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Google Ordered to Remove Pirate Site Domains From U.S. Search Results

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A copyright lawsuit filed last week targeting DaftSex.com and PornWild.com is progressing at a surprising pace. With Google, Cloudflare, Namecheap, and EasyDNS named as defendants, the court has already ordered the suspension of several domains and their removal from Google's search results. Interestingly, DaftSex.com was recently seized by MindGeek so is not a pirate site.

After the application was filed on November 15, Judge Diane J Humetewa responded by ordering a telephone hearing on November 17. In the meantime, summons were reportedly issued to Cloudflare EasyDNS, Google, and NameCheap. What happened during the telephone hearing isn’t revealed in the docket but it was subsequently reset for November 21.

Google Appears, Dismissals Begin
An entry dated November 18 shows that Fornix and CP Productions voluntarily dismissed their case against EasyDNS. Hoping to learn more about this fast moving case, TorrentFreak contacted EasyDNS with some questions. CEO Mark Jeftovic told us that he knew nothing about it.

“We have never been served any papers regarding this case. Your email was the first I’ve ever heard about any of this,” Jeftovic informed TF.

After consulting their systems, EasyDNS did manage to find some related information. One ticket related to a copyright removal request forwarded to a customer and later confirmed as complete by the complainant. Another contained a notice from Verisign advising that a domain was being moved onto the EuroDNS registrar tag to comply with the MG/DaftSex injunction. That left one more.

“[The third ticket] was an email thread amongst several lawyers asking if we will participate in some hearing five days ago, received the day of the hearing. Our agent responded ‘What is our involvement with this case?’ and we never heard back,” Jeftovic explained.

Jeftovic then offered a theory on EasyDNS’ dismissal from the case. “My guess is one of Google, Namecheap or Cloudflare did attend the hearing, pointed to Section 230 or other safe harbour provisions, and got all of the ISPs dropped from the defendants,” he said.

Coincidence or probably not, an appearance was made on behalf of Google on November 18. The very next day, Namecheap, Cloudflare, and Google were voluntarily dismissed too.

Temporary Restraining Order Granted
Following a telephone hearing this Monday, Judge Humetewa granted the plaintiffs’ request for a temporary restraining order, minimal details as follows:

“Plaintiffs are not required to post a bond. Defendants are to disable infringing domain names, suspend service to those infringing domain names, and prevent transfer,” the entry reads, adding:

“Google shall, to the extent necessary, remove the infringing domain names from search results.”

The preliminary injunction will be handled separately.

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