Pirate streaming lawsuit plaintiff wants Cloudflare charged in contempt of court *TorrentFreak

In late April, three copyright lawsuits filed by United King Film Distribution, DBS Satellite Services and Hot Communication ended in a victory for plaintiffs who were all members of the Israeli anti-piracy group Zira.

After failing to appear in court, default judgments were issued against pirated streaming sites Israel-tv.com, Israel.tv and Sdarot.tv, with each company liable for $7,650,000 in damages. U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla also signed a special permanent injunction, in part requiring every ISP in the country to block users from accessing the sites, including any new domains that may be deployed.

While the element was later suspended at the plaintiff’s unexpected request, third-party service providers including Google, Facebook, Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Namecheap, Apple, Amazon and Cloudflare were ordered to stop doing business with the sites, Turn over documents and, if applicable, freeze defendant’s assets.

Domain Seizures and Third Party Actions

We can confirm that multiple domains previously owned by this website have been seized, including some domains that were never associated with the infringing website and others that were only used as information resources. Many displayed a message citing the blocking ban when driving traffic to Screen IL, the official streaming portal connected to the plaintiffs.

Zira seized

The extent to which all third-party service operators will comply with the ban is unclear, but in new filings in a New York court this week, plaintiffs point to Cloudflare as particularly problematic.

Cloudflare is “facilitating Israel.tv piracy”

The plaintiffs allege that in response to the February 1, 2022 subpoena, Cloudflare provided information on March 28, 2022, that a user associated with the Israel.tv domain had opened an account on August 24, 2016. After the ban came down, a copy was made available on Cloudflare, instructing it to stop serving the site.

Follow-up emails from May 11-19 informed Cloudflare of its alleged non-compliance with the order, but, according to the plaintiffs, no response was received. Then the situation started to escalate. The plaintiffs allege that on or about May 22, five additional domains were created “related to the infringing website” and new accounts were opened on Cloudflare.

“As a result, Cloudflare has failed to comply with the order despite receiving the order more than a month ago. Cloudflare is still providing the services that enable the accused infringing website to operate and allow the user (or users) to establish at least five new accounts, These accounts configure websites to use CloudFlare’s services through the new domain,” the plaintiff told the court.

“Connecting internet users to Israel.tv in this way benefits the defendants and fundamentally helps them violate the injunction, because without it, users would not be able to connect to the defendants’ website unless they knew the specific IP address of the website. “

“Cloudflare should be held in contempt of court”

The plaintiffs described the motion against Cloudflare as an emergency, alleging that the CDN company facilitated the streaming of Israel.tv’s pirated movies, TV shows and sports by turning a blind eye to illegal practices.

In all, they seek to hold Cloudflare in contempt of court for failing to comply with the injunction, order Cloudflare to comply, and demand attorneys’ fees and costs to cover the costs of the motion, which includes statements and other information, running to dozens of pages.

Cloudflare has yet to appear in the matter to present its case, but information and documents obtained by TorrentFreak suggest the situation is not straightforward.

Israel.tv, Cloudflare, and Domain Seizures

In early May, Cloudflare informed accounts linked to Israel.tv that it provided data requested by plaintiffs in response to the subpoena. The letter is accompanied by instructions that Cloudflare will not shut down the site. Until then, however, another thing could muddy the waters.

On May 26, Israel.tv’s domain registrar informed that a court order had been served on domain registrar Verisign directing the domain name to be moved to GoDaddy.Verisign complied with the order, and soon after, a new website with a headline ** Zira – this site is monitored by the FBI** Greet visitors.

Israel - TV - FBI warning

Given that legal proceedings against Israel.tv and other sites are conducted under civil law, the presence of the official FBI seal on the plaintiff’s landing page is surprising. It may seem odd to announce that there is an FBI investigation, and the ban does not mention the inclusion of the FBI seal on Zira’s landing page.

Regardless, Israel.tv moved from its previous owner to GoDaddy on May 26, and subsequently displayed the same “seize” banner highlighted earlier, one without the FBI seal. (Sidenote: falsely representing the FBI endorsement/authorization is a crime punishable by up to one year in prison)

That presumably means that the Israel.tv domain, which serves as the center of the complaint, has been under the plaintiff’s control since May 26, exactly a month after the April 26 order and a few weeks after a motion to hold Cloudflare in contempt of court this week. a week ago.

Cloud Flash contempt

Cloudflare’s stance on new domains not specifically mentioned (but seemingly covered) in the ban is unclear.

Documents supporting plaintiffs’ motion for contempt can be found here (1,2,3,4,5)

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: