Welcome to the Reuters.com BETA. Read our Editor's note on how we're helping professionals make smart decisions.
Skip to main content

IN BRIEF: Record labels sue Frontier Communications over music piracy

3 minute read

A reception staff walks under a logo of Sony Corp at its headquarters in Tokyo February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Photo

  • Labels allege Frontier failed to act against copyright infringers
  • Major labels have previously sued several other ISPs

The company and law firm names shown above are generated automatically based on the text of the article. We are improving this feature as we continue to test and develop in beta. We welcome feedback, which you can provide using the feedback tab on the right of the page.

(Reuters) - Major record labels including UMG Recordings Inc, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Inc sued internet service provider Frontier Communications in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday for allegedly enabling the piracy of thousands of their recordings.

The labels accused Norwalk, Conn.-based Frontier of failing to act on thousands of copyright infringement notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or to take reasonable measures to curb music piracy after learning of specific infringing subscribers.

A Frontier spokesperson said in an email that the company "believes that it has done nothing wrong and will vigorously defend itself," and that it "in fact has terminated many customers about whom copyright owners have complained."

The labels' attorney Matt Oppenheim of Oppenheim & Zebrak declined to comment.

The complaint resembles several others filed by major labels against ISPs including Cox Communications Inc, RCN Corp, and Charter Communications. A Virginia federal jury awarded the labels $1 billion on their claims against Cox in 2019, which is currently on appeal at the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Frontier’s motivation for refusing to terminate or suspend the accounts of blatant infringing subscribers was simple: it valued its own profits over its legal responsibilities," the labels said in the Tuesday complaint.

The complaint also said that infringing subscribers are "especially profitable" to Frontier because they use more data than normal subscribers, and that its failure to police drew more infringers to its services.

The case is UMG Recordings Inc. v. Frontier Communications Corp, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:21-cv-05050.

For UMG: Matt Oppenheim and Lucy Noyola of Oppenheim & Zebrak

Read more:

Cox to pay $1 billion to music labels, publishers over piracy infringement

RCN a 'haven' for copyright infringement, record labels say

Cox accuses BMG, Rightscorp of misfiling copyright notices to inflate claims

Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com

More from Reuters