Appeals court overturns $1 billion copyright lawsuit against Cox

There is an appeals court blocked In 2019, a $1 billion copyright judgment was entered against US internet service provider Cox Communications and a retrial was ordered. Art Technique reported. A three-judge panel unanimously rejected claims by Sony, Universal and Warner, ruling that Cox did not profit directly from its users’ piracy.

The judges initially upheld the jury’s finding of intentional contributory negligence at trial. in 2018. To that end, they ordered a new compensation court that could reduce the size of the award.

“We vacate the vicarious liability judgment and remand for a new trial on damages because Cox did not benefit from its subscribers’ tort, a legal prerequisite for vicarious liability.” It added that “no reasonable jury could find that Cox’s subscribers derived a direct financial benefit from Plaintiffs’ copyright infringement.”

According to preliminary allegations, Cox allegedly refused to take “reasonable measures” to combat piracy. ISPs were supposed to terminate the accounts of offending users, but the ISP only temporarily disconnected and warned some users more than 100 times. The labels claimed that it had imposed restrictions on even accepted copyright complaints and reduced anti-piracy staff.

However, the judges said Sony did not suggest a causal link between the infringement and higher revenues for Kox. “No evidence indicates that customers chose Cox’s Internet service over a competitor’s because of any knowledge or expectation that Cox would respond leniently to infringement.”

Under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and EU regulations, ISPs use “safe harbor” protections that shield them from liability for user actions. However, that’s only valid if it complies with specific requirements and immediately resolves copyright violations — and in this case, Cox didn’t, the judges said.

“The jury found evidence that Cox knew of specific instances of repeated copyright infringement occurring on its network, that Cox traced those instances to specific users, and that Cox chose to continue to provide monthly Internet access to those users … losing revenue,” the judge noted. The case now goes back to the US District Court.

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