Music Publisher Criticized ISP’s Repeat Infringer Policy

Sonia Jan 4, 2017

  1. Sonia

    Sonia Administrator Staff Member

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    More than a year ago, a US federal jury ruled that ISP Cox Communications must be responsible for the copyright violation of its customers. The court found Cox guilty of willful contributory copyright infringement. As a result, the ISP was ordered to pay BMG Rights Management damages of $25 million. A few months ago, the Internet service provider appealed the court ruling, insisting that there were several errors in the decision which may restrict the public’s access to the worldwide web.
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    The important point of the problem is whether the ISP can qualify for safe harbor protection under the DMCA. According to the law, the provider has to terminate accounts of repeat infringers, but BMG called the Cox’ repeat infringer policy “an elaborate sham.” The music rights group has already filed its response to the Cox appeal, arguing that there is no reason to overturn the earlier verdict.

    BMG filed a 65-page reply brief, where it claims that the ISP failed to satisfy the burden of addressing the cases of repeated copyright infringement. BMG pointed out that Cox willingly kept serving some of its subscribers even after sending them over a dozen infringement warnings. The music publisher points out that Cox presented no evidence that it adopted or implemented a proper policy. Therefore, its policy was described as “an elaborate sham.”

    The music rights group pointed out that from 2010 until the fall of 2012, the ISP had a “policy” which required it to terminate accounts of repeat infringers. However, the infringing accounts were swiftly reactivated in order to retain the subscribers and generate more revenue.

    Cox argued in the appeal that one-sided piracy complaints were not enough to warrant account terminations; besides, several infringement notices the ISP received from Rightscorp contained serious errors. BMG responded that 99% of the DMCA notices were accurate, but Cox still failed to comply. As such, the music group insists that the Internet service provider is responsible for contributory infringement and does not agree that the jury instructions were incorrect.

    The Cox hopes to reverse the judgment or arrange a new trial, while BMG wants the district court ruling to remain intact.

    Thanks to TorrentFreak for providing the source of the article.
     

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