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Most web hosting beginners looking for an expected answer to this question; let say I own a website hosted on a hosting company (Bluehost/GoDaddy...) but my website contains illegal /copyrighted materials (as in, let visitors download paid products for free such as cracked software, apps, watching movies etc...) in this case, does the hosting company have the right to delete my website on its server or ban my account? if the owner of copyrighted materials/products reported me to my hosting company?

If they do have the right to delete my website on its server or ban my account so why the illegal torrent website still alive always on the internet? are they using their own web hosting services? or just there are web hosting/domain register companies that allow their customers to host/register anything they want with not terms of use policies.

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  • This question is way off topic here. Any half decent company will have terms & conditions to protecr them (by removing/suspending content), and they may have legal obligations to take down offending content. You may want to read up on the DMCA and your providers T&Cs, and look into the "clean hands doctrine"
    – davidgo
    Jul 5 at 19:40
  • Torrent sites go to a great deal of trouble to find hosting which is friendly to illegal activity. The protocol is also designed to be difficult to shut down from a technical pov because its distributed and encrypted. There is a trope about "The Internet sees censorship as damage and routes arround it", while not true, has some merrit, and certainly there are many tools a knowledgeable designer can use.
    – davidgo
    Jul 5 at 19:50
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    I disagree with closing this. The question, though quite specific, is a legitimate issue for people and if someone can provide a factual answer it may be of benefit to others. @davidgo your comment could be an answer, with emphasis on the T & C aspect i.e. effectively a hosting company can do anything they want to.
    – Steve
    Jul 5 at 22:29
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    "does the hosting company have the right to delete". If it has the right or not, it doesn't really matter. What really matters is the contract you signed with them when getting the service, either with domain name registration, or with webhosting. But yes, most certainly, this contract, that you may have read or not, most probably contains terms that basically allows the company to do whatever it pleases. Jul 6 at 4:17
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Do they have a right to delete or ban content? That depends on the Terms and Conditions of the company that you most likely agreed to when you placed your order.

I think you will find that most legitimate hosting companies will do their best to protect themselves from real or imagined issues from user uploaded content.

Using my hosting company as an example, I leave it really broad; "[my business] reserves the right to suspend an account if any aspect of it could cause problems for the entire server. This includes a spam event, malware, offensive content (as defined by [my business]) or anything else we decide warrants an account being suspended." - it doesn't get more inclusive than that - FWIW, I have never had to remove anything.

It boils down to me not wanting to be held responsible for content that someone uploaded. I suspect that goes for almost every hosting business and I further suspect that even the hosts that allow "any" content will have some sort of line that users can't cross.

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  • You realise that your clause provides only very week protection against the OPs content and still doesnt give you the right to delete it?
    – davidgo
    Jul 6 at 5:50
  • Well, I probably would not summarily delete anything anyway, but that's OK by me as long as anything I don't want to be connected to isn't actually being published on my server.
    – Steve
    Jul 6 at 5:57

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