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Gaming Companies Want Cloudflare to Unmask Pirate Site Operator

By iptv.legal , in Anti-Piracy Cloudflare DMCA ESA , at May 9, 2024

esa logoThe Entertainment Software Association (ESA) protects the rights of several of the largest game companies in the world.

With promiment members, including EA, Disney Interactive, Epic Games, Nintendo, Take-Two, Ubisoft, and others, it is a force to be reckoned with.

In addition to sending millions of takedown requests on behalf of its members, ESA also attempts to target pirate sites directly. In some cases, that requires outside support.

Last fall, the association reported an overview of several key threats to the US Trade Representative. Among others, ESA flagged nsw2u.com, Game3rb.com, 1fichier.com, megaup.net, 1337x.to, and solidtorrents.to as “notorious” websites that host or link to pirated games.

TPD-Games

This overview is not exhaustive; there are plenty of other problematic piracy sites and services. In a subpoena request filed at federal court in the District of Columbia, ESA recently targeted tpd-games.org.

TPD-Games.org

gta-tpd

Tpd-games.org is predominantly targeted at a Brazilian audience and the site receives roughly 90% of its traffic from this region.

The site is a problem, ESA notes, as it offers pirated copies of popular games. This includes titles such as Assassin’s Creed III, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, God of War, Grand Theft Auto V, Hogwarts Legacy, The Last of Us, Red Dead Redemption II, and Resident Evil 4.

ESA Subpoenaes Cloudflare

Thus far, ESA hasn’t managed to track down the people behind tpd-games.org, which uses the services of Internet infrastructure company Cloudflare. Hoping to get more information, the game companies asked the federal court to issue a DMCA subpoena requiring Cloudflare to share information on its customer.

“ESA is requesting enforcement of the attached proposed subpoena that would order Cloudflare, Inc. to disclose the identities, including names, physical addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, payment information, account updates and account histories,” ESA writes.

Subpoena request

tpd games

ESA mentions that the information it receives will only be used to protect the rights of its members under Title II of the DMCA. This could include a lawsuit against the operator, for example, if it comes to that.

Subpoena Issued

From the information provided, it is not clear whether ESA sent a takedown notice to Cloudflare in advance, as is required. However, shortly after the application was filed a court clerk signed off on it.

Cloudflare typically complies with proper DMCA subpoenas, which is good news for ESA and its members. Whether the information will be sufficient to identify and locate the operator(s) of the pirate site remains a question.

At the time of writing, tpd-games.org remains online and there is no mention of any looming trouble. The site also continues to use Cloudflare’s services.

A copy of the ESA’s declaration in support of the DMCA subpoena is available here (pdf) and a copy of the issued subpoena can be found here (pdf)

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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