Music labels reach charter with new copyright lawsuit

Charter insisted on doing nothing – despite receiving thousands of notices detailing the illegal activity of its subscribers, despite its clear legal obligation to tackle the illegal and widespread downloading of copyrighted works on his Internet services, and despite the fact that he was previously sued by the plaintiffs for similar conduct, ”argues the complaint.

New lawsuit says labels continued to “monitor and detect violations” occurring on Charter’s network during the current claim period and have sent over 150,000 additional notices identifying the download, copy and distribution illegal rights to their copyrighted music through BitTorrent and other digital file sharing services. . The notices reportedly reported the unique IP addresses of what the labels claim to be “tens of thousands” of “blatant and serial counterfeiters” operating on Charter’s network.

“In reality, Charter has exploited its service as an attractive tool and a haven for infringements”, reads the complaint, which further alleges that the company has turned a blind eye to this activity in order “to attract and retain new and existing subscribers, ”who in turn would buy more bandwidth to accommodate faster download speeds.“ In other words, the more bandwidth required by its subscribers to pirate content, more Charter earns money, ”adds the complaint.

Neither Charter representatives nor the labels responded to the request for comment at the time of publication.

The plaintiffs seek maximum legal damages – which, under US law, would amount to $ 150,000 per infringed work – or, failing that, actual damages in an amount to be proven at trial. If statutory damages rose to the maximum amount for each infringing work – which totaled 1,719 sound recordings and 1,086 compositions, according to two attachments to the lawsuit – Charter would be fined more than $ 420 million.

The new lawsuit is just the latest in a series of copyright infringement lawsuits filed against Internet service providers by music companies in recent years. In December 2019, the Big Three labels won a billion dollar verdict against Cox Communications after the ISP was found responsible for breaching by customers of more than 10,000 musical works on its network (the verdict was confirmed by a U.S. District Court judge last January). In December 2015, Cox was ordered to pay $ 25 million in a separate legal action brought by BMG; Although that decision was overturned on appeal in early 2018 and ordered a new trial due to an error in the jury instructions, Cox settled a “substantial” amount with BMG before a new trial could begin.

A similar infringement action, still pending, was filed by 17 record companies against internet service provider RCN Corporation in August 2019. Legal action is also pending by the RIAA in April 2017 against ISP Grande Communications , based in Texas, who is also accused of failing. to crack down on copyright pirates.

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