ACE Targets Flixtor’s “News” Domain With DMCA Subpoena *TorrentFreak

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The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment is trying to find out who operates the famous pirate streaming site Flixtor. After previous attempts apparently failed to provide useful information, the group is now targeting the Flixtor.org domain. It’s an interesting move, as the domain describes itself as an unaffiliated medium that does not contain hyperlinks to infringing content.

By providing access to high-quality movies and TV shows, the Flixtor.to streaming site has become the go-to destination for many pirates.

The site is particularly popular in the United States and Canada, which together account for around half of the site’s 26 million monthly visits estimated by SimilarWeb.

This traffic has not gone unnoticed by Hollywood and other major content creators. The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), which counts Apple, Disney, HBO, Netflix and Sony among its members, is working to track down the operators of the site.

Several DMCA subpoenas

In the summer of 2020, ACE obtained a subpoena that required Cloudflare to hand over information about the customer running the Flixtor.to domain. A few months later, domain name registry Tonic was to do the same.

Neither effort seems to have yielded the desired result, as ACE obtained another DMCA subpoena last December asking Cloudflare for information on the same Flixtor.to domain.

Now, it’s clear that the Flixtor site is a high-profile target, but despite legal efforts, it remains operational today. This suggests that the information requested hasn’t proven useful, but ACE isn’t giving up yet.

Flixtor.org

A few days ago, the anti-piracy group secured another DMCA subpoena against Cloudflare. While Flixtor is again at the center, the targeted area is different this time.

“We have determined that users of your system or network have infringed the copyrighted works of certain ACE members by exploiting flixtor.org,” said Jan van Voorn, MPA’s content protection officer. , to Cloudflare, on behalf of ACE.

Initially, we assumed that ACE was targeting one of the site’s many backup domains, but that’s not the case here. The .org domain does not have hyperlinks to infringing content. It simply documents all the official domains of the streaming platform.

‘First Amendment’

Flixtor.org clarifies that it is simply a matter of making a press release protected by the First Amendment. Moreover, it states that it is not affiliated with other Flixtor domains. This is also corroborated by Flixtor.to, who informed us that they do not operate the .org site.

flextor.org

ACE clearly sees things differently. Through the MPA, he requested a DMCA subpoena which was granted by a court clerk last week.

“Enclosed is a subpoena that complies with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The subpoena requires you to provide information regarding individuals offering the flixtor.org website, which links to websites containing the infringing material…” Van Voorn told Cloudflare.

The above statement is technically correct. The Flixtor.org domain contains “links” to Flixtor sites which, in turn, point to copyright infringing material. However, these same non-hyperlinked domain names also appear in ACE’s subpoena request.

summons

Although Flixtor.org does not hyperlink to other Flixtor sites, there are clickable links in the other direction. All official Flixtor domains have a hyperlink to the .org site, presumably to help people track future changes.

This isn’t the first time ACE has targeted a “news” domain; it previously did the same with primewirestatus.org and onionplay.network.

As we pointed out in our previous coverage, it’s debatable whether a domain that doesn’t contain hyperlinks to infringing material is actually breaking the law. However, DMCA subpoenas are issued without the oversight of a judge, so this has not been discussed in detail here.

Copies of the subpoena and related statements are available here (1, 2)

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