Do you know the website Webtoon? This is a webtoon reading site launched by Naver, a South Korean giant company that was founded in 2004.
Currently, Webtoon has more than 85 million active users per month in over 100 countries, and in the United States alone, they have 12.5 million users.
Naver Webtoon Targets Several Pirate Sites in Action on Cloudflare
And Naver is going after pirate sites that provide their webtoons for free. At an unspecified date in August this year, Webtoon Entertainment Inc used Remove Your Media LLC to send complaints to Cloudflare.
Cloudflare is a service that speeds up a website’s loading time, and virtually all websites use Cloudflare.
According to Remove Your Media, a company specialized in applying DMCAs, around 80 webtoons were available on various pirate sites, and all of these sites used the Cloudflare service.
“The works mainly consist of animated films and digital comics published by WEBTOON,” Cloudflare reported. “Please act promptly to remove or disable access to the infringing material.”
Each block in the image above represents a URL that was listed in the Webtoon copyright violation notices. You can see several blank spaces, which means sites that have been taken down, no longer load, or have changed their domain.
The other blocks indicate sites that are still online but are on Webtoon’s list to be taken down.
Webtoon Demands Identities of Hundreds of Pirate Site Operators
The primary goal of a DMCA subpoena is to compel a service provider, in this case, Cloudflare, to hand over the personal data of an alleged infringer to allow copyright holders to enforce their rights. Look at what Webtoon is demanding from Cloudflare:
“Identification information, including name, email address, physical address, billing information, and any other relevant contact information for the alleged infringer(s) who control the sites on the domains listed in Appendix A or control the domains themselves.”
In total, Webtoon sent requests to over 350 different domains! You can check out the complete list of all the affected domains here. What happens next is unclear because it directly involves what kind of information Cloudflare provided to Webtoon.
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