Comcast sued for disclosing customer info
Published: April 14, 2005, 3:18 PM PDT by Reuters
Comcast, the top U.S. cable TV network operator, is being sued by a Seattle-area woman for disclosing her name and contact information, court records showed Thursday.
In a lawsuit filed in King County, Wash., Dawnell Leadbetter said that she was contacted by a debt collection agency in January and told to pay a $4,500 for downloading copyright-protected music or face a lawsuit for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Leadbetter, a mother of two teenage children, was a customer of Comcast's high-speed Internet access service.
The company, Settlement Support Center, based in Washington state, was using information that the Recording Industry of Association of America had obtained in a Philadelphia lawsuit over the illegal sharing of digital music files, said Lory Lybeck, the lawyer representing Leadbetter.
But no court authorized Comcast to release names and addresses of its customers, or notified his client that her information had been given to an outside party, Lybeck said.
"Comcast should respect the rights of privacy who pay them monthly bills," Lybeck said.
Representatives from Comcast said they could not immediately comment on the lawsuit.
The RIAA has filed thousands of lawsuits since September and settled several hundred for about $3,000 each.