Italian court orders CloudFlare to block access to torrent sites – Billboard

LONDON — A court in Milan has ordered global internet company CloudFlare to block its users from accessing a number of copyright-infringing BitTorrent sites, following a legal request from the three major labels.

The recording industry’s global trade organization IFPI coordinated the action on behalf of Sony Music Entertainment Italy, Universal Music Entertainment Italy and Warner Music Italia.

The court’s interim injunction gives San Francisco-based CloudFlare 30 days to implement technical measures preventing Italian users from accessing three popular torrent indexing sites:, and ilcorsaronero. pro, which music executives say provides access to massive amounts of license-free content. music.

Kickasstorrents and Limetorrents are two of the world’s best-known services for sharing torrent files, with the latter regularly listed in the top 10 torrent sites. Both sites have been blocked by authorities in several countries. Ilcorsaronero is the leading platform in Italy for sharing and illegal downloading of copyrighted works.

In October, Italian communications regulator AGCOM ordered internet service providers to block access to the three sites, but determined users were able to circumvent the restrictions by using CloudFlare services, IFPI says.

“These sites divert revenue from licensed music services and ultimately those who invest in and create music,” the IFPI chief executive said. Frances Moore said in a statement. The Italian court’s decision, she says, “sends a clear message to other online intermediaries that they too can face legal action if their services are used for music piracy.”

Although the terms of the ruling against CloudFlare only apply in Italy, music executives believe it represents a significant victory in the global fight against music piracy by targeting companies that facilitate access to BitTorrent sites, rather than copyright-infringing music hosts, which are trickier to prosecute.

Founded in 2010, CloudFlare specializes in providing internet security for websites. One of its products is a public Domain Name System (DNS) resolver called, which converts domain names to IP addresses and, according to record companies, is regularly used by music fans to access music. illegal or unlicensed content.

Enzo MazzaCEO of Italian record label trade association Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana (FIMI), said the Milan court’s decision against CloudFlare will further strengthen the country’s anti-piracy measures and boost “enforcement actions by rightsholders to protect their content online”.

Music sales in Italy grew 27.8% in 2021 to make the country the world’s 10th largest recorded music market, worth $393 million, according to IFPI’s Global Music Report 2022.

CloudFlare did not respond to requests for comment when contacted by Billboard. If the company fails to comply with the terms of the court order, it will receive daily fines.

The injunction against CloudFare follows a number of successful actions overseen or supported by IFPI around the world to address the ever-persistent problem of music piracy in the digital market.

In June, Brazilian law enforcement carried out a large-scale operation to shut down 461 illegal download apps and 11 websites – a record for a single anti-music piracy operation in Brazil. The apps have generated more than 10.2 million downloads, according to IFPI, which is working with its recorded music subsidiary, Pró-Música Brasil and a cybercrime unit of Brazil’s Ministry of Justice to root out infringing services. author.

It has also included efforts to shut down streaming manipulation services: companies that sell fake streams – often paired with social media likes and “follows” – to boost an artist’s popularity. or a song on streaming services. In 2021, in a separate operation called Operation Anti-Doping, IFPI and Pro-Música shut down 84 streaming sites in Brazil, mostly using cease-and-desist notices and threats of restraining orders. judicial.

Germany is another major music market where the IFPI has overseen efforts to combat fake streams, using court injunctions to shut down a number of stream manipulation sites over the past two years.

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