Earlier this year, American ISP Cox Communications was on the wrong end of a $25m damages bill, after being found guilty of wilful copyright infringement in a piracy case brought by BMG. Now, as expected, the ISP is appealing against the verdict. “This case involves an unprecedented attempt to impose liability on an Internet service provider (ISP) for its subscribers’ alleged copyright infringement,” claimed Cox’s appeal filing. “Yet the court sanctioned a novel expansion of contributory liability to ISPs, based not on evidence that the ISP actually knew of specific infringing acts or took affirmative steps to foster infringement, but on the ISP’s constructive knowledge of the existence of infringing activity on its network.” Cox is arguing that the “endless legal uses” of its network, as well as questions about whether repeated infringement accusations from BMG’s anti-piracy partner Rightscorp actually count as proof of repeated infringement by any given Cox customer, should reverse the verdict or justify a new trial.

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