A US federal judge ruled that Cloudflare is not responsible for any copyright infringement in relation to content posted on websites that are supported by its network.
In 2018, the company was sued by fashion brands Mon Cheri Bridals and Maggie Sottero Designs. Every time they pressed for the closure of online stores that sold counterfeit products of their brands, these sites quickly appeared on the Web under new names. As a result, the brands decided to sue Cloudflare for copyright infringement because the company provided technical services to these sites.
“These Internet sites, including those operated by Cloudflare, which are the subject of this lawsuit, have produced, imported, distributed, offered for sale counterfeit goods, including wedding dresses, special occasion dresses, prom dresses and other formal wear with using copyrighted images of plaintiffs’ wardrobe items, they continue to do so to this day … Cloudflare serves and thereby allows these counterfeit websites to defraud consumers and infringe on the copyrights of plaintiffs and other members of the formal wear industry. “, – said in a statement. The main plaintiff was Mon Cheri Bridals, which requested a jury trial.
Judge Vince Chhabria, sitting in federal court in Northern California, disagreed with the plaintiff’s arguments and dismissed the claims. “Plaintiffs did not provide evidence on which the jury could conclude that Cloudflare’s productivity services significantly contribute to copyright infringement. The plaintiffs’ only evidence of the impact of these services is advertising materials from the Cloudflare website highlighting the benefits of these services. “, – the judge ruled.
This isn’t the first time Cloudflare has faced copyright infringement lawsuits. Patrick Nemeroff, Risk, Litigation and Employment Officer, explained: “Over the years, copyright holders have sometimes tried to prosecute Cloudflare for copyright infringement on websites that use our services. We have always considered it pointless … We do not host the content of websites that turn out to be problematic, we do not aggregate or promote content, we do not help end users find it, our services are not even needed to make the content available on the Internet. Infrastructure providers like Cloudflare cannot address issues such as online copyright infringement … We agree with the District Court’s argument and hope this will help prevent similar claims in the future. “.
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