The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) has continued its campaign against the Web hosting provider Cloudflare, to provide information about individuals and entities distributing infringing instances of video programming through the Cloudflare network.
Case 2:22-mc-00042, filed March 4, 2022 requests the US District Court of the Central District of California, Western Division to subpoena Cloudflare Inc. to provide names, physical and online contact details, and account details for 27 infringing domains affiliated with four “index domains” (hdss.to, primewirestatus.or, soapgate.cc and onionplay.network) for a total of eight video programs licensed by ACE member companies. These four index domains don’t carry infringing content theselves – the reference domains do.
Case 2:22-mc-00043, also filed on March 4th with the same US court, identifies Android APIs associated with two infringing domains; carrying instances of just two movies, Frozen II and Godzilla vs Kong.
Case 2:22-mc-00044, filed on March 4th and again with the same US court, follows a more ‘traditional’ approach, targeting 22 domains that directly carry infringing instances of two movie titles each among a list of 17 named movie titles (e.g., these are sites that directly distribute these titles, not redistributors of other piracy domains or sites).
Why it matters
ACE has recognized and has been pursuing Cloudflare for some time, as allowing infringing content to traverse its network. ACE’s approach is something of a ‘first derivative’, in that ACE is targeting the distributors of pirate distribution sites. In one case, by targeting sites that link to those sites and domains, and in another, by targeting app development kits that other pirates can use to publish links to the actual infringing sources.
In that way, if an originating site won’t respond directly to a DMCA takedown notice, ACE “swims downstream” through pirate distribution channels with the expectation that these redistribution sites might respond.