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Quad9 vows to continue fighting web-blocking order after latest loss in court

By | Published on Friday 10 March 2023


DNS resolver Quad9 has commented on its latest loss in court in an ongoing legal dispute with Sony Music over what its responsibilities should be when it comes to blocking access to piracy websites.

Having got internet service providers to block access to piracy sites in multiple countries, the music and movie industries have more recently been trying to get companies like VPNs and DNS resolvers to also instigate some blockades.

Mainly because where an ISP has blocked a website, a user can often circumvent that blockade by using a VPN or an alternative DNS resolver.

Those companies – like the ISPs back in the day – are keen to avoid having web-blocking responsibilities, arguing that – while they don’t approve of piracy – copyright owners are overly expanding the list of companies that should help them enforce their rights online.

One such company is Quad9, which has been targeted by legal action filed by Sony Music in Germany. So far the German courts have sided with Sony on this, concluding that Quad9 should indeed implement some web-blocks.

But the DNS resolver has been busy appealing those rulings, most recently in the Leipzig Regional Court. However, earlier this month that court upheld the earlier rulings.

According to Torrentfreak, the judge overseeing the case – citing the actual piracy service Sony has an issue with – concluded that: “The defendant is liable as a perpetrator because it makes its DNS resolver available to internet users and, through this, it refers to the service with the infringing download offers relating to the music album in dispute”.

But Quad9 plans to continue with its legal battle. It wrote in a blog post earlier this week: “Quad9 is shocked that the court ruled in favour of Sony Music, but they are not disheartened and will continue fighting for the freedom of access to information by citizens around the globe”.

The DNS resolver confirmed it would be complying with the web-blocking court order in the short term, but that it will continue to pursue its appeal through the courts, believing that the judgements so far in this case set a dangerous precedent. We shall see how that goes.