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The Irish division of the multinational music company EMI has begun an action against the Irish State that it hopes will stem the illegal downloading of music Photo by: Google Images

Ireland first to cut illegal downloaders of music

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The Irish division of the multinational music company EMI has begun an action against the Irish State that it hopes will stem the illegal downloading of music Photo by: Google Images

Ireland has become the first country in the world to disconnect broadband users who are found to be illegally downloading or file sharing.

This move has come after a massive push of campaigning from those in the music and movie industry who wish to regain some control over their products.

Debate on this topic has been ongoing across the world. Over the last couple of months as in the entertainment industry, other supporting industries and former government officials pushed for the compulsory disconnection. However, Internet providers and other campaigners had expressed their concerns over this action.

Despite the protests, the exact steps which Internet Service Providers have to take were outlined in the Digital Economy Bill and Ireland has now begun disconnecting illegal downloaders.

This is a pilot scheme, terminating those accounts which are being accessed by illegal file sharers. The scheme will be under review after six months.

Eircom, which has about 500,000 customers in Ireland, was forced to settle out of court last year with the Irish Recorded Music Association. Part of their out of court deal was that they would start identifying IP addresses which were involved in illegal downloads. On average they found 50 different addresses per week.

The new scheme means that ultimately thousands of users will be disconnected.

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