Sony Music, Warner Music and UMG Sue ISP Frontier Communications

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Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group have jointly filed a lawsuit against Frontier Communications, headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, for the ISP’s alleged failure to “resolve the widespread infringement on its network.”

Update (6/10): A The Frontier Communications spokesperson reached out to Digital Music News with the following statement on the majors trial:

“Frontier is not accused of having done anything directly to infringe the rights of a copyright owner, and has in fact terminated many customers whose copyright owners have failed. complained. Frontier believes she hasn’t done anything wrong and will stand up for herself vigorously.

Below is our original coverage of the complaint.

The three majors (as well as subsidiaries including UMG’s Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment’s Arista Records, and WMG’s Atlantic Records) recently filed the lawsuit in a federal court in New York, and Digital Music News has obtained an exclusive copy of the corresponding file. .

After noting that Frontier had around 3.5 million subscribers in 2019, the strongly worded lawsuit alleges that the ISP “has received hundreds of thousands of notices of copyright infringement” from rights holders , including the complainants. But the defendant did not respond to those notices and “knowingly contributed to, and derived substantial profit from, massive copyright infringement by thousands of its subscribers,” according to the legal text.

As for Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music’s stock market infringement qualms, Frontier subscribers illegally downloaded, copied and distributed tracks “through illicit BitTorrent sites and other sharing services. files online, ”according to the lawsuit. The defendant, for its part, reportedly responded by “ignoring and deliberately turning a blind eye to the flagrant and repeated infringements of its subscribers.

“Frontier’s motivation for refusing to terminate or suspend the accounts of grossly infringing subscribers was simple: it valued its own profits rather than its legal responsibilities,” continues the most recent lawsuit of the three major labels against a major ISP. “In addition, violating subscribers were particularly profitable for Frontier. Illegal P2P activities consume a lot of internet data usage, leading subscribers to pay more for plans that offer faster internet speeds and higher data usage.

Unlike the alleged infringement cases which prompted a jury to deliver a billion dollar verdict against Cox Communications, 59, however, the alleged infringement actions here (out of 2,856 works, about half of which are owned by Capitol or to UMG itself) “accrued from May 1, 2021” – one day after Frontier Communications exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

” Since that date [May 1st], Frontier subscribers infringed 2,856 copyrighted works after these particular subscribers have been identified to Frontier in several notices of violation, and the violation is in progress ”, specifies the lawsuit.

As of this writing, Frontier does not appear to have commented publicly on the Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music lawsuit. Late last month, Cox Communications appealed the aforementioned $ 1 billion verdict it faces – about two weeks after it sued BMG and Rightscorp for allegedly submitting thousands of notices of copyright infringement. author “abusive and unjust”.

In early May, the majors filed a lawsuit against Vimeo in Italy, and a São Paulo court later this month ordered ISPs to unblock YouTube stream ripping websites in Brazil after investigators did not lay criminal charges against the owners of the platforms in a first half. one-year ban.


Digital Music News’ ongoing coverage of intellectual property protection and litigation is sponsored by Pro Music Rights.



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