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Fast-growing DNS resolver DNSFilter welcomes certainty versus copyright

A German court has ruled that using protected IP such as an album title in DNS resolution – intended to help fend off online threats – doesn’t violate copyright under German and European law.

According to DNSFilter chief executive Ken Carnesi, this provides greater certainty and confidence for users of DNS-resolver applications.

“Had this suit been successful, this could have resulted in diverting DNS resolvers from their core mission of protecting users from malicious content, including malware, phishing, and botnet sites. This shift would add unnecessary operational costs and diminish the overall quality of the user experience,” Carnesi explained.

Judges for the Higher Regional Court of Dresden said Sony Music could not claim that the DNS filtering firm had violated its copyright by allowing a user to make a Sony Music album title publicly acccessible when translating a domain or sub-domain.

This overturned a previous ruling in favour of Sony Music’s claim.

“The suit against Quad9, brought by Sony Music, appeared to be aimed at setting a precedent that could have effectively compelled DNS resolvers to become a digital police force, actively monitoring online content, which is not the goal of this technology,” Carnesi said.

German courts hold international jurisdiction. However, results are awaited from a similar case in Italy.

Carnesi said “balance” must be struck between safeguarding online content and ensuring the continued neutrality and effectiveness of DNS resolvers, which help block online threats and undesirable content when internet browsing.

DNSFilter is one such company trumpeting strong growth in 2023, seeing average deal size up 192% amid key product updates, fundraising and award wins. DNSFilter boasts some 32,000 customers so far.

“DNSFilter continues to grow rapidly, in terms of revenue, client list, and headcount,” Carnesi said.

“For instance, we’re handling about 2.5 trillion DNS requests a month right now, which works out to about a million per second.”

The past year also marked new relationships with strategic partners including Pax8, Climb, SolCyber, Banyan, and FokusMSP, and grew its own headcount 17% including in its leadership and sales teams.

Product updates included an ability to expand protective DNS for corporates by blocking genereative-AI websites, answering concerns about unauthorised use of genAI technologies, Hyper-V support for Windows Roaming Client, and protection against malicious domain generation algorithms.

( Photo by GuerrillaBuzz on Unsplash )

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