Cloudflare doesn’t have to cut off copyright-infringing websites, judge rules

A copyright infringement notice lying on a desk next to a keyboard

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | designer491)

Cloudflare is not liable for the copyright infringement of websites that use its content-delivery and security services, a federal judge ruled yesterday.

Cloudflare was sued in November 2018 by Mon Cheri Bridals and Maggie Sottero Designs, two wedding dress manufacturers and sellers that alleged Cloudflare was guilty of contributory copyright infringement because it didn’t terminate services for websites that infringed on the dressmakers’ copyrighted designs. The companies sought a jury trial, but Judge Vince Chhabria yesterday granted Cloudflare’s motion for summary judgment in a ruling in US District Court for the Northern District of California.

Chhabria noted that the dressmakers have been harmed “by the proliferation of counterfeit retailers that sell knock-off dresses using the plaintiffs’ copyrighted images,” and that they have “gone after the infringers in a range of actions, but to no avail—every time a website is successfully shut down, a new one takes its place.” Chhabria continued:

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