Internet Security Non-Profit Quad9 Files Appeal Against Copyright Lawsuit from Sony Music Germany

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Copyright Ruling Targets DNS Resolver Operators

The non-profit Swiss DNS provider Quad9, has filed an objection against an interim injunction (310 O 99/21) obtained by Sony Music Germany from the Hamburg Regional Court. This injunction requires Quad9 to implement network blocks that has the potential to set a precedent for other Internet organizations which are drawn into a copyright case in Germany as well as other EU nations.

Unlike many other DNS resolvers, Quad9's privacy-friendly, free service avoids storing personal data about surfing behavior and protects against phishing and malware attacks. The interim injunction issued by the Hamburg Regional Court now means that Quad9 is forced to implement DNS blocking for a domain name named in the injunction which resolves to a website that is suspected of offering links to copyrighted material.

Quad9 is supported by German based Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte e.V. (GFF) and eco Association of the Internet Industry ( in its defense against Sony.

"If non-profit IT security projects like Quad9 must bear the costs of combating copyright infringements, they can no longer offer their services in Germany in a way that covers their costs. As a result, everyone's IT security suffers," explains GFF project coordinator Julia Reda.

“We view this case with Sony Music as a much bigger issue outside of Quad9’s mission to keep the Internet safe. This eventual final outcome of this ruling will set a precedent for European cybersecurity and policy,” said John Todd, Managing Director of Quad9. “This isn’t just about Quad9’s DNS recursive security capabilities; we believe it has a much broader application to a wide range of internet services, and service providers should understand the implications of either outcome of the case.”

"The German Bundestag abolished the German interferer liability for Internet access providers years ago to facilitate the operation of open WIFIs. The view of the Hamburg Regional Court, according to which DNS providers such as Quad9 cannot invoke this exemption from liability, must not be allowed to prevail under any circumstances," says Reda.

“Since the announcement of the ruling in late June, Quad9 has received significant support from the Internet community, both in public statements as well as support in-kind from partners who are helping with our objection to the ruling,” said Todd. “We are especially grateful to the Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte (GFF) for the excellent legal support and ongoing advice they’ve been able to provide to our legal team at Rickert Law”

The full text of the objection and more detailed information are available on the Quad9 website –


About Quad9
Quad9 is a free service that replaces your default ISP or enterprise Domain Name Server (DNS) configuration. When your computer performs any Internet transaction that uses the DNS (and most transactions do), Quad9 blocks lookups of malicious hostnames from an up-to-the-minute list of threats. This blocking action protects your computer, mobile device, or IoT systems against a wide range of threats such as malware, phishing, spyware, and botnets, and it can improve performance in addition to guaranteeing privacy. The Quad9 DNS service is operated by the Swiss-based Quad9 Foundation, whose mission is to provide a safer and more robust Internet for everyone. Quad9 is a not-for-profit organization whose operational budget comes entirely from sponsorships and donations. For more information and how to sponsor Quad9, please visit

About GFF
The GFF (Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte / Society for Civil Rights) is a Berlin-based non-profit NGO founded in 2015. Its mission is to establish a sustainable structure for successful strategic litigation in the area of human and civil rights in Germany and Europe.
The GFF’s current cases focus on protecting privacy, freedom of information and the press, and defending equal freedom for all. These areas present critical challenges to fundamental rights and therefore create opportunities for strategic litigation. The GFF’s long-term goal is to permanently improve the protection of human and civil rights in Europe. For more information, please visit

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