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RIAA targets another stream-ripping site, gets subpoenas to identify its operator

By | Published on Tuesday 28 May 2019


Stream-ripping remains the music industry’s top piracy gripe, with the Recording Industry Association Of America now seeking to identify the people behind a website called Y2Mate, which enables the ripping of streams. In a bid to do just that, it has secured subpoenas against domain registrar NameCheap and internet services company Cloudflare.

The battle against stream-ripping – sites that allow users to grab permanent downloads of temporary streams – has been ongoing for a few years now, of course. The major stream-ripping operation YouTubeMP3 was forced offline in 2017 after the RIAA went legal, but there are plenty of other sites offering the same service. Record companies in multiple countries have been taking or threatening legal action against these sites, while in Australia the record industry is now seek web-blocks against stream-ripping platforms.

Most recently the RIAA went legal against the Russian operator of stream-ripping websites and But a judge in Virginia subsequently ruled that he didn’t have jurisdiction over those sites, because they are based in Russia and – while they have plenty of users in the US – they don’t have any direct commercial relationships with said Americans.

But that hasn’t stopped the record industry trade group from going after Y2Mate, which Torrentfreak reckons has become a significant player in the stream-ripping domain of late, currently attracting nearly 64 million visits each month.

Hence the subpoenas, secured in the US District Court for the District Of Columbia, which order both NameCheap and Cloudflare to hand over any information they have that would help the record labels identify the person or people running Y2Mate. The domain registrar is specifically requested to hand over a “name, physical address, IP address, telephone number, e-mail address, payment information, account updates and account history”.

Those running stream-ripping sites usually argue that they are not, in fact, liable for copyright infringement, because they don’t host any infringing content and their sites have legitimate as well as illegitimate uses. Because users might be stream-ripping their own content or the ripping of other people’s audio might be ‘fair use’ under American law.

Torrentfreak reports that the owner of Y2Mate will also make those claims. Though similar arguments were presented by the operators of file-sharing services during the early stages of the battle against online piracy and generally they didn’t stand up in court, especially in the absence of any filters that at least attempt to remove copyright infringing material.