February 6, 2018

Cloudflare terminates service to Sci-Hub’s domain names

The cancellation sees Cloudflare withdraw its network services from Sci-Hub, in a bid to counter copyright infringement.

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CDN service provider Cloudflare have been restricted from delivering network and security services to Sci-Hub’s domain names. This move comes after the U.S Federal court ruled the decision in favor of American Chemical Society (ACS), the scientific inquiry body in the field of chemistry.

Sci-Hub, a free content platform for researchers, students and academicians in the field of science, is lauded worldwide for the quality of material it provides to users. However, sources say that copyright holders of this content have been trying to pull this website from the web by fighting infringement and legal cases in court.

Cloudflare say that their action of ‘providing service’ to Sci-Hub makes them look like they are party to the illegal activities. They further added that with the orders from the court, they will terminate their services to Sci-Hub’s .TV, .LA and .TW domain names. Explaining this in detail, a spokesperson for Cloudflare confirmed:

Cloudflare has received the attached court order, Case 1:17-cv-OO726-LMB-JFA. Cloudflare will terminate your service for the following domains sci-hub.la, sci-hub.tv, and sci-hub.tw by disabling our authoritative DNS in 24 hours.

Cloudflare revealed that pirated content providers using Cloudflare’s services does not make Cloudflare a part of the piracy racket. They further added that merely linking with companies like Sci-Hub does not necessarily classify them as active participants in piracy either.

Echoing this, Glenn Ruskin, Director of ACS commented:

The court’s affirmative ruling does not apply to search engines writ large, but only to those entities who have been in active concert or participation with Sci-Hub, such as websites that host ACS content stolen by Sci-Hub.