After siding with the labels in their suit against Cox Communications for allegedly not doing enough to stop music pirates, U.S. District Court Judge Liam O'Grady has released his detailed opinion on the matter.
Judge O'Grady accused Cox of willfully circumventing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. "Cox employees followed an unwritten policy put in place by senior members of Cox's abuse group by which accounts used to repeatedly infringe copyrights would be nominally terminated, only to be reactivated upon request," he said.
In sending the case to trial last week, the Alexandria, Va., judge called Cox a "repeat offender."
In siding with plaintiffs BMC Rights Management LLC and Round Hill Music LP, Judge O'Grady said that since 2012, Cox engaged in a systematic process of issuing multiple warnings to copyright-offending customers, shutting them down, then letting them start all over again with a fresh slate.
"Cox publicly purported to comply with its policy, while privately disparaging and intentionally circumventing the DMCA's requirements," the judge said in his memorandum.
A Cox spokesperson was not immediately available to respond to FierceCable's inquiry for comment.
In his memorandum, Judge O'Grady included damning emails from Jason Zabek, Cox's manager of customer abuse operations.
"As we move forward in this challenging time we want to hold on to every subscriber we can," Zabek allegedly said. "With this in mind if a customer is terminated for DMCA, you are able to reactivate them after you give them a stern warning about violating our AUP and the DMCA. We must still terminate in order for us to be in compliance with safe harbor but once termination is complete, we have fulfilled our obligation."
The trial started Wednesday.
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