- Law firms
- Labels allege Frontier failed to act against copyright infringers
- Major labels have previously sued several other ISPs
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(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