A group of film producers who sued US internet service provider Grande Communications over its allegedly inadequate systems for dealing with copyright infringement have dismissed their lawsuit. That's despite the record industry winning $46.8 million in damages in its similar legal battle with the internet firm.
The record labels successfully argued that Grande failed to properly deal with repeat copyright infringers among its customer base, meaning that it could not rely on the copyright safe harbour under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and could therefore be held liable for its users' infringement. The ISP is currently appealing that ruling in the Fifth Circuit Appeals Court.
Grande failed to have the film producers’ similar lawsuit dismissed earlier this year and the case was due to get to court next year. However, according to Torrentfreak, the litigation has now been withdrawn. And, seemingly, without any out-of-court settlement having been reached. So much so, Grande parent company Astound is positioning this turn of events as a win.
The company’s General Counsel Jeff Kramp said last week: “This completely vindicates our DMCA programme. The plaintiffs had an opportunity to vet our programme and after doing so they decided the case was not worth pursuing. To be clear, we did not pay a cent to resolve this case because we believe strongly in the effectiveness of our DMCA policy".
This group of independent movie makers have sued a number of internet businesses in the wake of the music industry’s successful lawsuits against ISPs like Grande and Cox Communications. The film producer lawsuits have often sought both damages and court-ordered anti-piracy measures such as web-blocking and the disconnection of repeat infringers.
One of those other lawsuits was filed against another Astound-owned ISP, RCN, and - it seems - that case is still ongoing. For now, at least.