New York (The Verge) — Record labels sue Charter for not kicking off music pirates theverge.com/2019/3/26/1828….
Sony, UMG, Warner Bros., and others have sued internet service provider Charter Communications for not terminating the accounts of music pirates who were flagged by record labels.
Late last week, Warner Bros., Sony, Universal Music Group, and several subsidiaries claimed Charter had “knowingly contributed to, and reaped substantial profits from, massive copyright infringement committed by thousands of its subscribers.” Specifically, the complaint says Charter received notices that its subscribers were pirating music through BitTorrent and other services, but it refused to terminate their accounts. A similar suit has been filed against Charter subsidiary Bright House Networks.
“Charter did not want to lose subscriber revenue by terminating accounts of infringing subscribers,” the complaint reads. “Nor did Charter want to risk the possibility that account terminations would make its service less attractive to other existing or prospective users.” As Ars Technica pointed out, it actually comes close to suggesting that Charter promoted piracy simply by advertising high download speeds — complaining that “Charter has told existing and prospective customers that its high-speed service enables subscribers to ‘download just about anything instantly,’” and “told subscribers that its Internet service ‘has the speed you need for everything you do online.’”
CHARTER HAS CALLED THE ALLEGATIONS “BASELESS”
The suit says that “tens of thousands” of Charter subscribers were flagged for copyright infringement, and it’s asking a court for damages that include Charter’s profits from maintaining these accounts. Charter told The Verge in a statement that “we will defend against these baseless accusations.”
Media companies have fought with ISPs (and their subscribers) over piracy for years. After ending a strategy of filing mass lawsuits against individuals downloading movies and songs, the Recording Industry Association of America and Motion Picture Association of America teamed up with internet service providers on a “six strikes” program for scaring pirates straight. However, the program ended in early 2017, with the MPAA saying it hadn’t deterred a “persistent group of hardcore, repeat infringers.” — Adi Robertson/@verge