Cloudflare is not responsible for copyright issues on websites • The Register


Cloudflare is not responsible for any copyright infringement for content hosted on websites supported by its content delivery network, a U.S. federal judge said this week.

The San Francisco-based company was sued by wedding dress and gown wholesalers Mon Cheri Bridals and Maggie Sottero Designs in 2018. Each time these two companies shut down copycat retailers who ripped off their dress designs and sold the clothes in line, new websites appeared. to replace counterfeiters.

Ultimately, the pair accused Cloudflare of copyright infringement for providing technical services to these sites.

“These websites, including those served by Cloudflare that are the subject of this complaint, have manufactured, imported, distributed, offered for sale and sold counterfeit products, including wedding dresses, evening dresses, dresses prom and other formal wear using copyrighted images of plaintiffs’ dresses, they continue to do so to this day, “wholesalers lawsuit says [PDF].

“Cloudflare contributes and thus enables the successful efforts of these fake websites to deceive the consuming public and infringe the copyrights of plaintiffs and other members of the formal wear industry,” he continued. . The complaint was later amended with Mon Cheri Bridals as the main plaintiff, who requested a jury trial.

Judge Vince Chhabria, sitting in a federal court in northern California, however, disagreed and dismissed the claims.

“The plaintiffs have not presented any evidence from which a jury could conclude that Cloudflare’s performance improvement services are materially contributing to copyright infringement,” he said. [PDF]. “The only evidence the complainants have of the effects of these services is the promotional material on Cloudflare’s website touting the benefits of its services. “

This is not the first time that Cloudflare has been targeted by allegations of copyright infringement, Patrick Nemeroff, the company’s head of risk, litigation and employment. noted: “Over the years, copyright owners have on occasion sought to hold Cloudflare liable for infringing content on websites using our services. It never made a lot of sense to us.

“We do not host the content of the offending websites, we do not aggregate or promote the content or in any way assist end users in finding it, and our services are not even necessary for the availability of online content. Infrastructure service providers like Cloudflare are not in a good position to address issues such as online infringement… We agree with the District Court’s reasoning and hope it will go a long way in discouraging this type of infringement. claims in the future.

The register, who is a Cloudflare customer, asked Mon Cheri Bridals for comment. ®

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