Cox plans to challenge $ 1 billion hack verdict on “hidden evidence” * TorrentFreak


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Internet service provider Cox Communications believes several record companies may have withheld key information during the 2019 hacking trial, which led to a billion dollar verdict. The ISP plans to ask the court to overturn the verdict because key evidence of copyright infringement appears to have been recreated years after the alleged infringements.

Internet service provider Cox Communications has been the subject of several piracy lawsuits in recent years.

The biggest success came three years ago when the ISP lost its legal battle against a group of majors.

$ 1 billion verdict

A Virginia jury held Cox responsible for the subscriber hacking because he failed to terminate the accounts after repeated accusations, ordering the company to pay $ 1 billion in damages. This historic decision is currently under appeal. In addition, Cox also plans to challenge the verdict in another way.

A few days ago, Cox’s lawyers requested leave to intervene in the lawsuit brought by several music companies against rival ISP Charter. This case is quite similar to the Cox trial. In both cases, ISPs are accused of failing to disconnect subscribers who have been repeatedly flagged as copyright infringers.

Notices of copyright infringement are key evidence in both cases. These notifications were sent by MarkMonitor who was monitoring pirated files shared through BitTorrent. To confirm that these files were indeed hacked, they were uploaded and verified by Audible Magic’s fingerprint technology.

Recreated evidence?

The allegedly counterfeit files were essential to prove direct copyright infringement. During the Cox trial, the music companies presented a hard drive containing the files, suggesting that they were the original songs pirated between 2012 and 2014.

However, based on information that surfaced in the Charter lawsuit, Cox now believes this hard drive evidence was recreated at a later date. This information was withheld at trial and Cox accuses the music companies of distorting key evidence.

“[I]It appears that the plaintiffs failed to produce certain documents to Cox relating to a key piece underlying the plaintiffs’ demonstration of direct infringement: a hard drive allegedly containing simultaneously uploaded files which the plaintiffs claim were infringed. by Cox subscribers.

“After hiding the nature of this piece, the plaintiffs distorted it at trial, where they ultimately obtained a billion dollar verdict,” Cox adds.

Filed Downloaded in 2016?

During the trial, Cox had already tried to obtain more information on the origin of the files on the hard drive. Metadata showed that the drive itself was created in 2016, but witnesses suggested the forged files were original.

However, based on the evidence in the Charter case, Cox now believes the files were not uploaded and verified when the infringement notices were sent, but years later.

“[D]iscovery in this action revealed a high likelihood that the plaintiffs in Cox withheld material and information that allegedly demonstrated that all files on the hard drive were downloaded in 2016 – and not as a contemporary check of an alleged infringement before sending notices between 2012 and 2014. “

Cox is now asking the court for permission to intervene in the Charter lawsuit so that he can obtain the required information, which is not available to the public.

Overturn the $ 1 billion verdict

The alleged false statements hurt Cox’s defense at trial, the ISP argues. The company plans to resolve this issue in a petition under federal rule of civil procedure 60 (b) (3), in which it will ask the court to overturn the $ 1 billion damages award. -interests.

Rule 60 motions can be used in court to correct obvious errors and omissions. In this case, Cox believes the hard drive’s misrepresentation is enough to overturn the entire verdict.

A copy of Cox’s motion to intervene in Charter cases is available here (pdf)

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