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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > ISPs Protest Their Piracy Liability in Court

ISPs Protest Their Piracy Liability in Court

ISPs Protest Their Piracy Liability in Court

Added: Sunday, September 11th, 2016
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Ridiculous Criminal Trials
Tags:ISP, Download, BitTorrent, MPAA, RIAA, copyright-infringement, file-sharing, Torrenting
A number of ISPs, including RCN and Windstream, are trying to obtain a declaratory judgment on their potential liability for pirating subscribers. At the same time, music rights group BMG says they are improperly trying to hide behind the DMCA's safe harbor.


A Virginia federal jury ruled late in 2015 that an ISP could be held liable for subscribers who share pirated files. Of course, this verdict alerted the ISPs, who suddenly realized they could become the next target.

For example, the ISP RCN accounts for 400,000 subscribers nationwide, and as such it regularly receives takedown requests targeting its subscribers. Many of those notices are sent by BMG and its anti-piracy partner Rightscorp, accusing the ISP of being responsible for the actions of its customers. In response, RCN took legal action a few weeks ago, filing a lawsuit against BMG, seeking declaratory judgment on the matter. The court is asked to determine whether an ISP could be held liable for copyright violation simply because it provides Internet connectivity to its subscribers. The ISP argues that it is merely passing on traffic and thus can enjoy protection under the DMCA’s safe harbor provision.

RCN was swiftly followed by another ISP, Windstream, which relied on similar arguments. In response, BMG has started to push back, asking the court for leave to file a motion to dismiss the complaints. The music rights group accused the ISPs of trying to get broad immunity without going into specifics, such as their repeat infringer policies. As could be seen in the Cox case, the ISPs’ actions and policies play a crucial role in determining liability.

RCN responded by asking the court not to allow the motion to dismiss to be filed, and Windstream is expected to follow the same course.

Thanks to TorrentFreak for providing the source of the article.

Posted by: 

Date:  Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Comments (4) (please add your comment »)

posted by (2016-09-13 11:17:32)
No avatarThis crap is insane. It's like holding power & water companies liable for the actions of those who grow hydroponic weed in their basement. All ISP's can rightfully do is respond to requests to block users based upon a court order given in response to actual proof of wrongdoing. Anything else is unconstitutional if it's enforced by a court order. To expect a utility company to blacklist their customers based upon nothing more than "we suspect the person with I.P address ....... of downloading something they shouldn't so ban them or else" makes a mockery of everything the Constitution was created in order to defend. It seems to me that piracy still has a lot of work to do. If companies like BMG still have the money to waste on garbage like this then piracy hasn't caused enough damage to their bottom line.

posted by ET junkieKitty (2016-09-13 13:05:19)
Selsley avatarnice example hydroponics indeed,
mr joe square would never have thought of that as an example

posted by (2016-09-13 13:42:47)
edddy avatarVery good metaphor CrouchingWease,it remind me the 2003 RAVE act it permit the police to arrest and charge concert promoters under this law so long as glow sticks and bottled water were present.

posted by (2016-09-13 23:12:38)
Pippy01 avatarA more apt analogy would be the electric company being held liable "if" they do not assist the authorities in apprehending pot growers. When our electricity consumption increases inordinately (due to high power grow lights), our electricity company is required to report us. Those of us who grow bud then get a visit from the authorities. The question is whether or not electric companies/ISPs have a legal responsibility to report "suspicious activity." It depends on the "Good Samaritan" laws in your state/country. In CA, for example, no such law exists, thus ISPs have no legal obligation to report crimes or suspicious activities.

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