US-Based ISP Grande Communications Fights Back on Rightscorp

By Bill Toulas / January 26, 2019

Not all ISPs (Internet Service Providers) accept to act as the puppet of copyright holders, doing as they are told, even acting upon domain blocking requests without court orders. Grande Communications is one of those who stand by the side of their customers, maintaining their anonymity and protection, not discriminating between those who are allegedly infringing copyrights and those who are not. This has turned up the pressure heat that came in the form of lawsuits from Rightscorp and music record labels, but the Texan ISP decided that now is the time to fight them back.

According to TorrentFreak, Grande Communications’ most recent trouble is a lawsuit that was submitted by Capitol Records, Sony Music, and Warner Bros, accusing them of not taking action to ban subscribers of its service that were allegedly pirating copyright-protected content. The ISP claims that they did all that is necessary for situations that they found that illegal activities were going on, but the line of their defense is actually focusing on the fact that all notices submitted by the Rightscorp have now been deleted. Grande Communications thus accuses the plaintiffs of manipulating evidence to achieve a positive trial outcome, which is a grave indictment.

Rightscorp has acted on behalf of the above music record labels, as the company specializes in the enforcement of copyright regulations, deploying automatic infringement detection systems and sending the relevant notices to the concerned stakeholders, in that case, Grande Communications. The ISP’s attorneys claim that the majority of the notices that Rightscorp handed to them were either wrong or inaccurate and that the Los Angeles-based copyright enforcement and holder representation company is now destroying the evidence of that to prevent a clear deduction to be made on the court. Thus, Grande’s attorneys reported a spoliation of evidence to the Texas federal court, while they stated the following:

"Recent depositions establish that Rightscorp, the RIAA, Plaintiffs, and their retained experts are all incapable of providing a cogent and detailed explanation of how the Rightscorp system actually functioned at any point during the relevant time period. Plaintiffs intend to rely heavily on Rightscorp’s notices to prove their infringement case. Yet, the destruction of the evidence underlying those notices seriously compromises Grande’s ability to independently evaluate the accuracy of the process, notices, and downloads.”

To prove the validity of the allegations, and to help the court determine the connection between the charges and the actual infringement plain, the notices will have to contain torrent tracker communication data and IP matching information, but all of it seems to be missing from the notices at this time. As Grande claims, even the Rightscorp call-center records have been deleted, so nothing from their side, and especially their intentions to comply with the submitted infringement notices can be cross-checked.

Where do you stand on the above? What do you consider is fair for the court to do in this case? Let us know in the comments below. For more tech news every day, visit our socials on Facebook and Twitter.

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