Cox Should Expose Pirating Subscribers, Court Hears

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After winning a $25 million judgment last month, music publisher BMG has requested a permanent injunction against Cox Communications, requiring the Internet provider to expose the personal details of pirating subscribers. For its part, Cox has asked the court to reconsider the guilty verdict or grant a new trial.

cox-logoLast month a Virginia federal jury ruled that Internet provider Cox Communications was responsible for the copyright infringements of its subscribers.

The ISP was found guilty of willful contributory copyright infringement and must now pay music publisher BMG Rights Management $25 million in damages.

BMG held the ISP responsible for tens of thousands of copyright infringements. During trial hearings it was revealed that tracking company Rightscorp downloaded more than 150,000 copies of their copyrighted works directly from Cox subscribers.

The verdict was a massive victory for the music company and a disaster for Cox, but the case is not over yet.

This week Cox renewed its motion for judgment as a matter of law, hoping to escape the jury verdict. Alternatively, the ISP wants the court to grant a new trial.

BMG opposes this motion and has submitted a request for a permanent injunction instead. According to the music publisher, Cox has failed to take any action to prevent further copyright infringements.

“Now, more than a month later, Cox’s network continues to be the site of massive, ongoing infringement of BMG’s copyrights. This ongoing infringement inflicts irreparable harm on BMG,” the music publisher writes.

When contacted on the matter, Cox’s legal counsel informed BMG that the ISP was still analyzing all aspects of its processes and procedures. However, the music publisher doesn’t want to wait any longer and has requested a permanent injunction from the court, ordering the Internet provider to take action.

Besides forwarding all future takedown notices to subscribers whose accounts are linked to copyright infringements, BMG also requests an overview of the actions Cox takes to prevent further infringements.

In addition, BMG also wants the personal details of all associated account holders, including their names, email addresses and phone numbers.

The Proposed Injunction


BMG does not state how it intends to use these personal details, but given its relationship with Rightscorp it’s likely that the associated subscribers may be contacted to pay a settlement fee.

The music publisher believes that the proposed injunction is fair, considering the alleged harm it continues to suffer from the mass infringements on Cox’s network.

“Requiring Cox to prevent further use of its network for infringement by specified infringers at identified IP addresses imposes no undue burden on Cox and is narrowly tailored to reduce the enormous and irreparable harm that BMG suffers from infringement over Cox’s network,” the company writes.

It is now up to Judge O’Grady to review the requests from both parties.

If he sides with BMG then Cox will have to share the personal details of potentially tens of thousands of subscribers. If Cox has its way the jury verdict may be moot, or alternatively there will be a new trial.


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