Verizon, Comcast, AT&T Sued for Not Stopping Movie Piracy

Multiple ISPs including Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T have all been sued for their failures to prevent or ban customers who pirate movies and tv shows.

Various internet service providers including Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T are being sued for failing to prevent movie piracy online.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, various copyright laws have been filed throughout the month of September 2022 accusing the companies of ignoring blatant piracy on the part of their customers. The most recent of these filings at the time of writing came on Sept. 13 in Pennsylvania federal court. The suit was filed by Voltage Pictures, After Productions, Ammo Entertainment, and several other studios. The law firms Dovel & Luner and Culpepper IP are representing the plaintiffs in these cases.

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The latest complaint against Comcast claims that “Comcast did not take meaningful action to prevent ongoing infringements by these Comcast users.” It also notes that “Comcast failed to terminate the accounts associated with these IP addresses or otherwise take any meaningful action in response to these Notices. Comcast often failed to even forward the Notices to its internet service customers or otherwise inform them about the Notice or its happy.”

Under these claims, the internet service providers have vicariously infringed on the plaintiffs’ copyrights by failing to utilize their rights to terminate the accounts of customers who were known to violate copyright laws by pirating films and/or television shows. This could potentially be eschewed by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1988, which criminalizes services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works and protects service providers from liability.

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The plaintiffs have argued that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act would only shield the defendants if they had previously adopted policies to terminate the accounts of repeat offenders of online piracy. The lawsuit lays out the claim that none of the companies mentioned have taken steps or implemented policies to do so in any meaningful way, as existing policies are barely effective at ousting pirates from their respective services.

The complaint notes that “Verizon did not terminate customer accounts even if it received information about a high number of repeat infringements at those customer accounts… Verizon Communications Inc. has allowed hundreds of infringements to occur at certain accounts, despite receiving at least as many notices of infringement regarding those accounts. And Verizon users have reported receiving multiple infringement notices from Verizon without having their accounts terminated.”

None of the companies named have made any public statements regarding the lawsuits at this time.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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