Jury Slaps Cox With $25 Million Verdict For Ignoring Rogue Pirates
BMG took Cox Communications to court over allegations
"Cox not only knowingly provides the means by which the infringement of BMG’s copyrights occurs, the evidence is undisputed that Cox promotes its high-speed internet services for the purpose of downloading and sharing music," BMG writes in its lawsuit. "Because Cox’s network constitutes the sites and facilities by which the infringement of BMG’s occurs through BitTorrent and P2P, Cox has materially contributed to the infringement of BMG’s copyrights as a matter of law. No reasonable jury could find otherwise."
Weeks before the $25 million verdict, a judge essentially agreed with BMG, ruling that Cox Communications wasn't entitled to DMCA saffe-harbor protections because it didn't close accounts of repeat offenders. As part of the DMCA, ISPs are required to do everything in their power to stop digital pirates.
The ISP was far too lenient. Even worse, an internal email suggests it was deliberately ignoring some of the illegal activity for its own financial gain.
"This way, we can collect a few extra weeks of payments for their account," Cox's Manager of Customer Abuse Operations stated in an email, according to documentation presented to the court.
The jury award could have been much higher. Had the jury decided to levy the maximum $150,000 in damages for each of the 1,397 copyrighted songs BMG wanted it to take into consideration, the total fine would have been $209,550,000.