MPAA, RIAA, and many other entertainment industry associations recently shared their opinions on the piracy case between BMG and Cox Communications. The response from these groups came as a surprise to Cox, as they welcomed and appreciated the decision from the District Court, which held the ISP accountable for pirating subscribers.
The ruling from a Virginia Federal Jury, back in December 2015, held Cox Communications guilty of willful contributory copyright infringement. The Jury even asked the internet service provider to pay a penalty of $25 million in damages to BMG Rights Management. However, Cox showed their disagreement towards this outcome and they went on to file an appeal against this ruling.
In their appeal, Cox Communications claimed that there were plenty of errors in the judgment made by the District Court. Many industry associations, digital rights group, institutions and libraries come to the aid of Cox Communications as well. The court of appeals received amicus briefs from several of these supporters, where they shared their concerns.
Yet this time, a number of copyright industry groups announced their support to the music rights group. They stressed that the current verdict from the District Court, which favors BMG, should be preserved. They also added that internet providers like Cox Communications should not be protected if the provider has failed to terminate “repeat infringers” from their offerings.
The MPAA added that the decision from District Court is praiseworthy and mentioned that online piracy is a huge issue that cannot be handled without the use of proper legal tools. They stated that holding Cox responsible would certainly stop other provider from not terminating “repeat infringers” from their network.
“Online piracy accounts for a full quarter of all internet traffic and costs the entertainment industry tens of billions of dollars per year,” MPAA delegates said. “It is simply not feasible to combat the epidemic of online infringement unless copyright-holders have the legal tools to incentivize the cooperation of intermediaries like Cox and to hold them accountable when they knowingly facilitate widespread online infringement.”
On the other hand, Cox Communications argued that only the courts can decide if someone is an infringer or not. Otherwise, the providers will be forced to terminate accounts on the basis of one-sided allegations from the copyright holders. However, RIAA, MPAA and other BMG supporters argue that regular takedown notices from the copyright holders could be taken into account.