Irish ISP Adopts 'Three Strikes' Policy for Copyright Offenders

DUBLIN, Ireland - Irish internet provider Eircom has agreed to a "three strikes" policy that will disrupt service for those who violate copyright laws.

Eircom Group is the largest telecom in Ireland. The music industry and other corporations dealing with copyrighted entertainment are watching closely to see which ISPs follow with similar agreements. 

So far, no ISPs in the U.S. have announced shifts in policy, despite pressure from the RIAA and a push from American record labels for a "graduated response." However CNET reports Comcast and AT&T may be close to instituting a three-strikes policy.

Though copyrighted audio and video content is shared in massive amounts on the Internet, including adult content, the music industry's battle in the mainstream has been the most high profile in the public eye.

Wired reports that in June 2008, the French government agreed to a suspension plan in which a third-time copyright violator would lose service for at least year. Italy is among the nations also considering similar action.

In the U.S., the RIAA has filed against more than 30,000 people for alleged copyright infringement through sharing music on various popular peer-to-peer networks. Most of the cases have settled out of court for a few thousand dollars, much less than the tens or even thousands of dollars initially asked for when the lawsuits were filed.