SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Rightscorp (OTCQB: RIHT), a leading provider of data analytics and litigation services to support artists and owners of copyrighted property, today praised Judge Liam O'Grady's decision in the Eastern District of Virginia, granting $8.3 million in legal fees and costs against Cox Communications in favor of BMG Rights Management. This is an addition to the $25 million in copyright damages already awarded in a lawsuit over music downloading.
Since 2011, Rightscorp has warned U.S. Internet service providers (ISPs) that they risk incurring huge liabilities if they fail to implement and enforce policies under which they terminate the accounts of their subscribers who repeatedly infringe copyrights. Yesterday's ruling demonstrates the risk that Rightscorp's technology helps mitigate for ISPs.
In the opinion dated February 14, 2017, Judge O'Grady wrote, "The objective reasonableness of a party's position is an important factor in deciding whether to award fees. …In particular, both Cox's attempts to obscure its practice of reinstating infringing customers, and its subsequent assertions of a deeply flawed DMCA defense evince a meritless litigation position that Cox vigorously defended."
Regarding the grant of legal fees and costs as a deterrence to other copyright violators, the judge stated, "Cox should be incentivized to change its behavior. …As a practical matter, this change in behavior could take the form of a more robust and effective DMCA program, or perhaps a different response to infringement notices from companies like Rightscorp."
Rightscorp CEO Christopher Sabec highlighted the BMG win in a statement: "Although Rightscorp was not a party in this case, we are appreciative of this week's district court opinion. In our mission to educate the public, we have been instrumental in issuing massive DMCA takedown notices to Cox Communications, which were ignored. Judge O'Grady's opinion sends a message to other ISPs that may be similarly ignoring their safe-harbor obligations under the DMCA and invites those ISPs to change their response to infringement notices from companies like Rightscorp."
Mr. Sabec added, "We see no evidence that repeat infringers are being terminated by this industry; thus, U.S. ISPs continue to be at risk of third-party liability." We stand ready to assist ISPs that desire to work with the copyright community to reduce the massive infringements that occur on their networks. Keep in mind, our company has also amassed a vast amount of data documenting infringements that have occurred over the past five years on the networks of essentially every ISP in the country. That data is available to copyright holders that choose to enforce their rights against ISPs that are not taking action against repeat infringers. It is clear from the court's ruling that copyright holders who continue to be damaged by ISPs' lack of safe-harbor implementation can expect to have their costs covered. We see this as increasing the monetary value of the data we collect and possess."
About Rightscorp, Inc.
Rightscorp (RIHT) is a leading provider of data and analytic services to support artists and owners of copyrighted Intellectual Property (IP). The Company's patent pending digital loss prevention technology focuses on the infringement of rights to digital content such as music, movies, software, books and games and ensures that the rights of owners and creators are protected. Rightscorp works closely with its clients to develop programs of education and notice, and as necessary to pursue copyright infringers for their illegal file sharing activities via notifications sent through Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The Company's technology identifies copyright infringers, who are provided information about copyrights and the importance of Intellectual Property and offered a reasonable opportunity to terminate their activities and pay a nominal settlement option that is generally a fraction of the statutory minimum in an effort to avoid the need for expensive litigation. With minimum statutory penalties of $750 and up to $150,000 per infringement, Rightscorp's technology and process of notice allows all parties to efficiently and economically address copyright infringement without the costs and burdens of litigation. Based on the fact that 22% of all Internet traffic is used to distribute copyrighted content without permission or compensation to the creators, Rightscorp's technology and process provides one of the best and most cost efficient means of addressing this issue for both the artists and those who have infringed their works.
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