Two record companies have filed a lawsuit in the United States against Cox Communications, a cable provider. The music publishers argue that the isp is responsible for illegally downloading music from its customers.
The lawsuit has been filed in a US court in the state of Virginia, Ars Technica discovered, which obtained the court documents. In the case, prosecutors BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music allege that Cox Communications is doing too little to warn its customers if they engage in piracy. The music labels claim to have identified 200,000 customers who they consider to be ‘repeat offenders’. Cox has been made aware of it, but would not forward complaints from the music labels to his customers.
Because Cox is not cooperating in tackling customers who illegally download content, according to the accusers, they are jointly responsible for copyright infringement, the indictment says. That’s why BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music want to see damages and that Cox be forced to forward copyright infringement warnings to his clients.
Usually, music labels sue individual internet users for illegal downloading and copyright infringement. Moving the legal battle to the internet providers can have major consequences. The precedent setting could give internet providers more obligations to act as digital police officers. In Europe, ISPs are mainly being sued for ensuring that they block piracy websites.