Cloudflare Sued at California Court for Not Acting Against Pirate Sites

Written by Nitish Singh
Published on November 22, 2018

There are thousands of copyright infringing websites in the US and cracking down on all of them can be quite difficult. Copyright holders are now trying to sue services like search engines, VPNs, CDN services among many others. Cloudflare is a popular service used by millions of websites for DDoS protection and content delivery networks. While there are mostly legitimate websites using the services of the company, there are infamous pirate websites as well that Cloudflare caters too.

Mon Cheri Bridals and Maggie Sottero Designs have filed a lawsuit against Cloudflare in the California federal court for aiding copyright infringements. The complainants believe that the service provider is just as liable as the copyright infringers. The CDN and DDoS protection company have supposedly ignored hundreds of takedown notices, including for customers with multiple warnings. Mon Cheri Bridals and Maggie Sottero have demanded compensation for their losses as well as compensation for legal fees incurred.

The complaint against the company reads “Cloudflare has persisted in offering CDN and related services to pirate websites, notwithstanding these numerous notifications of infringement on such sites. In this fashion, Cloudflare has induced, contributed to, profited from, and aided and abetted multiple infringements of Plaintiffs’ copyrights, failing and refusing all along to implement or enforce a repeat infringer policy, and is thus liable for the infringements alleged herein.”

It is not just piracy complaints that Cloudflare has supposedly ignored. There has been a rise in counterfeit websites that pop up as soon as a pirate website is taken down. It becomes very difficult for copyright holders to keep pirate websites in check as they always manage to come back one way or another.

This is not the first time Cloudflare has faced a lawsuit like this. The CDN provider was caught caching data of pirate websites, that includes copyright infringing content. While in a previous lawsuit the court stated that the CDN provider’s actions could be infringing, it was undetermined if the company could be held liable for their clients’ actions.

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