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IFPI welcomes latest ruling in web-blocking dispute with Cloudflare

By | Published on Friday 31 March 2023


The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry has welcomed the latest ruling in the Court Of Milan in its ongoing sparring with internet services company Cloudflare.

The Italian record industry went legal against Cloudflare last year seeking to force the firm to instigate three web-blocks that are in place against piracy sites in the country on its DNS resolver

Although, in many countries now, internet service providers routinely instigate web-blocks against piracy sites, usually on the back of orders from relevant courts or regulators, web-savvy people can circumvent the blockades by using things like VPNs or alternative DNS resolvers.

To that end, music and movie companies have been seeking to get the providers of VPNs and DNS resolvers to also start web-blocking.

Many of those companies are resisting those attempts, hence the legal battle with Cloudflare in Italy. The Court Of Milan twice sided with the music industry on this last year, ordering Cloudflare to put in place on the web-blocks that have been instigated in Italy by regulator AGCOM.

Explaining the most recent legal wrangling, IFPI said yesterday: “In its most recent judgment, the Court Of Milan dismissed an additional application filed by Cloudflare to clarify the technical implementation of the order”.

“The court held that Cloudflare’s motion was outside the scope of enforcement proceedings as it addressed issues which had already been considered in the injunction proceedings. The court also noted that Cloudflare can block websites via its public DNS service as it adopts similar measures for example in connection with other illegal or harmful content”.

Commenting on the new ruling, IFPI added: “We welcome the decision today from the Court Of Milan which confirmed that Cloudflare is obliged to cease providing access to three copyright infringing sites and any additional ‘mirror sites’ via its public DNS service. In doing so the Court Of Milan has set an important precedent that online intermediaries can be required to take effective action if their services are used for music piracy”.