Two years ago Internet provider Cox Communications lost its legal battle against a group of major record labels.
Following a two-week trial, a Virginia jury held Cox liable for pirating subscribers which it failed to disconnect, ordering the company to pay $1 billion in damages.
Heavily disappointed by the decision, Cox asked the court to set the jury verdict aside and decide the issue directly. In addition, the ISP asked to lower the “shockingly excessive” damages or allow a new trial. All these efforts failed.
The court was initially open to lowering the amount because there were several overlapping copyrights at play. However, it later backtracked and confirmed the jury’s $1 billion judgment.
That was another setback for Cox but the legal battle is far from over. This week, Cox submitted its notice of appeal at the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, covering a series of previous rulings.
Cox’s appeal is not limited to the final $1 billion damages award and covers all underlying orders.
This means that the company also objects to last month’s order about the number of works for which it is required to pay, as well as the denied request for a new trial from last summer.
Stayed $1 Billion Payment
Meanwhile, the Internet provider requested to delay the damages payment while the appeal is ongoing. In exchange, it offered a $1,002,001,000 bond, which includes two years of interest, to be issued by three insurance companies.
This request was granted by the Virginia federal court last week. District Court Judge Liam O’Grady ordered that Cox is not required to pay until all rulings are final. This includes a potential appeal at the Supreme Court, if it gets that far.
With more than a billion dollars at stake, we can assume that Cox will exhaust all legal means to lower the damages or make them disappear. As such, we expect that this legal battle will continue for a few more years.
The record labels, for their part, will do everything they can to uphold the judgment. Not just for the financial windfall, but also because they have similar cases pending against other ISPs such as Charter and Grande, which center around the same “repeat infringer” issue.