Tuesday, February 09, 2021

ISP (Cox) assessed a $1 billion judgment for a user's copyright infringement (downloading Sony) for not enforcing a repeat offenders policy


Richmond, VA, downtown, 2015/9

Leonard French reports that an ISP must pay $1 billion for a user’s copyright infringement, according to a judgment involving a Virginia user entered Dec. 19, 2019.  

The reason for the judgment is that Cox did not enforce a repeat infringer policy (under the letter of the law of DMCA Safe Harbor), which Cox had set at 13 (not 3) strikes.

The judgment is under appeal in the 4th Circuit (Richmond VA) with a request for a bond deposit.

It is not illegal not to have a repeat infringer policy, but an ISP (telecom style) is liable if there is a repeat infringer with takedowns and the ISP didn’t have a policy and enforce it.

It is not clear from the video how the infringement happened.  I don’t think you need an ISP for Bit Torrent if you set everything up yourself.  The plaintiff was Sony Music and normally infringement is detected from hashtag watermarks.

There has been some suggestion that this liability would not exist if Obama-era net neutrality were in place.   

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