Italian court upholds successful record company action against CloudFlare

Court of Milan dismisses CloudFlare’s appeal against preliminary injunction obtained earlier this year

The Court of Milan has dismissed an appeal by CloudFlare against a preliminary injunction requiring it to stop providing its public DNS service to three notorious BitTorrent sites which were previously ordered to be blocked by local telecoms regulator AGCOM.

IFPI, the organisation that represents the recording industry worldwide, coordinated the initial action taken by its member companies in Italy (Sony Music Entertainment Italy s.p.a., Universal Music Entertainment Italy s.r.l., Warner Music Italia s.r.l.) against CloudFlare earlier this year. 

Following an application, supported locally by Italian anti-piracy group, FPM, and IFPI’s national group FIMI, the Court of Milan issued an interim injunction in July which CloudFlare subsequently appealed.  

The court of Milan has rejected Cloudflare’s arguments as to the substance of the legal claim, which means that CloudFlare needs to comply with the order, or otherwise can be subject to penalty payments. 

Frances Moore, Chief Executive, IFPI, commented: “CloudFlare’s services were making it possible for users to access copyright infringing websites that take revenues away from those investing in and creating music.

“By upholding the original order against CloudFlare, 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.”

Enzo Mazza, CEO, FIMI, commented: “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.”

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