CloudFlare has proven itself as a bit of a defender of pirate sources.
What do we mean by that?
We mean that CloudFlare has valiantly stood up to copyright holders when they have come knocking on their doors.
And we know that if there is one thing that copyright holder groups are good at then its pressurizing services that assist piracy and pirates.
The entertainment industry group has made several requests to CloudFlare and it has urged CloudFlare that it has to take action against all piracy sites and potential pirates.
In other words, copyright holder groups want CloudFlare to go after the likes of The Pirate Bay and any other known and well-visited torrent site that is left on the market.
What has CloudFlare done each time copyright holder groups have tried to pressurize it?
It has refused them.
And CloudFlare has done so several times.
Of course, it has also given these copyright holder groups some legitimate reasons.
Legitimate reasons in the eyes of CloudFlare that is.
The company has stressed the fact that as a matter of policy the company does not monitor, judge or even evaluate the content that clients put on their websites.
This argument is no more.
In other words, it is dead.
To understand that let’s take a history lesson (again).
We have already mentioned the fact that CloudFlare has somewhat, in one way or another, supported piracy sites all around the world.
So what could have happened that forced CloudFlare to kick out pirates and piracy sites from its list of customers all of a sudden?
Well, according to the CEO of CloudFlare, Matthew Prince, he woke up one morning in a relatively bad mood.
And then decided that the time had come to kick out piracy sites off the face of the internet.
Don’t believe us?
Well, then go here and read his words for yourself.
Matthew Prince has made sure that his company no longer gives the likes of Daily Stormer its services.
In other words, CloudFlare has now terminated the account for Daily Stormer.
Daily Stormer, as we all know, is a neo-nazi site that regularly spews out controversial material.
But Hang On A Minute, Daily Stormer Is Not A Piracy Site
That’s the interesting bit.
Right now, we have to take things as they are.
And right now, CloudFlare doesn’t like Daily Stormer.
It can and does, tolerate piracy sites though.
But before we come to any conclusions and/or judgments, we have to mention the fact that CloudFlare has only made the decision on a temporary basis.
But there is no doubt about the fact that Daily Stormer is now gone.
As of now, we shouldn’t expect the Daily Stormer to come back quickly.
It will take some time for the people working for Daily Stormer to come up with a solution to put their site out on the internet again.
A Lot Of People Are Happy That Daily Stormer Is Now officially Offline
But how long can this last?
But it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that someone has decided to do something about all these neo-nazi websites that are popping up left and right.
Of course, CloudFlare will have to live with the consequences of its action for the rest of the company’s remaining days.
However long they may be.
In other words, CloudFlare decision of taking down Daily Stormer is a bit controversial itself.
Because some believe that this decision actually goes against the core values of CloudFlare.
Of course, this is something that some people believe.
But regardless of the numbers, we have to hear them out.
At least for now.
The problem with CloudFlare decision is a simple one.
As we have mentioned before, CloudFlare has defended piracy sites with determination for many years now.
Copyright holder groups have asked the company several times for the last several years to take down piracy websites.
But it has never responded appropriately to their requests of removing piracy sites content.
They have also not cooperated with entities that have asked CloudFlare to take down terrorist propaganda.
CloudFlare is also known for hosting many other forms of unacceptable content.
Every time a copyright holder group or an organization has put forward its request to take down some objectionable content, CloudFlare has replied them with one response.
That response is that the company can’t and doesn’t take any action without a legal court order.
And the company has made sure that there are no exceptions to the above-mentioned rule.
CloudFlare Won’t Do Anything About Terrorists, Piracy And Pirates. But It Will Do Something About Neo-Nazis
In fact just a few weeks ago, CloudFlare wrote in a company whitepaper which dealt with intermediary liability that even if the company, CloudFlare, wanted to, CloudFlare could not judge, store, evaluate or monitor the content that appeared on its clients’ third-party websites.
CloudFlare CEO also wrote some time back that CloudFlare considered itself as the plumbers of the online world or the internet.
CloudFlare CEO also wrote that CloudFlare only made pipes that helped the internet to work.
And hence, CloudFlare did not deem it right for the company to start inspecting what its clients passed through its pipes.
This is what the CEO of CloudFlare said just a little while back.
While writing the same response he added that if companies like CloudFlare and/or internet service providers started to censor clients then they would face some serious uproar.
He also said that such an action would take companies such as CloudFlare down the path of more internet censors.
It would also lead companies like CloudFlare to assert more control over the internet.
And that would make the whole of the internet as if it existed in a country like China.
We would also like to mention here that the CEO of CloudFlare made similar arguments on many other occasions and with multiple contents time and time again.
CloudFlare Problems In The Past And In The Present
If you have read any of Mathew’s interviews, you would know that CloudFlare takes a strong position on many subjects.
Some of those subjects are without a shadow of a doubt sensitive.
Sometimes they are controversial.
And when you take a strong position on controversial issues you are likely to get in trouble from one group or another.
In other words, take strong positions on some issues has landed CloudFlare in a lot of trouble with copyright infringement legal court cases.
Copyright holder groups have actually worked hard to drag CloudFlare into these cases.
And this is just one reason why CloudFlare has found itself embroiled in copyright violation cases.
In almost all of these court cases, CloudFlare has insisted that the company could not stress more on the point that even if it removed a client’s site from CloudFlare online services, then it wouldn’t help one bit to remove the copyright infringing content from the internet.
And besides, piracy sites have clever people working for them.
They know how to handle situations where your supports abandon you.
In other words, Piracy sites have the knowledge and the technical skills to know that even if the likes of CloudFlare abandoned them, they would only need to perform a simple reconfiguration of their DNS settings.
That would be enough to get them back on track.
To put it another way, piracy sites won’t have to do much to continue their online operations even if CloudFlare removes their site.
CloudFlare Can’t Stop Pirates, Piracy or Piracy Sites
And the company has made sure that everyone involved with the situation knows this fact.
CloudFlare recently said that CloudFlare could not take any type of measures which would prevent or block alleged copyright infringement.
Because, CloudFlare said, CloudFlare only provided content delivery network services.
If CloudFlare terminated such services, it would make no impact on the operation or on the existence of pirate sites.
Moreover, it wouldn’t even hurt the capability of these piracy sites to perform more copyright infringing activities.
In the end, these piracy sites would continue to work hard and operate in their usual ways regardless of what CloudFlare did.
So Why Did CloudFlare Take Out The Daily Stormer Then?
This is what most of the people on social media are thinking about lately.
The company has adamantly put forward its stance that it couldn’t take any action against objectionable sites.
So how did the CEO of CloudFlare just woke up one day and then decided that CloudFlare would simply kick an objectionable website off the online world or the internet?
Honestly speaking, it seems like there is something wrong with what CloudFlare says and what CloudFlare does.
Mathew’s comments are at the very least misplaced.
Because the company has made a deliberate, but slightly emotional, decision to take out a neo-nazi website.
So What Happens Now That CloudFlare Has Taken Down Daily Stormer?
First of all, we have to understand that we should not come to any conclusions just yet.
We shouldn’t also make any judgment calls.
At least that is what CloudFlare would want just a couple of months back.
Neo-Nazi websites are not the most visited websites on the planet.
In other words, there aren’t too many people who would rate Daily Stormer as their favorite site of all time.
But people are different.
And they are different because they have different views of the world.
Perhaps that is the reason why people of social media sites like Twitter and other are divided on the issue.
If you visited any of these social media sites, it shouldn’t take long for you to see a pattern.
There are opinions on all sides of the argument.
Some people are against what CloudFlare has done.
While others have commended CloudFlare for taking down Daily Stormer that ran controversial stories up until now.
Predictions are always unpredictable.
But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what is going to happen next.
What will happen next?
We think that a whole lot of copyright holder groups and organization are going to drag CloudFlare into more copyright legal lawsuits.
And when these copyright holder groups and the rest do get CloudFlare to appear in the court of law, they are likely to bring up the company’s voluntary effort to take down Daily Stormer off the online world or the internet.
In other words, CloudFlare has shot itself in the foot.
CloudFlare has given its legal opponents a ton of free ammunition that they are likely to use in all their court cases.
What Can CloudFlare Do Now?
There is nothing that CloudFlare can do to protect itself from a possible backlash via court cases.
What CloudFlare can do is minimize the damage.
And the only way it can do that is by reversing its decision to take down Daily Stormer.
OF course, that is easier said than done.
We don’t think it is even technically possible for CloudFlare to suddenly bring Daily Stormer online.
Another course of action that CloudFlare can take right now it to pull the plug on all the piracy sites that are using its services.
And it will have to do that quickly.
Like tomorrow quickly.
Talking About Pirates, It Looks Like Pirates Have also Taken Over the Windows App Store
In other words, pirates have come up with a number of pirate content streaming apps and have put them up on the Windows App Store.
People have started to move away from torrent sites.
Because there is a better alternative now.
And it is called streaming.
In other words, streaming piracy has really taken off in the last couple of years.
And now it has essentially become the most popular form of pastime for online users of all ages.
We don’t know much about specific numbers but most authentic media sources say that there are probably millions of online streamers of pirated content.
How do they stream pirated content?
Well, they use rogue websites.
These are basically websites which are dedicated to doing one thing:
The movie industry, of course, doesn’t like the fact that people have left torrent sites and started to use streaming sites.
After all, it makes it much harder for them to track down the people behind streaming sites.
But now we know that the problem has grown in unexpected ways.
In other words, it has spread beyond unauthorized online platforms alone.
Pirates have started to use the Windows App Store (which claims it only has trusted apps) to distribute their piracy streaming apps.
Many media sources have reported that, in fact, the Windows App Store is not infested with piracy apps.
To read the full story, go here.