In context: Back in May, several studios started targeting movie-pirating sites and services. Dallas Buyers Club, Cobbler Nevada, Bodyguard Productions, and several other copyright owners filed a lawsuit against ShowBox, a movie-streaming app for mobile devices.
The companies tried pressuring CDN and DDoS protection provider Cloudflare into releasing information on the operators of some of these platforms. However, Cloudflare told them if they wanted such information they would have to get it the right way — through legal action.
The plaintiffs did just that. A subpoena was issued in the case from a federal court in Hawaii. The documents were not made public, but TorrentFreak was able to obtain a portion of the subpoena from a source.
The court order demands the details of the operators behind the Showboxbuzz website, Showbox.software, website Rawapk, Popcorn Time, and others. Cloudflare has not filed a motion to quash, so it appears likely that the company will hand over the requested data.
TorrentFreak notes that other than ShowBox, the targets listed in the subpoena are not named in the original lawsuit from May. It surmises that these sites and services might have links to the defendants in the legal action.
Even if Cloudflare turns over identifying information to the courts, it is highly likely that it will be of little use. Most pirate site operators go to great lengths to mask their identities. Rarely does one information request result in a direct link to the real operator.
In fact, one of the plaintiffs in the suit, Cobbler Nevada LLC, had a lawsuit shot down twice (once in appeals court) back in August because the judge ruled that an IP address was not sufficient enough information to establish identity.
It is also worth mentioning that Cobbler and other plaintiffs in the lawsuit are known copyright trolls.
Image via TorrentFreak