Entanet says it thinks disconnecting people from the Internet is not a “proportionate punishment” for illegal file-sharing, and points out that an IP address is not an accurate way of identifying whose responsible.
Last week Ireland’s High Court sided with Irish ISP UPC in its battle with the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA), Justice Peter Charleton ruling that Irish law doesn’t require ISPs to identify and disconnect illegal file-sharers from the Internet as the IRMA had demanded.
U2 band manager Paul McGuinness immediately declared that the ruling is “extremely bad for the international reputation of Ireland as a jurisdiction with appropriate legal protection for all kinds of Intellectual Property and copyright generally.”
This comes just a little over month after he reiterated his longstanding conviction that ISPs have contributed to the “spectacular devaluation of music and the consequent turmoil in the music business” by refusing to aggressively sanction illegal file-sharing customers.
Then, as now, Irish ISP Entanet has a made a point to challenge both of his claims.
It called him “naive” to think faster Internet connections are only for P2P, noting that “most broadband customers want to be better able to take advantage of ‘legal’ technologies such as online gaming, YouTube, iPlayer, iTunes, VoIP and a vast array of business oriented services that are currently available.”
Now, although, not directed squarely at McGuinness,” Entanet praises the High Court’s decision and questions the logic of one of Justice Charleton’s claims.
“As we have repeatedly stated, we do not in any way condone illegal file sharing and agree with the music industry that the issue needs to be tackled,” said Darren Farnden, Entanet’s Head of Marketing. ” However, we do not believe that termination of service and disconnection from the Internet is the appropriate way to do this or a proportionate punishment.”
He also points out the fallacy of Judge Charleton’s assertion that an IP address is an “accurate” and “reliable” means of identification, something we all know too well is false.
“We also have ongoing concerns over the way in which alleged infringers are identified – by IP address – as they can be easily spoofed and hacked,” he added. “Yet despite ISPs from across the globe arguing these points, the respective governments seem insistent on implementing such policies to satisfy the complaints made by the music and entertainment industries.”
And with Judge Charleton having subtlety called for the introduction of “three-strikes” legislation in order to comply with European law, let’s hope elected officials keep this in mind.