According to Music Business Worldwide, in a lawsuit filed July 26, 2021, several major labels and publishers including Warner Chappell Music, Sony Music Publishing, Universal Music Corporation and Capitol Records alleged that internet service provider, Charter Communications “knowingly contributed to, and reaped substantial profits from, massive copyright infringement committed by thousands of its subscribers.”
The plaintiffs allege that the US internet service provider has gained many new customers because of its alleged leniency with regards to illegal downloading which, in turn, increased its profit. The lawsuit also claims that the ISP was allegedly notified multiple times about the illegal activity, with some of the notifications even including identification and IP addresses of the offenders.
The statutory damages are estimated to be at least $400 million, with the breakdown being about $150,000 for each alleged case of infringement. The lawsuit comes after Warner Music Group announced in July 2021 that they will acquire assets from 12Tone Music, an independent label, which serves Grammy-winning musicians such as Anderson .Paak and Dolly Parton.
This is not the first lawsuit Charter Communications has received. In fact, in 2019, Warner Records Inc. spearheaded another lawsuit against the internet service provider claiming that Charter allegedly “refused to take reasonable measures to curb customers from using its internet services to infringe on others’ copyrights.”
Another internet service provider, Cox Communications, was also sued by Universal, Warner and Sony in 2019. The ruling, also involving copyright infringement, was upheld by a judge in January of this year and Cox was ordered to pay the plaintiffs $1 billion.