Sony Music has brought a lawsuit against a non-profit organization in Germany. According to Sony Music, this non-profit, the DNS resolver Quad9, is sending internet traffic to a website where copyright-protected material is available, and Sony Music doesn’t want that to happen. They are demanding through the courts that Quad9 blocks this website and doesn’t send any traffic to it. The court ruled in favor of Sony Music, and now Quad9 is appealing the case.
Here at Voys we are very concerned about this. Why? A Domain Name System resolver such as Quad9 changes web addresses into IP-addresses. That makes the internet very accessible. In place of typing in a specific IP-address, you as an internet user only need to type in a web address, which is a domain name. The DNS resolver changes this into the connect IP address. That is how you land on the website you wanted to visit.
Good to know: a DNS resolver doesn’t have any influence on the content of a site, nor does it have a business relationship with the owner of a site. That’s why it is concerning that Quad9 is being held responsible for in this situation copyright-protected material on a website. As the Dutch Cloud Community describes it: It’s like holding the postal service responsible for what happens inside a house where they delivered a letter.
This lawsuit is concerning for multiple reasons. Quad9 is a small non-profit organization that is being sued by a big player, Sony Music. That is an unfair fight. Next to that the impartial role of DNS resolvers is an important condition for an open and free internet. Next to that, the fact that the courts ruled in favor of Sony Music sets a dangerous precedent.
This opens the door for other businesses or governments to file lawsuits to block access to sites they don’t like. And that would mean the end of an open and free internet. For you as an internet user this would mean that there are certain websites you could no longer visit, because a certain party influences what you can and cannot see on the internet.
In the following video, Quad 9 explains what the legal case against Sony Music is about and what consequences the verdict can have.
Quad9 is appealing the verdict and need a lot of support. That is why Voys is financially supporting them.
At Voys we believe that the internet must be open and free for everyone. The internet has the potential to bring about more equality in the world, but that is only possible when everyone can openly and safely use it. For everyone globally to be able to use the internet in the same way, it is important that DNS resolving works the same way worldwide. At Voys we have already put a lot of thought and attention into this, such as sharing our opinion on blocking Russian websites. Our foundation 48percent.org also works towards equitable access to an open and free internet worldwide.
Quad9 is a non-profit organization and legal cases cost a lot of money, which is why they can use any help and support. You can support Quad9 by for example sharing the news about their legal case to create awareness or support them by donating via their website.
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from 1 March 2023