Record labels sue Charter for not kicking off music pirates

Major labels are suing Charter Communications for not taking pirates out of their service. At the end of last week, Warner Bros., Sony, Universal Music Group and several subsidiaries said that Charter "knowingly contributed and obtained substantial benefits from the massive copyright infringement committed by thousands of its subscribers." Specifically, the complaint says that Charter received notices that its subscribers were hacking music through BitTorrent and other services, but refused to cancel their accounts. A similar lawsuit has been filed against Charter's subsidiary, Bright House Networks.

"Charter did not want to lose subscriber income by canceling the accounts of infringing subscribers," the complaint reads. "Charter also did not want to risk the possibility that the cancellations of the account would make their service less attractive to other existing or potential users." As noted Ars Technica is actually close to suggesting that Charter promoted piracy simply advertising high download speeds, complaining that "Charter has told current and potential customers that their high-speed service allows them to to subscribers "download almost anything instantly" "and" to the subscribers that your Internet service "has the speed you need for everything you need. do it online. "

The lawsuit says that" tens of thousands "of subscribers to the Charter were accused of copyright infringement, and is asking a court damages that include the benefits of Charter for maintaining these accounts Charter told The Verge in a statement that "we will defend against these unfounded allegations."

Media companies have struggled with ISPs (and subscribers) for piracy for years After completing a strategy of filing class action lawsuits against people downloading movies and songs, the Recording Industry Association of America and the Film Association of America joined the suppliers of Internet services in a "six strikes" program to scare pirates, however, the program ended in early 2017, with the MPAA saying that it had not added to a "persistent group of unconditional, repeat offenders".

In 2015, music company BMG won a $ 25 million trial against Cox for ignoring copyright infringement warnings. Later it was annulled, but the ruling was a sufficient victory for the RIAA to continue with its own massive claim against Cox, similar to the one that is being filed against Charter now. The Texas Grande Communications-based provider also faces its own lawsuit, and last week, a court ruled that it could be held liable for the infringement.

The cases of Grande and Cox depended on whether they took reasonable measures to combat copyright infringement, which is one of the few things that Internet platforms can be held liable under Section 230 of the Law of Decency in Communications. However, the details are not identical: a judge ruled against Cox for not obeying his own established policy, and Grande for not having a significant policy at all. Charter will have to argue that it took significant steps to fight piracy, and that it deserves the safe harbor that it refused to those other ISPs

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