have not stolen it I only have a copy of it. Also it will be very difficult to argue with certainty that I would have ever bought the album.


a-force said...

Agree entirely mistawh lemon - a prehistoric decision from the Irish Courts which as you've rightly pointed out ignores the current situation elsewhere.

Also quite worryingly would appear to show a flawed understanding of some of the basic functions of computing since it's inception (store, and copy) or as you've nicely put it, the loaf of bread is still on the shelves.

Nanny state 2.0 here we come.

The decision also sets a bad example from a creative perspective. If you are a cultural creator (music, art, writing, education) there is more than one type of copyright licence for your work such as creative commons or GPL

Surely some of the barristers involved in this case should be putting this forward as one of the other possible solutions in this case. We should be discussing if "all rights reserved" is still applicable in this day and age as our main copyright argument for creations of a cultural or educational nature.

But that's not what this case was about is it, it's about big industry running out of creative options and using their big stick to punish all the little people (and potential customers doh).

So looks like we've a bit to go yet on this debate in the courts or the national media...

Some more info on the whole intellectual copyright area here if people are interested check it out:

AudioLemon said...

It's a strange dirty time for the music industry.

If they keep pushing people will turn to Darknets. I wish they could figure out how to give people the music they want to hear in the form they want to hear it while still retaining control. If they have control they have a chance to negotiate for compensation. If not...