BMG Wins $25 Million From Cox Communications In Landmark Piracy Case
December 17, 2015 at 12:15 PM (PT)
A VIRGINIA federal jury returned a $25 million verdict in favor of BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT against COX COMMUNICATIONS in a groundbreaking copyright infringement/piracy case.
U.S. District Judge LIAM O'GRADY denied summary judgment for COX, ruling last month that the ISP's failure to implement a repeat-infringer policy for customers illegally downloading music meant it didn't quality for safe harbor under the DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT.
BMG brought the lawsuit after its agent RIGHTSCORP found COX dragging its feet in sending demand letters to individuals pirating copyrighted material. BMG objected to COX's "under the table policy purporting to terminate repeat infringers while actually retaining them as high speed internet customers."
RIGHTSCORP detected 1.847 million instances of infringement and collected more than 150,000 copies of copyrighted works downloaded directly from COX subscribers, according to testimony presented at trial, of which 1,397 copyrighted works were cited in the lawsuit. The $25 million verdict comes out to about $18,000 for each song infringed.
The jury found COX liable for "willful contributory copyright infringement." The ISP successfully fought a separate claim for "vicarious infringement." The case was determined by the jury after the judge denied the parties' motions for judgments as a matter of law.
COX also is involved in a lawsuit from its insurer disputing the tab in this BMG case due to "the ISP's business policy and practice of ignoring and failing to forward infringement notices and refusing to terminate or block infringing customers' accounts."