Cloudflare Is In A Bad Position Against Daily Stormer Piracy Case

CloudFlare_vs_ALS_Scan

ALS Scan believes it has got CloudFlare trapped in a corner.

ALS Scan, an adult entertainment publishers, is not holding back in its case against the CEO of CloudFlare, Matthew Prince.

In other words, ALS Scan wants to dethrone Matthew Prince from his CEO position at CloudFlare.

How does it plan on doing that?

Well, right now, the company is heavily involved in a legal piracy-related liability battle with another huge company, a CDN company to be price, CloudFlare.

CloudFlare, is having a hard time handling the fallout from its decision to terminate the official account of Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website.

ALS Scan has brought that example as its key evidence in its legal case against CloudFlare.

Why CloudFlare?

As mentioned before, just a month ago, the CEO of CloudFlare, Matthew Prince made an interesting announcement.

He decided that his company would go ahead and terminate the official account of Daily Stormer.

Daily Stormer, as well know, is a rather controversial website that has Neo-Nazi tendencies.

Back then Matthew Prince announced that he just woke up that morning in a bad mood.

And decided to kick Daily Stormer off the face of the internet by terminating the website’s account.

As far as the emotional point of views go, there is little doubt that what Matthew Prince did, made sense.

At least, to some it did.

Some even said that they completely understood why Matthew Prince would take such as decision.

But when one person is the CEO of a huge company, this kind of an action can have repercussions.

After all, CloudFlare is one of the biggest internet infrastructure companies.

And anything that the company or its employees say, has a huge impact on the wider community.

While, many said they understood the decision, a lot of people came back with another point of view.

Mainly that what CloudFlare did to Daily Stormer went against the core values of CloudFlare itself.

Let’s explain that a bit further to understand the situation a bit more.

Why Did CloudFlare Kick Out Daily Stormer And Not Other Trouble Makers?

CloudFlare

CloudFlare hasn’t done itself any favors by removing a Neo-Nazi website from its servers.

That is the question most people who are against the decision are asking CloudFlare.

For several years now, many authorities have asked CloudFlare to remove other objectionable content from its servers.

We’re talking about content which a lot of people categorize as terrorist propaganda.

And rightly so, if there is such content on CloudFlare servers, then the company should remove that material.

Authorities have also repeatedly asked CloudFlare to remove content related to piracy sites.

Moreover, CloudFlare servers actually host a lot of other types of objectionable content that we won’t discuss here.

So why has the company not taken action against them?

And why has it only gone after the likes of Daily Stormer?

First things first:

The reason why CloudFlare did not take action against the other controversial content is that:

The company had a good reason.

What good reason?

Well, CloudFlare stubbornly maintained that the company did not take any action without legal court orders.

The company also said that it made no exceptions to that rule.

Moreover, CloudFlare also gave the impression that the company did not know anything about any controversial content on its servers.

Why?

Well, CloudFlare stressed the fact that the company had no possible way to remove any website from its servers.

And hence from the internet.

Back then, CloudFlare also said that even if the company had the ability to do so, such an action would not last indefinitely.

In other words, CloudFlare could not remove a website from the internet on a permanent basis.

And perhaps that makes sense as well.

After all, all that the downed site operators really need to do is to perform a simple DNS reconfiguration.

After that, the downed website should get back up.

Before anyone would notice, the downed website’s operators could get the site running again in no time.

On the face of it, CloudFlare had some pretty convincing arguments.

So CloudFlare action against The Daily Stormer Has Given Rise To Other Problems?

First of all, readers should know that the case against Daily Stormer has nothing to do with two things:

  • Copyright infringement
  • piracy

With that out of the way, it is pretty interesting as to why CloudFlare decided to take action against The Daily Stormer.

Regardless, some companies are now bringing up that incident as an important evidence in a piracy liability case that is still ongoing.

ALS Scan, which is an Adult entertainment publisher, came out with a statement recently.

In the statement, the company said that it viewed Matthew Prince as an important and key witness in its case.

Moreover, the company wanted to dethrone the CEO of CloudFlare in order to find out more information about his earlier decision against The Daily Stormer.

ALS Scan also wrote that Matthew Prince’s official statement to the public when CloudFlare removed the neo-Nazi website off the internet stood in sharp contrast to the CloudFlare testimony that related authorities recorded in ALS Scan’s own case.

ALS Scan further said that CloudFlare had previously claimed and the company had no power to remove objectionable content from the online world, or the Internet.

Both parties are currently locked in a battle in an argument whether the related company should depose Matthew Prince or not.

The statements from ALS Scan that we have mentioned above are basically what ALS Scan submitted to authorities just recently.

What Does CloudFlare Want?

CloudFlare_copyright_issues

CloudFlare now finds itself in the middle of a copyright liability case.

Quite understandably, CloudFlare doesn’t want to depose the CEO of the company.

In other words, it wants to prevent such an event from ever happening.

Moreover, the CloudFlare has also said that it considers such an action as unnecessary.

As expected, the adult publishing company, ALS Scan, disagrees with CloudFlare.

ALS Scan recently said that via his own admission, the CEO of the company, Matthew Prince surprising decision to remove certain of the company’s user accounts felt arbitrary.

Moreover, ALS Scan said, the CEO himself said that the termination action came as a result of the CEO waking up from bed in a bad mood.

Additionally, the CEO made the decision to remove The Daily Stormer off the company’s servers unilaterally.

And Matthew Prince made the decision not just as any CEO, but the CEO of one of the largest internet infrastructure corporation.

ALS Scan also added that Matthew Prince had made it clear that he had the singular authority which could determine the actual circumstances under which the company, CloudFlare, would terminate any of its user’s accounts.

However, CloudFlare, maintains that there is no need to depose the CEO of the company.

CloudFlare is also trying to back that up with a declaration.

That declaration is that Matthew Prince himself has emphasized in the past that he had no unique knowledge about CloudFlare’s DMCA.

He also had no knowledge on the company’s repeat infringer policies.

Moreover, the declaration also states that Matthew Prince didn’t have unique knowledge on the issues that directly related to the legal case at hand.

Matthew Prince also informed the court that he had no form of unique knowledge regarding the company’s, CloudFlare, official DMCA policy and/or procedure.

That included the company’s repeat infringer policies along with the company’s Terms of Service that CloudFlare had published.

Will ALS Scan Just Give Up?

From that the media reports have said, it is unlikely that ALS Scan will go away that easily.

It will continue to harp on the fact that the CEO of CloudFlare made a mistake.

What mistake?

The mistake of arbitrarily deciding to terminate one specific website from the company’s service.

And that mistake had, even more, significance because of the company’s previous position:

That the company required court orders to act in other instances.

ALS Scan has also managed to find a Wall Street Journal quote.

The company is using the quote that Matthew Prince wrote to highlights him saying “kick off the internet.

ALS Scan claims that the quote shows a clear contradiction between the company’s stance now and before.

The company’s, CloudFlare, lawyers have a different point of view of course.

They contend that the Wall Street Journal article that ALS Scan had brought up had little relevance.

Why?

Because the CEO of the company wrote that article to kick off a casual conversation.

And hence, all parties should not take the beginning statement in a literal sense.

CloudFlare legal team had many other things to add to the proceedings as well.

First of all, the company’s lawyers said that the WSJ article represented nothing but an intellectual exercise.

The CEO intended the article to start off a conversation about free speech and censorship on the internet.

Moreover, CloudFlare lawyers said, the Wall Street Journal article had little to do with copyright infringement problems.

It also had nothing to do with the company’s, CloudFlare, DMCA procedures and/or policies.

The CloudFlare legal team also added that when Matthew Prince said in the Wall Street Journal article that:

He helped kick a group of neo-nazis off the internet just last week”

he only intended to illustrate a point through his comments.

Hence, Matthew did not mean for his comments to be taken in a literal sense.

We also know that CloudFlare doesn’t really have the power to remove a site from the internet.

How?

Well, CloudFlare did depose Trey Guinn, who is a technical employee (solutions engineer) at CloudFlare.

Moreover, that particular CloudFlare action also suggests something else:

That CloudFlare’s action of removing the Daily Stormer, in essence, was done to provoke a conversation.

A conversation about freedom of speech and other related subjects.

Concluding Thoughts.

copyright_issues_for_CloudFlare

ALS Scan will continue to point out disparities between what CloudFlare does and what it says.

The lawsuit ALS Scan has brought to court revolves around one thing:

Companies terminating customers.

And hence, ALS Scan will probably try to do everything in its power to depose Matthew Prince.

It will do that to find out precisely when the company terminates a given client.

Moreover, ALS Scan would also want to know why Matthew Prince decided to not go with the company’s, CloudFlare, usual policy.

ALS Scan legal team also added that they had found out that no other employee of the company could testify to Matthew Prince’s actual decision-making process, especially when it came to deactivating a user’s account/access.

Moreover, the ALS Scan legal team said, no other employee of the company could offer any explanation either.

They couldn’t explain as to why CloudFlare terminated The Daily Stormer’s user account.

And perhaps more importantly, no one could explain why CloudFlare allowed repeat infringers to remain as their clients.

Along with that, the ALS Scan team said, they saw this case as a case where few could question Prince’s decisions.

Matthew Prince’s, the CEO of CloudFlare, personal judgment appeared to govern over the company’s, CloudFlare, own official procedures, and policies.

In the ending section, ALS Scan legal team said that CloudFlare could not carry the heavy burden of demonstrating why the company should not depose Matthew Prince.

While We Are Talking About Piracy, It Seems As If People Can Finally Crack PS4

It is true that current generation of gaming consoles have done a fantastic job of one thing:

Stopping mainstream piracy.

In other words, mainstream piracy on each of these consoles is about as big as non-existent.

The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One gaming consoles have stood firm in the face of stubborn and ever determined hackers.

But it seems like hackers are finally getting to both consoles.

Hackers have recently released a flurry of official PlayStation 4 games.

These games include premium titles such as,

  • Far Cry 4
  • GTA V

Many other games have also hit the online world.

So what’s the holdup then?

Shouldn’t users just save themselves a lot of money by using pirated Playstation 4 games?

Well, not quite.

See, even if we set aside the fact that piracy isn’t fun for everybody, there is another problem:

The skill required to pirate some of these games to actually play them on one’s consoles.

In fact, media reports say that the number of players who would have to will to jump through all the hoops that are required to play these pirated copies, would be very few.

The Previous Gaming Console Generation Didn’t Have It This good.

While the first couple of generations of gaming consoles reigned supreme over the gaming world, they had one problem they could not handle:

Piracy.

In fact, piracy on previous gen consoles became so ubiquitous that it accustomed gamers to playing pirated copies.

Gamers could easily modify their gaming machines and compromise them to play pirated games.

In fact, the internet had enthusiasts and hacking group forums to deal with all the issues that arose during the modification process.

Regardless, they could execute third-party software on all the previous generation gaming consoles.

Hackers usually called that practise as the practise of running homebrew code on gaming consoles.

Some also called these modified machines as jailbroken gaming colnes.

As mentioned before, hackers could easily play pirated copies of copyrighted produced games for free.

Most of all, once hackers opened the floodgates, authorities could do little to keep things in check.

All of that changed a bit when game producers introduced mass online gaming.

Things did get complex for the hacking community.

Moreover, consoles introduced regular firmware patches and updates.

That further protected gaming consoles from hackers exploiting any security holes.

Console manufacturers can now roll out remote patches which can fix security exploits that hackers can take advantage of whenever a user goes online.

All of this is interesting stuff.

To read more about it click here.

 

Zohair

Zohair

Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.
Zohair

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Cloudflare Is In A Bad Position Against Daily Stormer Piracy Case

by Zohair time to read: 9 min
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