Ireland First To Use 'Three Strikes' Rule On Piracy

Ireland has become the first country to implement a 'three strikes' rule on piracy, cutting off users' Internet connections for copyright theft for the first time.

Eircom, the Republic's largest ISP, has committed to consider 50 complaints each week and taking action against them accordingly.

Eircom voluntarily agrees to follow the 'three strikes and you're out' procedure to deal with copyright infringement by its users, after facing a lawsuit filed by major music labels, the Irish Times reports. Eircom will give a friendly notice to internet users found accessing data illegally for the first time.

If caught again, a stern notice would be issued. Finally, on the third instance of copyright infringement, the user's broadband service will be cut off for seven days.

If after the seven days the user begins to download illegally again, the next step would involve disconnecting the offender for a whole year.

Eircom's work is only limited to warning and disconnecting users' broadband connections. Detectnet, an anti-piracy tracker, will actually inform IRMA about users found indulging in piracy.

Ireland is the first nation to implement the 'three strikes' approach agreed by an international treaty last year. France is set to follow shortly.