Cloudflare loses appeal against piracy-blocking order in Italian court

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Both the movie and the music industry are fighting hard against piracy lately. However, while in the past ISPs and the best VPN providers were their main target, DNS services have now been dragged into court on copyright infringement grounds. 

The popular provider Cloudflare has recently lost its appeal against a blocking order in Italy. This means that it must now block three torrent sites or face penalty repayments. 

While this represents a success for both the Italian and international music industry, Cloudflare believes such measure to be “problematic” and “ineffective.” It also argues that it could set a dangerous precedent in the anti-piracy battle.

Stronger grip on piracy

“Because such a block would apply globally to all users of the resolver, regardless of where they are located, it would affect end users outside of the blocking government’s jurisdiction,” said Cloudflare, Torrentfreak reported (opens in new tab)

The company also pointed out how the blocking can easily be overcome by using circumvention tools like a torrenting VPN, for example.

Despite expressing its concerns in front of a judge, the court of Milan finally confirmed the blocking order first issued in July. This obliges the permanent blocking of kickasstorrents.to, limetorrents.pro, and ilcorsaronero.pro from its DNS resolver. 

This is the first time a DNS provider has faced anti-piracy legal action in Italy. It’s something new for Cloudflare, too – the company has never received such a blocking order before. 

However, the practice isn’t unheard of. 

Another DNS company, Quad9, is currently experiencing a similar situation in Germany. At the time of writing, the company is still waiting for the final decision for their appeal, although it appears likely to go the same way as Cloudflare’s appeal.

What’s certain is that the fight against piracy is tightening its grip everywhere, creating legal precedents for future actions.   

As the CEO of Italian music industry group FIMI Enzo Mazza said (opens in new tab): “This is an important decision for Italy and beyond.

“Cloudflare, as well as other intermediaries providing similar services, should step up their efforts in preventing users access to illegal websites which were ordered to be blocked.” 

Via TorrentFreak (opens in new tab)

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chiara.castro@futurenet.com (Chiara Castro)

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