In November, BMG Music and Round Hill Music threatened what some copyright holders have long threatened: they sued a large ISP, Cox Communications, seeking to hold it responsible for the piracy taking place on its network.
Cox wasn’t forwarding infringement notices sent out by Rightscorp, the digital copyright enforcer BMG and Round Hill had hired to sending out millions of notices. (That company famously offers to settle copyright claims for $20 per song.) By effectively protecting determined pirates on its system, Cox was violating copyright law, BMG lawyers argue.
It’s a case that has potentially big ramifications, and it’s a gamble for the music publisher plaintiffs. If a judge finds Cox liable for the actions of users on its network, it will have implications for the whole cable industry. If a ruling goes the other way, the little leverage that an anti-piracy outfit like Rightscorp has could evaporate.
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