Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Music Industry Rips YouTube Rips w/ First Stream-Ripping Lawsuit

Written by Marc Hogan — The record industry is finally going after “stream ripping,” the process of turning a stream into a downloadable file. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) have announced their first stream ripping lawsuit, against, which the organizations said was the world’s biggest website for the practice. Groups representing independent labels also endorsed the lawsuit, according to the announcement.

Youtube-mp3’s press contact did not immediately reply to Pitchfork’s email seeking comment.

The lawsuit, obtained by Pitchfork, was filed today in a federal court in California. According to the complaint, the plaintiffs are UMG Recordings, Capitol Records, Warner Bros. Records, Warner Music Latina, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment US Latin, Arista Records, Atlantic Recording Corp., Elektra Entertainment Group, Fueled by Ramen, Kemosabe Records, LaFace Records, Nonesuch Records, WEA International, and Zomba Recording. The lawsuit accuses PMD Technologie UG, the German company that runs Youtube-mp3, of copyright infringement. The lawsuit asks for a jury trial and seeks monetary damages.

According to the lawsuit, Youtube-mp3 “is one of the most visited sites in the world, has tens of millions of users, and is responsible for upwards of 40% of all unlawful stream ripping of music from YouTube in the world.” The site has more than 60 million unique users per month, the record industry groups said.

In the lawsuit, the labels contended that Youtube-mp3’s “provision of an easy-to-use service for copyright infringement has caused and is causing plaintiffs significant and irreparable harm.” They added that Youtube-mp3’s “business unlawfully profits from copyright infringement and free rides on the creative efforts and investments of others.”

Earlier this month, the IFPI released survey results that showed 49% of internet users between the ages of 16 and 24 reported stream ripping within the six months that in April. That’s up from 41% a year earlier, according to the IFPI, which represents the record industry globally.

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