YouTube creators aren’t the only ones battling copyright infringement. OnlyFans creators Deniece “Niece” Waidhofer is suing Thothub -- a site that reposts paywalled adult content for free -- for spreading her images without consent, Motherboard reports. Waidhofer isn’t just going after Thothub, though. She’s suing Cloudflare for providing services to Thothub and the websites Chaturbate and BangBros for advertising on the site.
According to the complaint, Waidhofer sells semi-nude images to her OnlyFans subscribers for $14.99 per month. Some of those images have reportedly been published on Thothub and have spread across the internet causing “personal, reputational and monetary harm.”
Waidhofer and her attorney allege that Thothub has not been responsive to repeated requests to remove content, but Thothub told Motherboard that it “did not receive any valid DMCA request and no valid information for removals” via its takedown request form. Thothub did reportedly remove images of Waidhofer after Motherboard contacted the site to verify Waidhofer’s requests.
The lawsuit hopes internet infrastructure company Cloudflare and Chaturbate and BangBros, sites that advertise on Thothub, might help identify who runs Thothub. But Chaturbate and BangBros both say that ads are placed through third-party advertisers, and after being contacted by Motherboard, both said they would no longer allow their ads to appear on Thothub. Cloudflare did not respond to Motherboard’s requests for comment.
This suit goes beyond Thothub, Cloudflare, Chaturbate and BangBros, though. It could set a precedent for content harvesters outside of adult content. YouTube has tried to make it easier for creators to address copyright claims, but even that system isn’t perfect, and there are plenty of other sites scraping content without creators’ permission or knowledge.