The Virginia federal court ordered Cox Communications, who is one of the best phone and internet providers in the United States, to pay a penalty of approximately $8 million to BMG. The federal court added that the penalty is to compensate the legal fee of the music group BMG. The federal court also stated that Cox Communications has crossed a line with their “deeply flawed DMCA defense” and the court sees the higher fee as a proper incentive for improving the anti-piracy policies of the company.
A Virginia federal jury had earlier held Cox Communications responsible for the copyright infringements of their customers. The internet service provider was found guilty by the court for the willful contributory copyright infringement. In addition to that, the jury also ordered the telecom company to pay a penalty of $25 million in damages to the pay music publisher BMG Rights Management.
However, Cox Communications went on to file an appeal against this judgment but Cox received a few bad news this week. The District Court recently asked the internet service provider to compensate BMG for the attorney’s costs and fees that incurred during the first round. In their motion, BMG requested the judge for over $10 million compensation. Afterwards, judge Liam O’Grady went on to fine a penalty of $8,383,468 in fees and an extra $146,790 for covering the bill of the costs.
Reports also claim that the internet service provider complied publically with the DMCA while intentionally circumventing and privately discouraging the requirements of the law. The judge wrote, “In a hard-fought litigation battle such as this one, discovery disputes and fierce briefing are to be expected, and they should not be held too harshly against either party.”
He added, “Nonetheless, there are a few instances in which Cox’s advocacy crossed the line of objective reasonableness. In particular, both Cox’s attempts to obscure its practice of reinstating infringing customers, and its subsequent assertions of a deeply flawed DMCA defense evince a meritless litigation position that Cox vigorously defended.”
The court believes that the high legal costs will motivate the internet service provider to change their policies and to appropriately respond to the reported copyright infringements. Judge O’Grady added, “However Cox decides to address its users’ repeat infringement, it is clear that the company should be given a proper financial incentive to change its policies and procedures.”