Artist News Business News Digital Labels & Publishers Legal

Music sharing community loses Discord presence after pre-release leak of Adele’s 30

By | Published on Tuesday 23 November 2021


An online community “dedicated to the ripping and sharing of music” has lost its presence on Discord, seemingly after members of said community shared copies of Adele’s new album ’30’ pre-release and the record industry gods on high declared “no more”.

Although the music industry isn’t quite as obsessed about music piracy these days as compared to the 2000s, it still maintains a piracy gripe list, and routinely has its lawyers send cease-and-desist letters out to people who are illegally sharing music files – and the platforms they use – which occasionally lead to actual litigation.

One particular gripe is when music is being shared before its official release, and especially if that music is a highly anticipated release. You know, like ’30’ by a certain Adele.

A copy of that album was seemingly doing the rounds early last week via the RipRequests community, which has – or had – a presence on both Discord and Reddit. That was seemingly spotted by Adele’s label Sony Music, which then had the Recording Industry Association Of America quickly send a cease-and-desist notice to the owners of the Discord messaging platform.

According to Torrentfreak – which has seen the cease-and-desist – the RIAA’s missive noted that the illegal distribution of ’30’ could result in not only civil liabilities, but also a criminal prosecution and jail time. I mean, it probably wouldn’t, but copyright infringement is a crime in certain contexts.

That was seemingly enough for Discord to shut down the RipRequests channel – or ‘server’ – on its platform. In a subsequent post on Reddit, one of the RipRequest team stated: “Unfortunately, I have to announce that the Discord server has been taken down by the RIAA. Status of this subreddit is [as] of yet unknown. More info to follow”.

The subreddit was then also locked, although Torrentfreak reckons that was actually done by the RipRequest team themselves.

Platforms like Discord and Reddit are obliged to deal with copyright complaints, of course, in order to benefit from the copyright safe harbour that says they can’t be held liable for the infringement directly. Whether RipRequests’ ban on Discord is permanent remains to be seen.