Frequently Asked Questions
What is peer to peer file sharing?
Peer to Peer (P2P) file sharing is where a number of computer users share files by allowing others to upload and download material. This can relate to the sharing of music files, software programmes or other content.
Is peer to peer file sharing illegal?
No. Peer to peer file sharing has legal uses, but sharing of copyrighted material without the copyright owners' consent is strictly illegal.
Is it illegal to download all music?
No. There are many reputable sites that allow users to download music legally for a fee, such as itunes.
What is eircom doing to protect copyrighted music?
eircom has agreed to work with the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) to put in place a graduated response to help deal with and prevent the illegal downloading of music.
eircom is committed to supporting the music industry, but also to helping customers understand the issues surrounding the illegal downloading of music. eircom will therefore, as part of the three step graduated response, implement a comprehensive information programme which will include:
- Informing customers of the issues
- Providing assistance to customers on how to prevent illegal music downloading & sharing
- Helping customers identify legitimate music services
So is the Graduated Response already in place for eircom's broadband customers?
eircom and IRMA are commencing a pilot for the implementation of the graduated response.
The purpose of the pilot is to give eircom a clearer understanding of the types of issues that can arise in relation to implementing the three-step graduated response process.
eircom is committed to supporting the music industry, but also to helping customers understand the issues surrounding the illegal downloading of music. eircom will therefore, as part of the pilot for the three step graduated response, implement a comprehensive information programme which will include:
- Informing customers of the issues.
- Providing assistance to customers on how to prevent illegal music downloading & sharing.
- Helping customers identify legitimate music services.
eircom has set up a dedicated team to work on this pilot.
As part of this pilot, IRMA will supply eircom with the IP addresses they detect illegally uploading or downloading copyright works on a peer to peer (P2P) basis. On receipt of these IP addresses from IRMA, eircom will identify the related customers and implement the graduated response process.
How will the graduated response work?
IRMA will provide eircom with notifications containing the IP addresses of the people they detect illegally uploading or downloading music content. Once eircom identifies the eircom account holder through their IP address eircom will:
- Contact the customer in writing to inform them that their IP address has been detected by IRMA, as infringing copyright. eircom will clearly advise the customer that such acts are illegal and will provide information on how the customer can avoid repeating the infringement.
- If the customer continues to engage in the illegal uploading or downloading of music content, eircom will issue a second warning letter to the customer indicating that unless the infringement ceases the customer will have their service withdrawn.
- Write to the customer for a third time to advise them that their service will be withdrawn for a seven day period as they continue to engage in the illegal uploading or downloading of music content. If the customer infringes a fourth time then the broadband service will be disconnected for a 12 month period.
As well as contacting customers via letter, eircom will also attempt to contact customers via telephone and a browser based pop up to advise them of the infringement and to assist them in ensuring their computers are not a source of copyright infringement.
eircom has set up a dedicated team to support customers through this process. Customers can contact our dedicated team via telephone on 1890 253 059.
When a customer receives the third letter informing them that their service will be withdrawn, how long will the service be withdrawn for?
The service will be withdrawn for seven days. The service will be automatically restored after that period.
Will the customer be refunded for the period that they do not have service?
Yes customers will be refunded for the entire period (i.e. seven days).
Will eircom disconnect business customers?
eircom will advise business customers of any detection and notify them if a repeat infringement is identified. However, business customers will not be disconnected.
What criteria is been used to identify customers?
IRMA is using a third party (Dtecnet) to identify the eircom IP addresses engaged in illegal downloading and sharing of music. eircom has no control over this identification process. However, eircom has sought and received assurance from IRMA that the process is fully legal and approved by the High Court. The Court has confirmed that the process is in their view in accordance with Data Protection Legislation.
On receipt of the IP addresses from IRMA, eircom will identify the specific customers without sharing any customer details with IRMA or any other party..
Has eircom changed their T&Cs? Do they vary between broadband products?
All broadband products are subject to the standard broadband T&Cs.
As part of the T&Cs, which are accepted when a customer purchases eircom broadband, it is very clearly stated that the service should not be used for any illegal activity including infringement of copyright.
There are therefore no changes to the terms and conditions of customer's broadband contract.
In the event that someone persists with illegal activity after being informed and warned, then eircom will disconnect the customer as per the conditions of the graduated response process.
What happens when a customer wishes to dispute the evidence presented? What is the process?
eircom has a dedicated team to assist customers with any queries in relation to notifications. In the case where the customer feels that they have been incorrectly identified or were not responsible for the illegal downloading then they can advise eircom of this at the time of notification.
eircom will consider all customer appeals on a case by case basis.
Is eircom targeting the worst offenders? Customers with bad debt? Our critics?
eircom has no involvement in what IP addresses are detected. IRMA is using a third party (Dtecnet) to identify the eircom IP addresses engaged in illegal downloading and sharing of music.
Why is eircom doing this?
The downloading and sharing of copyrighted music is illegal. eircom has agreed to work with IRMA to combat it.
Will other ISP's in Ireland also be implementing this?
The record companies have said that they will be pursuing similar agreements with other broadband providers in Ireland. This really is a matter for IRMA to comment on.
Will customer details be handed over to the music industry?
eircom will write to the customers in question. This ensures that data protection compliance is maintained. Under no circumstances will eircom be handing over customer details to any third party.
Is eircom applying a four strikes and you are out approach?
That is one way of looking at it. We are using a graded approach. Firstly we will inform customers who we believe are illegally downloading and sharing music and advise them of alternative legal ways to download music. We will then warn them a second time via letter if they continue to engage in the illegal downloading and sharing of music, thirdly we will withdraw service for a seven day period from any customers who have ignored previous warnings and finally on receipt of a further notification of infringement, eircom will disconnect customer's broadband broadband for 12 months.
Will eircom be monitoring network traffic?
No. There will be no intervention to the network by eircom and eircom will not use any software to monitor specific activity of users on the network.
The music industry will monitor illegal downloads in the same way it already does. It will then pass that information (in the form of IP addresses) to eircom. Their process for data collection has been reviewed and approved by the Office of Data Protection Commission (ODPC).
Does eircom monitor what I am doing online?
No. There are strict privacy laws that prohibit eircom from monitoring the online activities of individual customers.
Why can't eircom monitor illegal activity such as child pornography?
This court case and the settlement specifically concerned the illegal downloading of music. eircom fully complies with the laws of the land regarding all illegal online activity.
eircom is a member of the ISPAI and co-funds www.hotline.ie which is dedicated to fighting child pornography online. We follow the industry standard approach to combating child pornography and this is backed by the Office of Internet Safety http://internetsafety.ie
If customers have specific queries in relation to the graduated response how can they contact eircom?
Customers can contact our dedicated team via telephone on 1890 253 059.
There is also a dedicated website which provides further information - http://www.eircom.net/legalmusic