Major labels and RCN ordered to arbitrate in high-risk piracy liability lawsuit

Photo credit: Amy Syiek

Internet provider RCN and several major music labels are exploring ways to settle their high-risk piracy lawsuit.

Several major music labels and the internet provider RCN are looking into the possibility of settling their liability dispute over piracy with a mediator assigned this week to help the parties reach an agreement. Four years ago, RCN was sued by major music industry companies including Arista Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music and Warner Records.

The music companies claimed in their filing that RCN, as an ISP, failed to do its due diligence to deter subscribers from pirating on its network. Instead of blocking the accounts of persistent criminals, the company looked the other way, the labels posited.

RCN initially countered the allegations, accusing the RIAA and its anti-piracy partners of sending out “false and fraudulent” DMCA notices, arguing that such notices should not serve as evidence to justify a shutdown.

However, this counterclaim failed in a federal court in New Jersey finally In two cases, RCN was unable to demonstrate that it was financially impacted by erroneous or incomplete DMCA notices. With that, the fall of the music labels continued.

While the stakes in these liability lawsuits are high, with RCN potentially facing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and tens of thousands of Internet subscribers facing the risk of having their accounts terminated, both parties are exploring options for an out-of-court settlement before it becomes a high-profile one quarrel coming. profile attempt.

“More recently, the parties have communicated directly about the possibility of an agreement, but are not currently negotiating a settlement. “The parties remain open to discussing possible settlements with the court,” they wrote last week.

To advance the process, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hirsch appointed a mediator this week, writing, “Counsel and the parties (including persons with authority to settle) must attend the mediation sessions as requested by the mediator.”

However, a settlement in this lawsuit will not end RCN’s piracy problems as the provider is embroiled in a similar case involving several film companies, a new law firm, etc additionally Evidence providers join the fight.