Cloudflare is one of the biggest content delivery networks (CDNs) in the world: CDNs being companies providing services to websites and digital services to help their content be delivered faster and more reliably, while reducing bandwidth costs. It’s also a controversial company in the eyes of music and film rightsholders, because some of the websites Cloudflare provides those services to are piracy sites.
Music body the RIAA and film-industry body the MPAA have both mentioned Cloudflare in their recent ‘notorious markets’ piracy submissions to the US Trade Representative. Now the internet firm has hit back with its own submission to the office. “We again feel called on to clarify that Cloudflare does not host the referenced websites, cannot block websites, and is not in the business of hiding companies that host illegal content – all facts well known to the industry groups based on our ongoing work with them,” wrote general counsel Doug Kramer.
The latter is key to its defence: Cloudflare says its ‘Trusted Reporter’ initiative is being used by bodies including the RIAA to (in TorrentFreak’s words) ‘easily obtain the actual hosting locations of Cloudflare customers that engage in widespread copyright infringement’.