back to article Cox stiffed for $25m after letting subscribers pirate music online

US cable provider Cox has to pay $25m to music publisher BMG for failing to crack down on its subscribers' music piracy. This week, the Eastern Virginia District Court has tossed out [PDF] Cox's appeal of a jury verdict awarding the damages to BMG after deciding that Cox had failed to properly act on warnings that its users …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Coming soon to Cox users

    A new fee that they have to pay called something like

    LEgal Protection Insurance

    Well, they have to get their users to pay the fine somehow don't they?

    Thay aren't going to let this piffling fine affect their profits.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Coming soon to Cox users

      Good thing at least in my area you can get Century Link DSL for about half the price of Cox. Yeah its slow as shit especially on the upload but Cox sucks cocks.

  2. mIRCat

    Don't worry!

    Don't fret one iota. It'll be those silly customers that pay the cost and none of the executive bonuses will be affected.

    That really is a relief on my mind!

  3. Preston Munchensonton

    Fucking Insane

    Suggesting that an ISP has a duty to fight piracy is like suggesting that the blokes that build and maintain roads have a duty to fight drunk driving.

    1. Snowy Silver badge

      Re: Fucking Insane

      I agree have an upvote

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fucking Insane

      Indeed. Somehow Youtube gets off scot-free as an "intermediary" but Cox, an actual ISP, gets blamed for what its users pull down through its tubes?

  4. Version 1.0 Silver badge


    The suite alleges (doesn't seem to prove) 1,397 instances of abuse over nearly three years - and the monitoring company Rightscorp generated 1,800,000+ abuse notices - and they wondered why COX started send their notices to the spam bin?

    It's all stupid really - the COX Terms of Use, interpreted literally, forbid the transmission of any copyrighted material over it's network ... and I assume that El Reg copyrights it's website ...

    Hang on, there's someone at the door ...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Piracy, it ain't all black and white in terms of what BMG like to call 'theft'

    It should really convert the overall fine amount into how much BMG would get for each equivalent Spotify/Youtube play, equating one download = one play. BMG seem to forget how much free publcity a downloaded track can generate via word of mouth (if its a good track)

    It's why so many albums need to be offered for free streaming to start with.

    Downloading via P2P (if the P2P is instigated by the record company and you don't know some of it isn't) is like offering free parking at Lidl with the potential to charge £75 if you overstay 2 hours, you're ignoring the fact that it drives sales into your actual stores.

    If Lidl made a market rate charge for parking without the threat of £75 penalty, see how many still shop at a Lidl store, it would be a lot less. Just because its downloaded for free is not necessarily a 'lost sale', either, it also might be a potential word of mouth sale to others too.

    Piracy (what BMG like to call theft) is not as black and white as they try and make it look.

    1. steogede

      Re: Piracy, it ain't all black and white in terms of what BMG like to call 'theft'

      I cycle to my local Lidl, rather than pay to use the (Council owned) car park (saves me the fuel too).

  6. Only me!

    Cars and Roads

    If someone builds a road and someone speeds along it, is it the road builders fault or the car builders fault? No the person driving the car gets the fine (After killing someone due to high speed). Both the road builder and car builder could have put things in place to prevent and/or detect the activity.

    So build a digital road (Internet connection), where people buy their own car (PC) and somehow it is the ISP's fault that people speed (Download crap)

    Yep all seems equal and good here.

    1. steogede

      Re: Cars and Roads

      Two things:

      1. They could sue the individuals, but it would be too costly. So they lobbied for rights to sue the ISP (presumably, but in all honesty I don't know that much).

      2. The roads are owned by the 'government' (I don't know if it is local or national government) and they aren't going to write laws that allow them to be sued.

      The solution then is either for the ISPs to be nationalized or for the ISPs to get better lobbyists than the RIAA/MPAA

  7. Wade Burchette Silver badge

    The American legal system

    The American legal can be summed by two statements:

    "He who has the gold makes the rule." And, "We have the best government money can buy."

    BMG probably spent more on lawyers for this case than would have made on the lost sales.

  8. frank ly

    It gets complicated

    "... complaints by BMG that Cox ... and had blacklisted some of the services BMG used to track and report music piracy ..."

    Would those be the torrent sites that BMG had seeded with their own torrents/seeders (for their own detection and tracking purposes) which had been blacklisted by Cox because they were under court order to do so as a result of other legal action?

  9. peterblaise


    Well, time to boycott BMG ( oh, I wasn't buying anyway ) ...

    ... and time to thank Cox for recognizing BMG's bad marketing plan ( sue your potential customers into oblivion INSTEAD of catering to them and finding ways to profit from supplying and fulfilling potential customer's preferences and demands ).

    The PROBLEM was Cox's non-creative non-mastery of the DMC snit-pile that the judge had to enforce -- judges are incredibly stupid, and somehow never demanded convictions in support of BMG's claims -- but then, the Big Music Gangstas ( BMG? ) wrote the law to NOT require proof of anything, making it so that unsubstantiated complaints are all that is necessary to take legal action.

    This 'fine' equals 0.27% of Cox's revenue, and 0.13% of BMG's parent company's income ( yes, that's both less than 1%, less than a single day's revenue for either of them ), so this is all for show, petty lawyers justifying their petty jobs -- what, did anyone actually misinterpret that BMG was in the customer service business?

    Torrent on ...

    ... and proxy.


    1. peterblaise


      ... and another thing ...

      ... BMG claims 1,397 supposed alleged infringement accusations ( nothing ever proven ) ...

      ... over a period of 1,028 days ...

      ... equals approximately 1-and-1/3rd accusation per day ...

      ... all happening somewhere within Cox's 6,000,000 online customers each day ...

      ... ( times multiple users who are routed behind each of Cox's Internet service hookups ) ...

      ... equals 1.35 / 6,000,000+ = um, help me out here, what's the percentage ...

      ... 0.0000225% ( yes, FOUR zeros less than 1% ) of Cox's customer relations ...

      ... and Cox is somehow legally required by the DMC to pay inordinate attention to the 0.0000225% of it's customers who have absolutely no legal accusations nor convictions against them ...

      ... and Cox got dinged 0.27% of their revenue ...

      ... that equals a 1,200,000% fine ...

      ... yes, one-million-point-two percent fine ...

      ... so ... for every $1 Cox earned from their accused BMG-infringing ( no evidence, no proof, no court action, no conviction ) customers ...

      ... Cox PAID $1,200,000 dollars ...

      ... Judicial review to TOSS THAT JUDGE, please !


      And ( once I open a spreadsheet, stand back ! ) ...

      ... BMG's claim of 1,397 file share infringements ...

      ... now earning BMG $25,000,000 ...

      ... equals BMG claiming that their intellectual property is worth $17,895.49 EACH to their potential customers ...

      ... yes, BMG claims that each of their files is worth $17,895.49 ...

      ... now, not that I question BMG, ( oh, no, never ) ...

      ... but I can walk into Walmart and get BMG disks for a whole lot less than $17,895.49 per disk ...

      Again ...

      ... Judicial review to TOSS THAT JUDGE, please !


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