By David Murphy | PC Magazine
According to the complaint, Cox seems to have been ignoring copyright violation notices it receives. In one instance, Cox received 54,489 violations for a single user, but said user was allowed to remain on Cox's network sans penalty.
Here's a fun one: What happens when ISP users are infringing copyrights by downloading and sharing material they shouldn't, and said copyright holders track them down? Typically, said users get a warning via their ISP: Your IP address has been flagged for firing up x things on BitTorrent, and don't do it again or else you'll get sued / have your ISP's account terminated / suffer all sorts of other nasty stuff.
BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music are both going after ISP Cox Communications with a new lawsuit, claiming that Cox doesn't do enough when it's told about users who are infringing copyrights on its network.
"Defendants [...] have been notified by Plaintiffs, through their agent of tens of thousands of repeated and blatant infringements of Plaintiffs' copyrighted works by Cox account holders. Despite these notices and its actual knowledge of repeat infringements, Cox has continued to permit its repeat infringer subscribers to use the Cox network to continue to infringe Plaintiffs' copyrights without consequence," reads BMG and Round Hill Music's complaint.
"And, despite its published policy to the contrary, Cox's actual policy is to refuse to suspend, terminate, or otherwise penalize subscriber accounts that repeatedly commit copyright infringement through its network in any meaningful numbers. Cox subscribers do not face any realistic threat of account termination even where Cox has specific and actual knowledge of its subscribers' blatant repeated infringement."
According to the complaint, the two companies use an agent, Rightscorp, to track down the illegal file distribution. Rightscorp uses a software tool to identify those sharing copyright work via BitTorrent. A notice then gets sent over to Cox detailing exactly what files are being shared and who's doing it—an IP address, as well as the date and time of the sharing. Cox, in theory, should then identify just who that was and contact them directly with notice of the infringement.
Rightscorp continues to track Cox to determine whether these same people are still engaging in the sharing of copyright materials. According to the complaint, Cox has been informed about just around seven million or so cases of repeat infringement, affecting around 200,000 subscriber accounts in total.
"By way of example only, Cox has received 54,489 individual notifications for each act of copyright infringement committed by its subscriber having IP address 18.104.22.168. Those 54,489 infringements occurred over a 64 day period. Cox subscriber having IP address 22.214.171.124 engaged in 39,432 acts of copyright infringement over 189 days. Cox subscriber having IP address 126.96.36.199 engaged in 20,182 acts of copyright infringement over 407 days. And, Cox has been notified of each of these acts of infringement," reads the complaint.
According to Ars Technica, Cox hasn't responded to the complaint—or commented about it to the site, when asked for its stance on things.
BMG and Round Hill are seeing monetary damages to make up for all of the copyright infringement, as well as a court order that forces Cox to send these copyright notices along to its subscribers "promptly."