VIRGINIA (CelebrityAccess) – A Virginia jury has found Cox Communications liable for piracy infringement of more than 10,000 musical works, resulting in $1 billion in damages being awarded to Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and EMI.
The major labels and their publishers filed suit against Cox in July 2018, alleging that the cable and internet service provider “deliberately refused to take reasonable measures” to combat known copyright infringers on its own network, despite the fact that it reportedly received “hundreds of thousands” of warnings from the labels indicating specific acts of infringement were taking place.
Ultimately, Cox was found to have infringed a total of 10,017 works and has been fined $99,830.29 for each one.
Responding to the judgment, NMPA President & CEO David Israelite, said: “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. 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.”
The RIAA’s chief legal officer Kenneth Doroshow said in a statement: “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.”
Cox Communications said in a statement: “The judgment is unwarranted, unjust and an egregious amount. We plan to appeal the case and vigorously defend ourselves. We provide customers with a powerful tool that connects to a world full of content and information. Unfortunately, some customers have chosen to use that connection for wrongful activity. We don’t condone it, we educate on it and we do our best to help curb it, but we shouldn’t be held responsible for the bad actions of others.”
The lawsuit followed BMG’s settlement in August 2018 for its own copyright infringement case against Cox.