Report: Time Warner Cable butts heads with U.S. Copyright Group

Mon, 05/17/2010 - 8:40am
Mike Robuck

Time Warner Cable has told a federal court that it doesn’t have the manpower to comply with thousands of requests to ID potential copyright infringements.

According to website Ars Technica, the U.S. Copyright Group has partnered with small, independent movie studios to track down and sue individual P2P file swappers in federal court.

Time Warner Cable recently responded to the federal court that’s in charge of the 2,094-person lawsuit that’s aimed at those who downloaded and watched the movie “Far Cry.” Time Warner Cable’s position was that U.S. Copyright Group’s large number of subpoenas exceeded its manpower capabilities to respond to those requests.

"Copyright cases involving third-party discovery of Internet service providers have typically related to a plaintiff's efforts to identify anonymous defendants whose numbers rank in the single or low double digits," wrote the cable company. "By contrast, plaintiff in this case alone seeks identifying information about 2,049 anonymous defendants, and seeks identifying information about 809 Internet Protocol addresses from TWC."

Ars Technica wrote that in a typical month, Time Warner Cable received an average of 567 IP lookup requests, with almost all of them coming from law enforcement. The requests from law enforcement are handled by four full-time workers and one temporary employee, and each request costs the cable operator $45.

Time Warner Cable said processing the large volume of requests from the U.S. Copyright Group would hamper the law enforcement requests.

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