Adult magazine publisher Perfect 10 has filed a lawsuit against LeaseWeb, accusing the hosting provider of providing services to several websites that host pirated copies of their images.
According to a report by TorrentFreak, LeaseWeb is far from Perfect 10’s sole target; over the past several years, the company has targeted a dozen services including RapidShare and Amazon.
In its complaint, Perfect 10 said that LeaseWeb provides “Internet connectivity and other essential services to websites, including infringing websites operated in California that have infringed tens of thousands of Perfect 10 Copyrighted Works.”
Perfect 10 claims that LeaseWeb hosts at least eight websites in the US that store their work without permission. Megaupload, the now defunct file sharing site founded by Kim Dotcom and hosted by LeaseWeb at one time, is listed as one of the websites with Perfect 10 copyrighted work.
Perfect 10 argues that LeaseWeb is responsible for the copyright infringements of its customers by not processing the 22 DMCA notices it sent to LeaseWeb in early 2013. According to LeaseWeb, most of the sites mentioned by the complaint are hosted by LeaseWeb Netherlands BV, and that the sites use the Dutch Notice and Takedown prodecure, not DMCA notices.
“Defendants could have and should have ended the infringement by processing Perfect 10’s DMCA notices and removing the infringing images or by refusing to host the identified allegedly infringing websites, among other things,” the complaint said.
Of course, it is impossible for web hosts to police their customers and know the contents of each customer’s website. Hosting providers typically forward DMCA notices to their clients and they resolve the issue.
Last year, the Federation Against Copyright Theft warned LeaseWeb Netherlands BV that it risked being an accomplice to money laundering offenses by failing to comply with its request to take down a customer’s video streaming site. This, according to LeaseWeb, is not true, and it is in compliance with Dutch law.