Film companies in the US web blocker case hit Cloudflare

Business News Digital Law

By Chris Cooke | Posted on Friday June 10, 2022

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The group of Israeli film and media companies that recently obtained a US injunction ordering internet companies to block and/or ban piracy sites Israel-tv.com, Israel.tv and Sdarot.tv has returned to court and claims that Cloudflare is not to comply with this order.

The lawsuit against Israel-tv.com, Israel.tv and Sdarot.tv was particularly interesting because the judge overseeing the case not only found these websites to be copyright infringers, but also issued a very comprehensive injunction ordering blocking and Shutdown targeted the three sites.

This included ordering internet service providers in the US to block their customers from accessing the three piracy services. Such copyright orders for web blocking are now routine in some countries, but not in the USA, where the principle of web blocking has been controversial in the past.

So much so that the ruling in this case appeared to set a precedent of sorts in US law, suggesting that web blocking was now an anti-piracy tactic available to music, film, and media companies across the states . Interestingly, however, the film and media companies in this case have so far made no attempt to enforce this part of the ruling, even asking the judge to stay the internet blocking order.

However, they are enforcing elements of the ruling that ordered various Internet companies to stop providing services to the three websites. And that includes Cloudflare and a perfectly legitimate internet services company that has often been criticized by copyright owners for not doing enough to fight copyright violators in its customer base.

Although Cloudflare essentially refuses to cut off or penalize its customers based on what copyright owners say, it typically complies with any court orders obtained by music, film, or media companies against copyright violators using its services.

However, these Israeli film and media companies claim that is not happening here. In a new legal filing this week, they say a user connected to Israel.tv has had a Cloudflare account since 2016, and that account is still active despite the court order. The plaintiffs add that since obtaining the injunction, they have sent emails to various Cloudflare email addresses designated to process abuse claims, and have all notified the internet company of this injunction have set. But so far there has been no answer.

Not only that, but “as recently as May 22, 2022, five additional domains associated with the infringing website were created and accounts opened with Cloudflare. Even though the order was delivered over a month ago, Cloudflare hasn’t fulfilled it. Cloudflare continues to provide services enabling the operation of defendants’ infringing website and allows a user (or users) to set up at least five new accounts that configure the website to use Cloudflare’s services through new domains.”

With that in mind, the plaintiffs want the court to disregard Cloudflare, order it to comply with the order, and award the film and media companies “attorneys’ fees and costs of this motion, in an amount to be determined” and “any other remedy the court may have for.” fair and reasonable”.

We wait to see how Cloudflare reacts now.



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