Music piracy online continues to run rampant, and on Wednesday two music publishers filed a lawsuit against a cable company they claim is aiding and abetting the pirates.
BMG Rights Management of Berlin and Round Hill Music of New York sued Cox Communications, which provides Internet services to more than 4 million households.
The publishers control rights to songs performed by the Beatles, David Bowie, Katy Perry and many more.
The suit, filed in a Virginia federal court, claims Cox knows pirates are using its network to traffic in pirated music but isn't doing anything about it. The suit says evidence shows Cox knows about "repeat infringement by its subscribers" but is not terminating their accounts because "it would cause Cox to lose revenue."
Cox declined to comment.
Although music piracy largely fell off the media's radar screen after the music industry stopped suing individuals engaged in small-scale theft, piracy continues to grow. A report by NetNames subsidiary Envisional last year said "infringing bandwidth" grew nearly 160% between 2010 and 2012 in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The report said 23.8% of all Internet bandwidth in those regions is taken up by pirated music, movies and other works covered by copyright.