Patrick Nemeroff

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In a win for the Internet, federal court rejects copyright infringement claim against Cloudflare

In a win for the Internet, federal court rejects copyright infringement claim against Cloudflare
In a win for the Internet, federal court rejects copyright infringement claim against Cloudflare

Since the founding of the Internet, online copyright infringement has been a real concern for policy makers, copyright holders, and service providers, and there have been considerable efforts to find effective ways to combat it. Many of the most significant legal questions around what is called “intermediary liability” — the extent to which different links in the chain of an Internet transmission can be held liable for problematic online content — have been pressed on lawmakers and regulators, and played out in courts around issues of copyright.

Although section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in the United States provides important protections from liability for intermediaries, copyright and other intellectual property claims are one of the very few areas carved out of that immunity.

A Novel Theory of Liability

Over the years, copyright holders have sometimes sought to hold Cloudflare liable for infringing content on websites using our services. This never made much sense to us. We don’t host the content of the websites at issue, we don’t aggregate or promote the content or in any way help end users find it, and our services are not even necessary for the content’s availability online. Infrastructure service providers like Cloudflare are Continue reading