Hosting firm scores vital victory in VPN piracy battle

(Image credit: Shutterstock / gonin)

The web hosting company Quadranet has scored a victory in a VPN piracy lawsuit filed by several film companies after a Florida federal court dismissed their complaint with prejudice.

As reported by TorrentFreak, earlier this year a group of independent film companies behind a number of popular films including “London has Fallen”, “Outpost” and “Dallas Buyers Club” not only began targeting site operators and individual pirates but they also started going after VPN providers. During the past few months, the group began suing hosting companies including California-based Quadranet which leases servers to LiquidVPN.

In their lawsuits, the film companies made the argument that Quadranet can be held liable for copyright infringement as some of the VPN provider's subscribers were pirating movies. They also argued that the web hosting company should have taken appropriate action after receiving multiple copyright infringement warnings.

For instance, Quadranet could have powered down the servers leased by LiquidVPN, null-routed IP addresses or terminated its agreement with the company.

Dismissed with prejudice

After the film companies levied their allegations at Quadranet, the web hosting provider filed a motion to dismiss in which it challenged their claims. The company also made the argument that null-routing IP addresses would disabled the VPN services of LiquidVPN's customers including those who used them as a privacy tool.

The Florida federal court handling the filmmaker's lawsuit gave them a chance to amend their complaints before ruling on the motion to dismiss. 

In the end, District Court Judge Beth Bloom came to the conclusion that there wasn't sufficient ground to argue that Quadranet is liable for contributing to copyright infringement as the film companies didn't show that culpable intent was involved as all of the pirated traffic by LiquidVPN's users was encrypted.

While Quadranet has won this round, the film companies still have several other cases pending against other hosting companies in addition to VPN providers and ISPs, so we'll likely hear more once these cases go before a judge.

We've also rounded up the best VPN, best web hosting and best proxy services

Via TorrentFreak

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.