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Stream-ripping sites no longer stream-ripping because of YouTube block

By | Published on Thursday 11 July 2019

YouTube

A number of popular stream-ripping sites stopped ripping YouTube videos yesterday. This was seemingly because of changes made behind the scenes by the Google video site, which meant that the systems employed by stream-rippers to do the ripping just stopped working.

Stream-ripping, of course, has been at the top of the music industry’s piracy gripe list for a number of years. These are the services that allow people to turn a temporary stream into a permanent MP3 download. And although they usually work with streams from a variety of sources, ripping audio off YouTube videos is particularly popular.

The music industry has successfully forced a number of stream-ripping services off the internet, either through actual legal action, or the mere threat of litigation. The first big victory in this domain was against YouTube-MP3 in 2017, while just last month another stream-ripping site, Convert2MP3, agreed to cease operating following label-led legalities.

In addition to all that legal action, the music industry has long argued that sites like YouTube should be doing more on their platforms to hinder the operations of the stream-rippers. However, Google – as whenever it is asked by the music industry to do more to combat piracy – tends to argue that it is doing all it can, and that meeting the music industry’s anti-piracy demands isn’t quite as easy as the labels seem to think.

In terms of combatting stream-ripping, YouTube has at times talked tough, making its own threats against the stream-rippers, though it hasn’t generally taken any steps to stop the ripping in recent years. But it seems like that is what might have happened yesterday.

It was Torrentfreak which noticed that several popular stream-ripping sites – including Dlnowsoft.com, MP3-Youtube.Download and Onlinevideoconverter.com – were now currently displaying error messages when people attempted to rip audio from YouTube videos. The operators of two of those services have confirmed that their servers are now being blocked by YouTube’s platform.

As of this morning, all three of those sites were still unable to rip audio from YouTube. However, not all stream-ripping sites have been affected, and at least one that was has found a way around the blockade. Which is always the problem with tactics of this kind, in that people can often find a way to circumvent anti-piracy blocks that are instigated by internet companies. A fact that some internet firms use as an excuse for not even bothering.

The music industry’s anti-piracy teams recognise that no one tactic is a panacea. But for a long time now the strategy with tackling online copyright infringement has been to try and make the illegal distribution of music as tricky as possible, for both users and those operating the piracy-enabling platforms, so to push more people to legitimate digital set-ups.

It remains to be seen whether this latest development has any effect in that domain.



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