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The Courts Piracy The Almighty Buck

Insurer Refuses To Cover Cox In Massive Piracy Lawsuit (torrentfreak.com) 101

An anonymous reader writes with news that Cox Communications' insurer, Lloyds Of London underwriter Beazley, is refusing to cover legal costs and any liabilities from the case brought against it by BMG and Round Hill Music. TorrentFreak reports: "Trouble continues for one of the largest Internet providers in the United States, with a Lloyds underwriter now suing Cox Communications over an insurance dispute. The insurer is refusing to cover legal fees and potential piracy damages in Cox's case against BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music. Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback. Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback."
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Insurer Refuses To Cover Cox In Massive Piracy Lawsuit

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  • by psergiu ( 67614 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @06:04PM (#51004813)

    Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback. Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback. Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback. Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback. Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback.

    Here's one more time, in case you missed it:

    Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is stupid. Why would the DMCA apply to an ISP? If we are now going to those lengths, what of the copper company that make the cables?

      • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @06:51PM (#51005101) Journal

        I would like BMG to sue the atmosphere, because just yesterday I heard pirated music being played on somebody's stereo. Let's drag that piracy-helping fucker Yahweh into court!!!!!

      • by suutar ( 1860506 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @07:36PM (#51005373)

        The assertion (by BMG/RHM) is that Cox has not fulfilled the requirements for safe harbor, which include terminating the accounts of repeat offenders. Cox has replied that it takes action on every report of infringement and that in some cases they do wind up terminating access, but BMG/RHM are saying that's not good enough, and a Federal judge has ruled (as I understand it) that the assertion can go to trial, rather than being summarily dismissed as Cox requested.

        Which I suspect means that this trial may wind up clarifying exactly what criteria define "repeat offender" for the purposes of the DMCA. Or, more likely, Cox will settle and then get really strict to avoid having to deal with this again.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @08:16PM (#51005609)

          The assertion (by BMG/RHM) is that Cox has not fulfilled the requirements for safe harbor, which include terminating the accounts of repeat offenders.

          Alledged repeat offenders.

          How many times a year do we read about big media companies using automated systems that fire off buttloads of false DMCA takedowns?
          BMG are not (and should never be) judge,jury and executioner.

          • by unrtst ( 777550 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @08:33PM (#51005689)

            The assertion (by BMG/RHM) is that Cox has not fulfilled the requirements for safe harbor, which include terminating the accounts of repeat offenders.

            Alledged repeat offenders.

            How many times a year do we read about big media companies using automated systems that fire off buttloads of false DMCA takedowns?
            BMG are not (and should never be) judge,jury and executioner.

            FWIW, the previous story made it clear that Cox has called them out on exactly that grounds, as well as a bunch of other claims/country-claims.
            One of their main claims is that BMG had spammed them with way too many notices that had lacked proper evidence and such. Cox had notified BMG of that a bunch of times and tried to work with them, and they would not stop sending the automated and often unjustified notices, so Cox stopped listening to any of their reports.

            IMO, that's the real story, and makes both sides make more sense. This has almost nothing to do with the end user. Neither Cox nor BMG want to take the time to do the proper paperwork and research to determine if these red flags are detecting actual cases of infringement. BMG is automatically spamming all possible claims; Cox is automatically sending them all to /dev/null; Neither of those are very helpful.

            This will likely be settled out of court with some agreement that either BMG will do a little more work, or they'll pay Cox to do it, and then Cox will accept the vast majority of the claims. I'd almost be willing to wager money on that one, if I cared enough to follow this further.

            Previous slashdot story: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/... [slashdot.org]
            Cox's response: http://ia801407.us.archive.org... [archive.org]

            Their response is actually kinda fun to read.

            • BMG is automatically spamming all possible claims; Cox is automatically sending them all to /dev/null; Neither of those are very helpful.

              The problem as I understand it is the "settlement offers" (a/k/a copyright trolling a/k/a extortion racket) that are included in the "notices".

              • BMG is automatically spamming all possible claims; Cox is automatically sending them all to /dev/null; Neither of those are very helpful

                If BMG can't be arsed to do due dilligence I don't see why Cox should go out of their way to help them. I think Cox's attitude is completely reasonable here.

            • Previous slashdot story: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/... [slashdot.org]
              Cox's response: http://ia801407.us.archive.org... [archive.org]

              Their response is actually kinda fun to read.

              It's even more fun if you mentally replace the redacted sections with uninterrupted cussing! Some of the sections are quite long, so get creative! ;-)

          • Alleged...

            http://dictionary.reference.co... [reference.com]

            I'm sorry. It was boldfaced otherwise I would have kept my trap shut.

            I otherwise agree strongly with your point.

            Assertions of violation should come with a cost when they are wrong.

            • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday November 26, 2015 @01:59PM (#51008951) Homepage

              Assertions of violation should come with a cost when they are wrong.

              Ahhh, but the DMCA has been carefully crafted to prevent that.

              See, as much as they are supposed to be making a sworn statement subject to perjury, all they have to do is "ooops, we though this but we were wrong".

              The DMCA was bought and paid for by the copyright cartel to ensure they can bully and bluster all they want, everyone else has to jump and say "yes sir", and they bear absolutely NO penalty or cost with being wrong, and the ISPs have to do this shit at their own expense.

              What the copyright cartel did when they bought the DMCA was to ensure it was such a lop-sided law that they can misuse it all they want and nothing will ever happen to them.

              The entire DMCA is defective by design. Because that's what the people who paid for it wanted it to be.

      • by Imrik ( 148191 )

        Because ISPs have fought to avoid being classified as common carriers. Even going so far as to get legislation passed to protect them, specifically, the safe-harbor provision of the DMCA. It seems that in this case at least, that wasn't enough.

    • by Dr. Evil ( 3501 )

      That's a lot of setbacks.

    • by aaaaaaargh! ( 1150173 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @06:25PM (#51004909)

      Wait a minute ... doesn't that mean that Cox must deal with some kind of setback?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @06:27PM (#51004923)

      Well, to be fair. It's not the notices Cox is concerned with...

      "in a statement that leaves little to the imagination, Cox notes that Rightscorp is “threatening” subscribers with “extortionate” letters.

        Rightscorp is in the business of threatening Internet users on behalf of copyright owners. Rightscorp specifically threatens subscribers of ISPs with loss of their Internet service — a punishment that is not within Rightscorp’s control — unless the subscribers pay a settlement demand, Cox writes (pdf).

      Cox has refused to participate in Rightscorp's quasi-legal activities. While the company is not opposed to passing on infringement allegations, it did ask Rightscorp to remove the threatening language (cutting off service, $150,000 per infringement claim) first. Rightscorp refused to do so."

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150525/12523631096/cox-claims-rightscorps-extortionate-lawsuit-really-backdoor-way-to-get-subscribers-info.shtml

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        Yes the user is paying for internet services, why or how can that account just be removed?
        • Because the copyright cartel have bought laws from lawmakers which effectively give them the ability to decide who can use technology and how.

          The DHS is now responsible for copyright enforcement, and the US foreign policy on copyright is now being directed by corporate interests.

          All of these things have combined to mean that the accusations of corporations are being interpreted (by them, and by the idiot judge in this case) as meaning that they get to decide if a person should be removed from the internet d

    • by rioki ( 1328185 )

      Department of the Redundancy Department?

    • This story reminds me of the New York Times back in the Linotype days.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback.

    Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback.

    Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with ano

  • Couldn't have happened to a nicer company...
    • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @06:26PM (#51004917)

      Oh please, I've used Cox before, and they were pretty decent for an ISP. They upgraded their systems at one point, rendering my cable modem unusable, so they sent me a new Surfboard for free. Their prices were good (compared to other ISPs I've had since I had to move away from there), and the prices were stable.

      The company that really, really sucks is Comcast.

      I've never heard of Cox continuing to charge people after they canceled their account (Comcast is famous for this), or for making it almost impossible to do (again, Comcast is famous for this; I think I was on hold for 2 hours doing this when I had to move out of a Comcast service area).

      Cox also lets you just buy a cable modem and install it yourself, without a visit from a technician. Comcast and other companies require you to have a tech visit and charge you $100 just to plug in a modem.

      I also don't remember Cox having any kind of 3-strikes system like Comcast has.

      I see exactly what's going on here: Cox is the best of all the cable ISPs, so they're being run out of business so Comcast can buy them up for pennies on the dollar.

      • by creimer ( 824291 )
        Whenever a Comcast truck is in the neighborhood, I know my Internet connection was FUBAR. It took me a month to convince a Comcast rep to send out a technician to check out the service box on the pole. Surprise, surprise, surprise. The last technician installed a bypass filter backwards that cut off my Internet service. Fortunately, I still had a 56k dial-up account with another ISP during those outages.
      • I didn't say they were the worst. Just that I have no sympathy for them.
        • Fine, they're going to go out of business and will be taken over by Comcast, so you'll have an even worse company to deal with.

          • I already have to deal with Comcast here.
      • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

        Cox also lets you just buy a cable modem and install it yourself, without a visit from a technician. Comcast and other companies require you to have a tech visit and charge you $100 just to plug in a modem.

        Nope, not my experience. The last time I upgraded my cable modem (18 months ago?), I called Comcast tech support, plugged it in myself and was up and running in 15 to twenty minutes tops. I have never had them come out to just plug in a cable modem.

        • by EzInKy ( 115248 )

          Wait until you unplug and cancel. You'll end up with a collection on your credit report due to them continuing to bill you.

        • I did that ... and the modem didn't work.

          The tech came out. Said it was factory dead on arrival.

          And the fuckers charged me $50 for a tech visit.

          After I had picked up the modem, installed it myself, and the modem was dead because it was defective.

          They charged me $50 dollars.

    • As a long-time Cox customer, I hope they win this fight, but it may take more than a court case. There has to be some reasonable limits on take-down notices. You can't just send out literally millions of notices in huge batches, and expect the ISPs to just shut up while you flood their valued customers. You can't include legal threats and settlement proposals in your notices, your notice must FIRST be a request to remove the contested content. If we don't have these simple standards of reasonableness in pla

  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @06:19PM (#51004875) Homepage

    His remarks seem more like he had a predestined ruling.

    • He's being paid off by Comcast, so that Comcast can buy out Cox for dirt cheap.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Safe-harbor only protects you if you don't blatantly disregard notices that people using your service are violating the law. Once you stop caring, you are no longer protected.

      • by mattventura ( 1408229 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @06:40PM (#51005027) Homepage
        But they weren't getting notices that people on the service were violating the law. They got notices saying that the *AAs believed that their customers were violating the law. There's no hard evidence that someone who the *AA sends a notice to is actually guilty of that charge unless they do a proper investigation.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          unfortunately, it seems that argument is precisely what they could not get the judge to understand. They sent millions of over-stated, sometimes downright false accusations, got told by Cox to improve the accuracy and report things "right" and they said F you and somehow now the judge says Cox is at fault...

          • by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @10:28PM (#51006141)

            The judge understands perfectly well, it is you and many other posters who do not understand. This is happening pretrial. The only things in play now are matters of law.

            The DMCA says that if you notify subscribers when you are notified of claimed infringement, and if after repeated notifications you cut them off, then you can not be sued for facilitating infringement. Cox claims they get this protection, but they admit they did not do the above, as you yourself stated. Therefore, as a matter of law, they don't get the protection.

            So what does that all mean? Well, first of all it does not mean that the judge is biased or has made an error. It does not mean that the judge has sided with anyone. It does not mean that Cox has lost the case. And it certainly doesn't mean that the judge doesn't understand. What it does mean is that there is an actual dispute as to the facts of the case, and disputes of facts are to resolved by juries, not judges. It very well may be that when a jury hears the case they decide that BMG was in fact unreasonable, and therefore they lose the suit.

            • The small detail is the claimed infringement. In my case (and country) if the author of the notification does not provide proof of what he claims I too would ignore it. The DMCA is the shittiest law I ever seen (accusation without proof is a serious crime), and shoud be simply ignored.
        • Since when have facts got in the way of an American corp getting what it wants in the courts? The entire country's legal system is based on stringing out arguments to define tiny bits of language in the text and twist the whole thing untill up is down, black is white and the proponent with the biggest wallet wins the law suit. Facts have nothing to do with it.
        • But they weren't getting notices that people on the service were violating the law. They got notices saying that the *AAs believed that their customers were violating the law. There's no hard evidence that someone who the *AA sends a notice to is actually guilty of that charge unless they do a proper investigation.

          The hard evidence is the hard cash the *AA spent making sure all judges and politicians believe those accusations are sufficiently infallible that companies must be forced to help "protect" the "job creators" of the intellectual property cartels in their fight for "artists rights". It's like you think we have a fair and balanced system instead of one so ridiculously stacked in favor of copyright that buying computers and software to run content scanning software that gives holders carte blanche to delete wh

  • Suing clients just because a client's court case happens to go the wrong way? I hope the insurance company crashes and burns.

    • Insurance companies are in the business of paying for as little as possible. There are legitimate questions about whether something is covered and then there is the massive fraud they engage in as a regular part of their business model.

      The question will be whether the coverage extends to cover Cox if they are found guilty of violating the DMCA. If the claim even *might* be something they have to cover, then they probably have to defend it. (The duty to defend is generally broader than the duty to pay for

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In spite of some feelings, COX will have to defend itself against the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA. Automakers aren't responsible for car accidents. Phone makers aren't responsible for texting-instead-of-driving. ISP's provide data pipes for a fee. Fertilizer companies aren't responsible for the bombs nutters make, nor are the fuel companies for making gasoline or diesel. Its not so much that COX deserves to live or die, its just that the precedent of over-reach. If COX dies because of this, or

    • Current language in ISP contracts certainly do not agree. If ISPs want to charge Netflix for service, forbid or shape your torrents and sell premium 'channels' on their service or do DNS hijacking they do not fall under the legal protections of common carriers

  • by TomR teh Pirate ( 1554037 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @07:03PM (#51005189)
    But I'm actually pulling for a cable company to win.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why would it be surprising at all that an Insurer is going to try to get out from under any potential costs it may have to pay, an Insurance company simply does NOT want to pay out any claims at all. The basis under which the Insurance company is trying to get out from under this is as specious as BMG's lawsuit. What this pretty much guarantees is that Cox will continue to fight to get the ruling overturned...they could try to settle I guess but the potential dollar amounts of 100's of millions is pretty mu

  • Looks bad for Cox (Score:5, Informative)

    by michaelmalak ( 91262 ) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @08:52PM (#51005787) Homepage

    FTFA:

    In addition Beazley point out that the piracy lawsuit was filed November last year, several days before the December 1, 2014 date the insurance policy began.

    • FTFA:

      In addition Beazley point out that the piracy lawsuit was filed November last year, several days before the December 1, 2014 date the insurance policy began.

      Normally there should be some other insurance policy that covered the period before, one might think...

  • I do not have a dog in this fight, I hate them both equally. All legal battles and all insurance policies (same thing) have terms. Terms are restrictive. Example: My auto policy does not cover off-road and/or racing settings. If I take my car to a perfectly legal drag strip and (anyone) wrecks it, I am on my own. I have never seen a policy that indemnifies losses incurred while committing a crime. Better/more applicable example: If you are a fleeing felon, wreck your car and are injured, you are on y
  • by Frobnicator ( 565869 ) on Thursday November 26, 2015 @12:43AM (#51006633) Journal

    The Slashdot headline missed a key detail covered in the article:

    Beazley point out that the piracy lawsuit was filed November last year, several days before the December 1, 2014 date the insurance policy began.

    It is a bit difficult to file an insurance claim against lawsuit costs when the lawsuit was instigated before the insurance took effect.

    Since we love automobile analogies so much: It is like buying car insurance in December to insure against a crash that took place the month before. That's not going to help much.

    Or buying a life insurance policy for your recently-deceased relative.

    The date insurance coverage began is going to be a far bigger problem than details of what the policy covers.

  • Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback.

    It was so important they had to say it twice!
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  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Thursday November 26, 2015 @07:57AM (#51007579) Homepage Journal

    Cover cox. Huh huh. heh heh.

  • How much do you think Cox has been paying their insurer? How long has Cox been paying their insurer?

    Now when they need it, the insurer gives them the big middle finger.

    Just goes to show what a scam insurance is. You pay, and pay, and pay, and pay, all for nothing.

    Cox would have been better off keeping the money they paid for insurance. At lest then they would have gotten some use from it.

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