Tuesday, December 02, 2014

BMG sues Cox in DMCA Safe Harbor case, saying customer should have been terminated

The Safe Harbor provision of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) protects ISP’s and service providers from downstream liability only when they will terminate repeat infringers.  That’s why embedded videos from YouTube sometimes stop working, with a message (when you try to play the video) that the account was terminated because of repeat copyright violations. 
That’s also one reason why I make my own YouTube uploads “original content”.  I’m trying to move even further in that direction with plans I have discussed here recently.  I don’t repost classical music (although I will embed it if already posted), and I don’t mix scenes of Will and Sonny (or now Paul and Sonny) from “Days of our Lives” and post them myself.
BMG  music has submitted 54,489 claims to Cox Cable over the number of times a particular customer shared pirated music from this one label.  Apparently the sharing occurred P2P.  Tim Lee has a story on Vox here   BMG is saying that Cox needed to terminate the user. 
YouTube terminates accounts for users who publish copyrighted material (without permission or without Fair Use).  However, the COX case is about downloading and possessing the content in the first place.  Could a cloud service be liable for illegal copies stored privately on servers?
There is a “Copyright Alert” system which more ISP’s could be forced to join, especially if Cox loses.

BMG actually owns the sheet music rights.  It seems as though it could be illegal to record and possess music played in a disco, let alone post it.  (I don’t post audio from discos because that would be infringement, but I think a lot of people do.)  

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