Cox Communications Is Facing the Reality of a $1 Billion Copyright Infringement Penalty

Cox Communications Agrees to Hand Over the Personal Information of 2,795 Business Subscribers to the RIAA
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Prominent internet service provider Cox Communications is facing the possibility that it will have to pay the staggering $1 billion copyright infringement penalty that a jury levied against it in December.

Previously, we were first to report that Cox Communications was pushing back against the humongous ruling, which it called “grossly excessive.” The case itself centered on allegations made by the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Big Three Record labels, among others, which claim that Cox has contributed to, enabled, and profited from the copyright infringement of its users.

Jurors ultimately agreed with the allegations, as they awarded the plaintiffs some $99,830.29 for each of the allegedly infringed 10,017 works in question – driving the grand damages total to an even $1 billion.

Now, U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady has dismissed the majority of Cox Communication’s challenges to the stunning verdict, including claims that the plaintiffs hadn’t adequately demonstrated disregard for copyright protection on the part of the defendants.

However, the Virginia federal judge also indicated that the disclosed total of 10,017 infringed works may have been “premature,” and that he will provide Cox Communications with 60 days to produce an updated list. Based upon its submission and that of the plaintiffs, the court will then determine the precise number of copyright-infringement instances.

Needless to say, at $99,830.29 apiece, there’s ample incentive for Cox Communications to try and lower the figure representing the allegedly infringed upon media.

At the time of this writing, Cox officials hadn’t publicly addressed Judge Liam O’Grady’s ruling.

Aside from this high-stakes courtroom battle, the Atlanta, Georgia-based internet company recently made headlines for donating $25,000 to the Food Bank of Santa Barbara via its charitable wing, to provide meals to in-need individuals and families amid the coronavirus crisis.

In other recent legal developments from within the music industry, TikTok’s privacy lawsuit was updated this week, Spotify moved to seal court documents introduced as part of its third-party complaint involving Kobalt Music Publishing, and Yeasayer ended its Black Panther copyright-infringement lawsuit against The Weeknd.