Cox loses appeal on piracy case, has to pay $25M to music label BMG


A Virginia federal court has thrown out Cox Communications’ appeal of a verdict awarding music label BMG $25 million for digital piracy damages. 

Late last year, U.S. District Court Judge Liam O'Grady ruled that the ISP didn't qualify for safe harbor protections under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act because it didn't do enough to stop its customers from pirating songs. 

The judge ruled in favor of BMG, which has rights to top artists including David Bowie, Bruno Mars and Frank Ocean. BMG filed the suit after its agent Rightscorp detected more than 1.8 million instances of infringement in connection with 1,397 copyrighted works.

In declining Cox’s appeal, Judge O’Grady said that the jury had more than enough evidence to conclude that the MSO didn’t do enough to warrant Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protections. He said Cox ignored BMG’s repeated requests to stop the piracy. 

"In sum, the court finds Cox has not identified any ground that would warrant a new trial," the judge said in his ruling

“We are disappointed in the ruling and plan to appeal,” said Cox spokesperson Shana Keith in an email to FierceCable.

“Cox is a conduit service provider,” O’Grady said in his ruling. “It provides approximately 4.5 million customers in the United States a connection (or a ‘pipeline’) to the internet. Cox’s relationship with its subscribers is governed by Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). The AUP reserves the right to suspend or terminate customers who ‘use the service to post, copy, transmit or disseminate any content that infringes on patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademark, moral rights or proprietary rights of any party.”

For more:
- read the Appeals Court ruling
- read this Register story

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