Cloudflare has blocked German users’ access to DDL-Music.to.
This would be the first time that Cloudflare has used the “error code 451” to indicate that a page dedicated to piracy has been blocked due to “legal causes” – although the company hasn’t gone into detail about what the reasons are.
Cloudflare is one of the most pervasive service companies on the internet.
They work as an intermediary between a web page and users, offering different security and storage measures for the website owner, and improving content delivery speeds.
However, the existence of Cloudflare has been seen by some entertainment companies as “harmful”, since the service has no control over the content that is created on the pages and even protect websites that offer pirated content by preventing copyright trolls from knowing who is hosting the “offending” content.
Of course, this does not mean that piracy goes unpunished. With the right pressure, companies can force Cloudflare to unmask and drop support for certain websites, although the process is much more difficult since the CDN service keeps their customer data secret.
Today an extraordinary case has been made public where, for the first time, the company indicates that a website has been blocked by Cloudflare due to legal actions.
In general, when Cloudflare blocks a site, they use code 403 indicating that is “Forbidden” without indicating the cause.
The pirate music site, however, has been closed with an “HTTP Error 451”, which specifies that its closure is for legal reasons.
Although error code 451 has existed since 2015 to inform users when a page is blocked due to a lawsuit, it is rarely (maybe never) used.
In fact, according to the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) and Cloudflare, when the error code 451 is used, it must be accompanied by an explanation about the demand, in addition to indicating who is the agency or individual that is making it.
As seen on the website when trying to enter from a German IP, Cloudflare has not indicated any of this with regards to DLL-Music.to.
Beyond setting a precedent for the use of this error code, DLL-Music.to is not the first site that encourages piracy that has been blocked exclusively in Germany.
Since last year, multiple providers have been pressured to ban access to any pirate site in Germany, even if there is no court order against them.
The measure only seems to affect, at the moment, those pages and users that are in the German territory.
DLL-Music.to is still accessible from the rest of the world, and international piracy sites, such as ThePirateBay, continue to function normally.