RIAA Obtains DMCA Subpoena to Uncover Identities of iTunes Pirates

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated March 16, 2020

The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has obtained a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) subpoena against Cloudflare in an effort to unmask the identities of iTunes pirates. The letter sent to Cloudflare’s legal team is requesting the names, physical addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, payment information, account updates, and account history of all individuals who are behind the following music pirating platforms:

Only one of the websites mentioned above is offline at the time of writing this article. A District Court signed the subpoena in Washington, United States, and the requested information is expected to be handed over by the CDN company without the need for any further legal action. The deadline given to Cloudflare has already passed, so the Internet company must have already shared all the information they had.

The artists presented as examples for the declared piracy and copyright infringement on the targeted platforms are Selena Gomez, Justin Timberlake, Nirvana, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gustavo Lima, Fernando e Sorocaba, and Bebe Rexha. The RIAA represents the interests of these artists, as well as 85% of all legitimate sound recordings sold in the United States. Thus, they have a valid interest in protecting the copyrights that belong to its members.

Asmellhores.net and xandaodownload.net are the biggest targeted platforms of the four, counting about 350k visitors per month. Most of their traffic originates from South America, but the damage to the artists is not in any way belittled by this. The iplusfree.org platform, though, albeit smaller in size and followership, is far more popular in the United States. Thus, the RIAA is very keen to figure out who is behind the platform that distributes copyrighted audio files freely.

The RIAA has made it crystal clear that this first action does not constitute a waiver of any right to seek damage compensations from the administrators and the owners of the platforms. For now, they are looking to take down the websites and the infringing material (achieved by 25%), and identify the persons responsible. From then on, they will most certainly submit claims for relief, as long as Cloudflare has provided enough valid information about the pirates.

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