Judge Sides With BMG and Round Hill, Says Cox Not Absolved From User Piracy
However, the sheer act of a judge denying safe harbor could spur hard-thinking among ISPs to copyright notices sent by content owners and their agents like Rightscorp. That's because the ISPs may find themselves exposed on two fronts.
The court of law is one, but there's also the insurance angle.
This week, underwriters at Lloyds of London filed its own lawsuit against Cox in an attempt to avoid the potential damages bill for user piracy.
According to Lloyds' complaint filed in New York Supreme Court, Cox has been told that its insurance policy doesn't cover the BMG claim because it "arose out of intentional and not negligent acts" and "did not arise out of acts in rendering internet services but rather Cox's business policy and practice of ignoring and failing to forward infringement notices and refusing to terminate or block infringing customers' accounts."
In short, the insurer believes Cox should have kicked off customers from its service who were deemed to be pirates.
Cox didn't like Rightscorp shaking down its customers with demands for money and tried to shift the focus towards the behavior of the plaintiffs' agent. U.S. District Judge Liam O'Grady basically responded by shifting the focus back. It's one thing for an ISP to put up a brave front — and maybe even win some goodwill among customers by fighting those like Rightscorp — but to do so with neither safe harbor nor possibly insurance raises the risk level quite substantially. Time will tell if this is a game-changer on the piracy front.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.