Court Orders Cloudflare to Expose Pirate Site Operators

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Cloudflare has received a subpoena asking it to reveal the people behind two alleged pirate sites. The request comes from a Japanese magazine publisher who warned Cloudflare that it may lose its safe harbor protection for failing to comply with previous takedown requests.

cloudflareAs one of the leading providers of DDoS protection and an easy to use CDN service, Cloudflare is used by thousands of popular sites across the globe.

This includes many “pirate” sites who rely on the U.S. based company to server loads down.

While Cloudflare may help to keep servers up and running, the U.S. connection also poses a risk of exposure for the owners. Through a so-called DMCA-subpoena, copyright holders only have to ask a court clerk for a signature to be able to demand all personal information of alleged copyright infringers.

This is exactly what Japanese adult magazine publisher KK Magazine has done. After sending three takedown requests to Cloudflare asking them to take down content on the allegedly infringing and sites, the company obtained a subpoena.

Without oversight from a judge the clerk signed a subpoena ordering Cloudflare to hand over the personal details of the clients connected to these domains including their names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, IP-addresses, account numbers, credit card numbers and any other identifying information.

Subpoena to Cloudflare


The magazine publisher’s subpoena doesn’t come out of the blue for Cloudflare. Two weeks ago the Japanese company sent a third takedown notice warning Cloudflare that it may lose its safe harbor protections and become liable for the infringements of its client.

“You/your customer has actively and repeatedly collected, organized and introduced new direct download links containing the infringing videos corresponding to the foregoing Infringing Works. Such actions shall disqualify you from any safe harbors for which you may be eligible under [the DMCA],” KK Magazine wrote.

“Regardless of the nature of the services you may provide, a service provider which fails to implement a repeat infringer policy is ineligible for any safe harbors under [the DMCA]. Based on the infringement activities provided herein, MAGAZINE intends to take necessary legal action.”

Whether Cloudflare has complied with the subpoena is unknown at this point but the company has until next week to respond.

For now both allegedly infringing sites remain up and running through Cloudflare’s servers. However, a notice on the website suggests that some content was made inaccessible.

“Hello friends ! We re-uploading files was removed. You try download again. thanks!” a broken English notice on the site reads.

Try again…



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