ISP Cox Responds to Lawsuit by Music Publishers BMG, Round Hill Music

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BMG, the company that owns the publishing rights to music from Super Bowl 2015 Halftime show acts Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz, as well as many other musicians and songwriters, is suing an American ISP for providing Internet services to copyright infringers.

According to a report by TorrentFreak on Thursday, BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music filed a lawsuit against Atlanta-based Cox Communications in November for failure to disconnect repeat copyright infringers from its Internet service.

In a response to the lawsuit this week, Cox denied nearly all of the allegations put forward by the music publishers and demanded a jury trial.

In the reply, Cox argues that it had no knowledge of the infringements, and had never intended to “induce, profit from, or materially contribute to piracy conducted by its customers,” according to TorrentFreak.

Cox’s lawyers also argue that BMG and Round Hill Music used abusive or improper practices in exploiting or enforcing copyright, the report said, which likely refers to “the settlement schemes the publishers are engaged together with Rightscorp.”

According to a report by Ars Technica, Rightscorp’s business is based on “threatening ISPs with a high-stakes lawsuit” if they don’t forward settlement notices to repeat copyright infringers.

Recently, Rightscorp sent notices on behalf of BMG Rights Management to Canadian copyright infringers, asking them to pay $150,000 per infringement, and threatening to cut off their Internet access.

As TorrentFreak points out, the case will be a “critical test” for the repeat infringer clause of the DMCA and safe harbor protections for ISPs.

According to the DMCA, ISPs are required to have a policy to terminate repeat infringers, but there is not a lot of clarity as to beyond that, Ars Technica says.

DMCA safe harbors protect service providers from monetary damages for the infringing activities of their users.

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