Cox Wants Rightscorp’s Piracy Tracking Source Code

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Cox Communications, one of the largest Internet providers in the United States, has asked the court to order anti-piracy firm Rightscorp to hand over its tracking source code. The ISP describes the company's settlement scheme as extortion and hopes to punch a hole in its evidence gathering techniques.

pirate-runningPiracy monetization firm Rightscorp has made quite a few headlines over the past year.

The company sends infringement notices to Internet providers on behalf of various copyright holders, including Warner Bros. These notices include a settlement proposal offering alleged downloaders an option to pay off their “debt.”

Not all ISPs are eager to forward these demands to their subscribers. Cox Communications, for example, labels Rightscorp’s practices as an “extortion scheme” and refuses to cooperate. As a result, several copyright holders who work with Rightscorp decided to sue the Internet provider over its inaction late last year.

Cox believes that this suit is an indirect way for Rightscorp to punish the company, as it explained to the court a few days ago (pdf).

“Cox refused to participate in Rightscorp’s extortion scheme,” Cox informs the court, arguing that “Rightscorp retaliated with this lawsuit.”

To mount a proper defense the Internet provider has demanded insight into the evidence gathering techniques employed by Rightscorp. Thus far, however, the company has failed to produce all requested information.

“Now, Rightscorp refuses to produce key categories of documents related to its core activities. Rightscorp has not produced all of its source code modules used for detection of alleged infringements,” Cox writes.

Evidence as presented in a Rightscorp letter

rightsevidence

The anti-piracy company maintains that it has already handed over all source code, but Cox says it can’t locate certain elements and points out that Rightscorp has made misleading statements in the past.

“Rightscorp has repeatedly represented that ‘all the code’ has been produced; yet, Cox’s expert has identified multiple components missing from the code that Rightscorp has then belatedly produced,” Cox explains.

In addition, Cox tells the court that Rightscorp failed to produce other documents that deal with how the company approaches alleged copyright infringers.

They include a script that is used to guide Rightscorp agents in their phone calls, a Rightscorp employee handbook, plus letter templates for Rightscorp’s communications with ISPs.

With various expert reports due soon, Cox has asked the court to issue an order compelling Rightscorp to immediately hand over all missing data and documents.

While Cox does not state how it will use the source code, it’s presumed that its experts will point out various flaws. For example, Rightscorp presumably lists repeated copyright infringers by IP-address, which is inaccurate since Cox regularly changes subscribers IPs.

Additional details on these and other issues are expected to be revealed this summer.

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