The lawsuit against Cox was filed in July 2018, alleging that Cox wasn’t stopping piracy on its network. As a result, there was piracy infringement on over 10,000 musical works. While the piracy was taking place on Cox’s network, the music labels said that Cox “deliberately refused to take reasonable measures” to stop the infringement after learning that it was taking place.
When we first reported on the lawsuit in November, we included this quote from US District Court Judge Liam O’Grady which describes Cox ignoring warnings about the piracy taking place. “It would be farcical to argue that Cox had no knowledge of the hundreds of thousands of notices it received indicating infringement for the works in suit. The notices were sent to an email address Cox created for the very purpose of receiving this information, and were processed by a corporate department dedicated to abuse and security for Cox.”
Now, Cox has been found guilty on the infringement claims which included all 10,017 pieces of work listed by the plaintiffs. Cox is being fined $99,830.29 for each piece.
“Today’s victory on behalf of music publishers and record labels who own over 10,000 copyrights is a clear message to ISPs like Cox who refuse to take responsibility for infringers on their networks,” said National Music Publishers Association President and CEO David Israelite in a statement for Billboard.
“The jury found that Cox was liable for its subscribers’ infringement to the tune of $1 billion dollars which serves as a warning to those who willingly turn a blind eye and enable their users to share music illegally. Cox received hundreds of thousands of notices of infringement and did not adequately respond or comply with its obligations to stop its subscribers from infringing on peer to peer networks. Cox had the right and ability to prevent the continued harm to music creators and it chose its own profits over complying with the law.”
RIAA chief legal officer Kenneth L. Doroshow also shared a statement, saying “The jury’s verdict sends a clear message — Cox and other ISPs that fail to meet their legal obligations to address piracy on their networks will be held accountable. The jury recognized these companies’ legal obligation to take meaningful steps to protect music online and made a strong statement about the value of a healthy music ecosystem for everyone — ranging from creators to fans to the available outlets for legitimate music consumption.”
This case will set an important precedent for ISPs like Comcast, Spectrum, and AT&T to take piracy more seriously and create stricter guidelines for finding and stopping piracy on their networks.
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