Cloudflare has taken quite a bit of heat from copyright holders in recent months.
As one of the leading CDN and DDoS protection services, Cloudflare is used by millions of websites across the globe, some of which are notorious pirate sites.
However, instead of proactively taking down these sites, Cloudflare maintains its position as a neutral service provider. If copyright holders want them to take action, they have to follow the legal process.
This is the route adult company Flava Works is taking now. The company went to a clerk at the Illinois federal court and succesfully obtained a DMCA subpoena to expose the personal details connected to the account of the gay torrent community Gay-Torrents.org.
The order commands CloudFlare to hand over the personal details of the associated account holder within a month. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, account numbers, billing records and other identifying information.
Unlike regular subpoenas, DMCA subpoenas are not reviewed by a judge and only require a signature from the court clerk. However, in a letter sent to Cloudflare, Flava Works says that it’s considering further legal steps, if they’re needed.
The adult company explains that it sent three DMCA takedown notices to the company, but that dozens of copyright infringing files on Gay-Torrents.org are still being served through Cloudflare’s servers.
Flava argued that Cloudflare is required to take proper action against repeat infringers under the DMCA, and wants it to terminate the associated account in its entirety, or face lagal action.
“Accordingly, demand is hereby made upon you to immediately and permanently disable and remove the Infringing Site as a repeat infringer and terminate all related accounts,” Flava writes in its letter.
“Absent full compliance with this demand, our Client will be forced to investigate all legal remedies available to it, including, without limitation, bringing a civil cause of action against you to compel compliance.”
The adult entertainment company ends by saying that it would be in the best interests of all parties to avoid costly litigation, but clearly doesn’t rule out the possibility.
It’s doubtful, however, that Cloudflare will be sensitive to this kind of threat. The company has repeatedly said that it follows the letter of the law, and in its opinion this doesn’t cover the termination of clients solely based on third party claims.
TorrentFreak reached out to Cloudflare for a comment on the allegations. The company informed us that they have yet to be served with the subpoena, adding that it is Cloudflare’s policy to respond to proper court process once served.
To be continued.