3 Count: Dueling Settlements

A pair of potentially unsettling settlements...

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1: BMG Accepts ‘Substantial’ Settlement from Cox Communications, Ending Legal Battle with ISP

First off today, Music Business Worldwide reports that music publisher BMG has reached a settlement with Cox Communications, bringing an end to the long-running lawsuit between the two and framing the stage for Cox’s battle with the major record labels.

BMG sued Cox alleging that the ISP was not doing enough to stop copyright infringement on its network. Specifically, they claimed that Cox was not terminating the accounts of repeat infringers. Cox claimed that they were protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbors but the trial court disagreed, awarding BMG a $33.5 million victory. However, that victory was overturned on appeal due to a flawed jury instruction. Still, the appeals court did side with the lower one in saying that the safe harbor protections did not apply to Cox.

As a result of that, the case went back down to the lower court. However, Cox isn’t waiting for another verdict and has reached a “substantial” settlement with BMG ahead of a second trial. This comes as Cox is facing a similar but much larger lawsuit filed by the major record labels, one that has potential damages exceeding $1 billion.

2: beIN Sport Loses Saudi License

Next up today, Julian Clover at Broadband TV News reports that the government of Saudi Arabia has revoked the license for Qatar-based premium sports channel beIN, preventing it from broadcasting in the country.

For over a year, beIN has accused Saudi-based beoutQ of unlawfully broadcasting popular sporting events, many of which beIN has the exclusive rights to in the region. Major sports organizations have joined the outcry against beoutQ, including FIFA, UEFA and more. They all claim that this move is backed by the Saudi government, which is the largest investor in Arabsat, the satellite company that allegedly carries beoutQ’s signal.

However, rather than taking action against beoutQ, the Saudi government has stepped in against beIN, revoking its license to broadcast in Saudi Arabia and fining it SA10 million ($2.7 million) for alleged breaches of local anti-competition laws. Specifically, the Saudi government says beIN forced fans to purchase non-sports channels as part of a larger bundle in order to see popular sporting events. beIN claims that the ban is politically motivated. 

3: TVAddons and Dish Network Settle Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that TVAddons has reached a settlement with Dish Network, bringing an end to that case but not to the site itself.

Dish Network sued TVAddons alleging that the site was distributing add-ons for the Kodi platform that enabled unlawful access to Dish Network-owned content. TVAddons claimed that it was protected by DMCA safe harbor and attempted to put up a fight. However, the site disappeared for several weeks before re-emerging with many of its most controversial add-ons removed.

Now the two sides have reached a settlement, though the exact terms of it are unknown. TVAddons has agreed to process future Dish copyright claims more quickly but it is unclear if any damages have changed hands. The settlement does not include the founders of ZemTV, a similar site that was sued in the same case. ZemTV has chosen not to defend themselves in court citing the costs of doing so.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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