Grande Communications said to be complicit in facilitating pirate downloads

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Twenty four studios filed a complaint with the US District Court of the Western District of Texas against Grande Communications, a regional pay TV operator and Internet service provider which promotes fast Internet access speeds and rapid downloads.

The complaint notes that Grande subscribers used BitTorrent to download copyrighted works from known infringing sites, including YTS, The Pirate Bay and RARBG, all of which are cited in the Notorious Markets Report issued by the Office of the US Trade Representative.

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More than 5,800 takedown notices were sent to Grande Communications, including thousands that identified specific movie titles and more than 75 that identified two individual IP addresses.

Excerpt

Excerpt from documents filed with complaint against Grande Communications (Source: PACER)

Relief sought

The plaintiffs seek to permanently stop Grande from enabling the transit of illegally distributed content over its networks, adopt a ‘three strikes’ policy to suspend service to subscribers caught engaging in infringing behavior, block access to infringing sites, identify infringers to the plaintiffs, and award monetary damages and attorneys fees to the plaintiffs.

The case is (Studios) vs Grande Communications 1-21-cv-00709-RP (Access the court documents using PACER)

Why it matters

The complaint notes that agents for the plaintiff studios that Grande did not act upon the take-down notices, despite that they identified session informtion (IP addresses, port numbers and times of infringement). In addition, Torrents carry unique identifiers that act as ‘electronic fingerprints.’ ┬áTogether, these identifiers provide evidence of infringement that traveled through Grande’s networks.

This situation led the plaintiffs to conclude that Grande wilfully contributed to the acts of infringement, and therefore contributed to illegal sale by the pirates.

In jurisdictions where it’s illegal to consume pirated content, this level of information also provides clear evidence against individuals.

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