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First off today, Blake Brittain at Bloomberg Law reports that content delivery network provider Cloudflare is facing a lawsuit filed by American Clothing Express Inc over allegations that Cloudflare failed to take adequate action against repeat infringers on its service.
American Clothing Express sells wedding dresses on multiple names and claims that they have sent hundreds of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices to Cloudflare targeting counterfeit websites that are using their images. However, despite nearly 100 domains racking up multiple notices, CloudFlare has refused to terminate their account.
They claim that they invest hundreds of dollars on photo shoots and the counterfeit sites routinely use those images to sell their imitation dresses. They claim that Cloudflare could have stopped this infringement by terminating their services but have declined to. According to Cloudflare, the DMCA notice and takedown provisions don’t apply to them as a CDN and, instead, the obligation should be on the original host.
Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that Cloudflare is also facing legal in Japan as local publisher Takeshobo has filed a lawsuit in a Tokyo court alleging that CloudFlare is not taking adequate action to remove pirated copies of their comics.
According to Takeshobo, they filed the action in December alleging that Cloudflare provides service to a pirate site and refused to remove infringing content after notification. Takeshobo did not specify which pirate site they were referring to but the DMCA subpoenas filed in the United States point to one of three domains.
Those DMCA subpoenas, which are normally used to identify suspected infringers, also asked for Cloudflare to “remove or disable” the allegedly infringing works but they remain active today.
Finally today, Ecsn reports that a court in Shenzhen, China has ruled that work created by an AI bot does qualify for copyright protection.
The lawsuit was filed by local tech giant Tencent, which sued a local online platform for copying an article that was written by Tencent’s Dreamwriter bot. The bot, much like other bots used by news agencies, writes stories based on data provided to it, in this case, financial reports.
The defendants argued that, since the work was created by a bot, it did not qualify for copyright protection. They cited several international cases that supported that. However, the court found in favor of Tencent but only gave them 1,500 yuan ($216) in damages since they had removed the infringing work.