Last week, the Irish High Court released an important decision in the EMI Records & Ors -v- Eircom Ltd ,  IEHC 108 case. The court held that a settlement agreement between an Irish ISP, Eircom, and owners of copyright protected sound recordings and videos to implement a voluntary graduated response system was compatible with Irish data protection legislation. The ruling by Justice Charleton delivered on 16th April, 2010, is noteworthy not only because it found that collecting and using IP addresses for the purposes of sending out graduated response notices to subscribers does not violate data protection legislation. It is also noteworthy because the court recognized that the right to copyright is a human right protected by the Constitution of Ireland, 1937; and that the graduated response protocol was fully justified in light of the importance of copyright and the adverse effects of unauthorized online file sharing.
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