US Internet Access Provider Hit with a Billion Dollar Verdict for Copyright Infringement

In late November, Cox Communications, a U.S. Internet access provider, was found liable for the infringing activities of its subscribers based on their uploading and downloading of copyrighted music using peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. This month, jurors in a U.S. Federal District Court in Virginia awarded American music publishing companies a total of one billion dollars in compensatory damages for more than 10,000 musical works infringed. 

The verdict follows the court’s summary judgment, which found Cox liable for contributory copyright infringement in that Cox turned a blind eye to numerous instances of infringement that it was informed of, and in that it improperly implemented a repeat infringement policy. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act specifies that such a policy is a prerequisite for shielding a service provider from liability for the infringing activities of its subscribers.

CLICK HERE to read the court’s summary judgment, and CLICK HERE to read the jury’s verdict.