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Kadokawa, Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan Reach Settlement With Cloudflare

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
American company agrees to stop caching pirated content on its servers

Shuppan Kōhō Center announced on Thursday that Japanese publishers Kadokawa, Kodansha, Shueisha, and Shogakukan reached a settlement with American web security company Cloudflare in June 2019. Cloudflare agreed to stop caching content on its Japanese servers from specified piracy websites if the Tokyo District Court deems that the sites are infringing on copyrights.

The publishers' lawyers had filed a motion with the Tokyo District Court in August 2018 requesting Cloudflare to stop hosting content for several piracy websites. The manga piracy websites that Cloudflare had offered services for included Hoshi no Romi, an apparent "Mangamura successor" website. The four publishers had also filed a lawsuit against the administrators of Hoshi no Romi in New York Southern District Court on September 4.

In a separate case, the Kyodo news service reported on January 6 that Japanese publisher Takeshobo and a male manga creator filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court against Cloudflare. The lawsuit alleges that Cloudflare is complicit in copyright infringement by offering its service to manga piracy sites. Takeshobo and the manga creator are seeking damages, and Takeshobo is also seeking the removal of all its manga data temporarily stored on Cloudflare's servers.

The plaintiffs claim that Cloudflare has provided service to manga piracy sites despite knowing that the sites are illegally offering manga. Among other services, Cloudflare can act as an intermediary between a server and its end users, providing content even when the original server is facing connection issues or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

Sources: Shuppan Kōhō Center, Animation Business Journal

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