Rightscorp is the publicly traded extortion racket that tries to force/bribe ISPs into disconnecting their customers from the Internet unless those customers pay "settlements" for unproven allegations of copyright infringement.
Cox, a major ISP, is locked in a legal battle with Rightscorp, who represent a bunch of music publishers -- companies that control the rights to musical compositions.
Cox's lawyers have come up with a really interesting legal tactic. They say that Rightscorp only represents the composers in the songs they're suing over; they do not represent the performers. That means that when Rightscorp joined Bittorrent swarms to download the "evidence" they used to attack Cox, they were committing mass-scale copyright infringement against the recording artists in those songs.
Cox lawyers don't stop there! Anticipating that Rightscorp will say that the company's downloading was fair use, they argue that this means that Rightscorp acknowledges that in some cases, Bittorrent downloading is fair use. If so, they should have taken that into account when they started threatening Cox's subscribers.
The Cox motion is a thing of beauty, a wonderfully constructed argument that hoists the highest petard it's ever been my privilege to witness.
“Rightscorp either committed massive infringements of the sound recording copyrights or must have relied on the fair use doctrine. If the latter, that fact is an admission that activity over BitTorrent may constitute fair use, but there is no evidence that Rightscorp considered the possibility of fair use in generating millions of notices of claimed infringement,” Cox lawyers add.
Cox goes on to highlight that Rightscorp targets elderly and disabled consumers, instructing its employees to disregard protests from alleged infringers.
“When a consumer denies infringement, the phone script instructs the enforcer to state that the consumer must obtain a police report, and that the police may ‘take your device and hold it for ~5 days to investigate the matter’.”
Finally, Cox highlights that the copyright holders have failed to directly address the alleged damage downloaders are causing. Instead of sending takedown notices to torrent sites asking them to remove infringing content, Rightscorp relies on these torrents to conduct its business.
COX ACCUSES RIGHTSCORP OF MASS COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT