Irish ISP to disconnect illegal music downloaders

Eircom has agreed to disconnect users who download music illegally from the web in a settlement with four record companies that Irish media said was the first of its kind in the world.

The record companies - EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner - had wanted Eircom to install software from a US firm to detect the 'fingerprint' of copyrighted music files being sent on its network.

Eircom, which feared the software would have interfered with its broadband service and could break privacy laws, instead pledged to disconnect users who continue to download illegally after two warnings, Reuters said.

As part of the settlement reached after proceedings in an Irish court on Wednesday, the companies agreed to supply Eircom with the IP addresses of people they detect illegally uploading or downloading