ISPs Not to Disclose Copyright Violators: VA District Court

  • Saad Qureshi
  • Aug-19-2016


The United States, Virginia: The Eastern District Court of Virginia has recently ruled for netizens and stated that ISPs don’t need to disclose any personal information of copyright infringers to lawful owners.

A client of Rightscorp & an international music company “BMG Rights Management” had ordered the US Internet Service Provider “Cox Communication” to match private and confidential information of users (email address, physical address, name) with IP addresses that were utilized for copyright infringement. In addition to this, BMG pushed the Cox Communication to spy on alleged copyright offenders and check if they have withdrawn from violations.

Court rulling in vergina

However, the Judge O’ Grady confirmed that although Cox is liable to pay a penalty of $25 million for contributing copyright violations and causing damages to BMG, but in any manner, Cox doesn’t need to disclose personal information of users with anyone.

In reaching this conclusion, the Court acknowledges that the application of traditional contributory infringement to large intermediaries like Cox magnifies the uncertainties in this area of the law and raises the specter of undesirable consequences that may follow.

Judge O’ Grady, District Court of Virginia

Does the Ruling Really Protect Users While Torrenting & Downloading Legal Media?

The decision has been made, and subscribers have started taking a sigh of relief, but does the ruling really protects you against spy agencies and copyright owners?

In past, anti-pirating firms like Rightscorp used software to identify the IP address of users who downloaded torrents and commit copyright infringement.

The company then used to send threatening letters to users through ISPs on behalf of BMG and other clients. For a long time, these letters had been ignored by users and posed no threat. But eventually Rightscorp decided to acquire personal information of offenders through ISPs.

The collected information would then be utilized for carrying threatening calls, emails and letters. But, with the new ruling in place, netizens personal information and privacy is safeguarded to some extent.

For a top-notch protection against spy agencies & copyright trolls, security researchers and privacy activists suggest netizens use adequate protection tool like VPN.

A VPN masks user IP address and then encrypts his entire network traffic, making him anonymous and 100% protected against hackers, identity thieves, spy agencies and copyright trolls.

Saad Qureshi

Saad Qureshi


Saad Qureshi's Biography :

Saad is a privacy advocate by day and a Dota 2 player by night. He loves to share his knowledge, experience, and insights about internet freedom and online privacy. When he is not busy blogging about the latest trend in the tech world, he is engaged in killing noobs on Dota.