Record Companies Hit Optimum With Billion Dollar BitTorrent Piracy Lawsuit
Record companies, including BMG, UMG, and Capitol, have filed a huge copyright lawsuit against the owners of internet service provider, Optimum. The plaintiffs claim the ISP turned a blind eye to pirating subscribers responsible for millions of infringements. The lawsuit lists thousands of songs and could be worth over a billion dollars in damages.
ISPs in the United States service millions of subscribers who use the internet as they see fit. At least in principle, ISPs are not responsible for subscribers’ behavior, but circumstances can dictate otherwise.
Copyright law states that ISPs must terminate the accounts of subscribers repeatedly flagged as copyright infringers. These customers are typically BitTorrent users, so when their ISP receives multiple complaints of unlawful file-sharing, the ISP is required to terminate their accounts “in appropriate circumstances.”
Several lawsuits, filed by music and movie companies over the past few years, claimed that ISPs failed to terminate repeat infringers. An early case saw record company BMG take on Cox Communications, with the former eventually walking away with a “substantial” settlement.
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