Cloudflare Settles Dangerous Piracy Liability Lawsuit

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Cloudflare has settled its piracy liability lawsuit with adult publisher ALS Scan. The case in question was scheduled to go to trial with the CDN provider standing accused of contributory copyright infringement. Details of the settlement agreement have not been made public, but Cloudflare must be happy to move on.

As one of the leading CDN and DDoS protection services, Cloudflare is used by millions of websites across the globe. This includes many pirate sites.

In recent years many copyright holders have complained about Cloudflare’s involvement with these platforms, and in 2016 adult entertainment publisher ALS Scan took it a step further by dragging the company to court.

ALS accused Cloudflare of various types of copyright infringement, noting that several of its customers used the company’s servers to distribute pirated content to the public.

During the legal battle that followed, the CDN provider managed to have several counts dismissed. However, the accusation of contributory copyright infringement remained.

Earlier this year California District Court Judge George Wu ruled that Cloudflare can substantially assist copyright infringements by hosting cached copies of files. Whether Cloudflare did this and could be held liable was something to be decided at trial.

However, according to a recent filing, there will be no trial. This week both parties filed a joint stipulation asking the court to dismiss all claims against Cloudflare.

“ALS Scan, Inc. and Cloudflare, Inc. hereby stipulate to dismissal without prejudice of the claims and action against Cloudflare, Inc., with each side bearing its own attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses,” they write.

ALS Scan and Cloudflare have signed a settlement agreement behind closed doors. The terms of the deal have not been made public, but each party will attorney’s fees, costs, and other expenses.

While the court retains jurisdiction over the matter in case any settlement disputes arise, the lawsuit is essentially over.

Whether Cloudflare agreed to pay a settlement fee is unknown, but the agreement takes away a lot of uncertainty for the CDN provider.

If they had gone to trial, where the controversial “Daily Stormer” issue could be used as evidence, the company’s fate would be in the hands of a jury. A negative decision there could have severely impacted its future.

TorrentFreak requested a comment from a Cloudflare spokesperson and ALS Scan’s attorneys on the matter, but neither has responded at the time of publication.

A copy of Cloudflare and ALS Scan’s stipulation of dismissal can be found here (pdf).

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