Time Warner Cable Stands Up To Automated Copyright Infringement Filing Factory
from the well,-there's-one... dept
We’ve been covering the new US operation, US Copyright Group. You may recall, it burst on the scene in late March with a claim of having filed 20,000 infringement lawsuits — many of which were over a Uwe Boll movie, Far Cry, despite much of the infringement allegedly occurring before the film was registered at the US copyright office (a no-no for filing a lawsuit). More recently, the company was apparently gearing up to do the same thing over the Oscar-winning movie Hurt Locker.
During that time, we noted that US Copyright Group claimed that it had gone from having one ISP cooperating to “75%” of ISPs cooperating. This was a surprise, because years back, ISPs had been reluctant to cooperate with similar efforts. So the numbers seemed questionable. Either way, apparently Time Warner Cable is not at all interested in working with US Copyright Group. Instead, TWC went to the court to protest US Copyright Group’s efforts:
“Copyright cases involving third-party discovery of Internet service providers have typically related to a plaintiff’s efforts to identify anonymous defendants whose numbers rank in the single or low double digits,” wrote the cable company. “By contrast, plaintiff in this case alone seeks identifying information about 2,049 anonymous defendants, and seeks identifying information about 809 Internet Protocol addresses from TWC….”
“If the Court compels TWC to answer all of these lookup requests given its current staffing, it would take TWC nearly three months of full-time work by TWC’s Subpoena Compliance group, and TWC would not be able to respond to any other request, emergency or otherwise, from law enforcement during this period,” said the filing. “TWC has a six-month retention period for its IP lookup logs, and by the time TWC could turn to law enforcement requests, many of these requests could not be answered.”
Pretty interesting, given Time Warner Cable’s connection to Time Warner, which you would think would make it a bit more open to working with US Copyright Group. The article at Ars Technica also notes that Comcast and Cablevision also aren’t thrilled about US Copyright Group’s subpoenas. That’s three of the largest ISPs out there, so I’m curious about the 75% of ISPs who are supposedly “fully cooperating.” It sounds like that claim is about as legitimate as many of the original filings over infringement on a work who was not registered at the time of infringement.