A federal court jury in Virginia awarded music publishing companies nearly $100,000 in compensatory damages for each of the 10,017 music works infringed by subscribers of Cox Communications, an Internet access provider, which in turn failed to block their internet access as repeat copyright infringers.
In late November, Cox Communications, a U.S. Internet access provider, was found liable for the infringing activities of its subscribers based on their uploading and downloading of copyrighted music using peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. This month, jurors in a U.S. Federal District Court in Virginia awarded American music publishing companies a total of one billion dollars in compensatory damages for more than 10,000 musical works infringed.
The verdict follows the court’s summary judgment, which found Cox liable for contributory copyright infringement in that Cox turned a blind eye to numerous instances of infringement that it was informed of, and in that it improperly implemented a repeat infringement policy. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act specifies that such a policy is a prerequisite for shielding a service provider from liability for the infringing activities of its subscribers.