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YouTube-mp3 agrees to shut down

By | Published on Tuesday 5 September 2017

Your favourite YouTube audio-ripping site and mine, YouTube-mp3, has agreed to shut down and hand its domain over to the Recording Industry Association Of America for safe-keeping. So that’s a shame. I mean great. It’s really great.

As previously reported, the RIAA finally sued YouTube-mp3 and its operator Philip Matesanz through the Californian courts just under a year ago. The ad-funded site allows users to input a YouTube URL and output an MP3 of the audio contained within the video hosted on that specific page on the Google site.

Stream ripping isn’t new, of course. Indeed YouTube-mp3 was sued by the record industry in its home country of Germany back in 2013. Though that case focused on the back ups of ripped files that the service stored on its own servers, something that constituted direct copyright infringement. YouTube-mp3 vowed to stop making the back ups, though was still arguably liable for contributory or authorising infringement, ie it was liable by facilitating the infringement of others.

Although not a new phenomenon, it is more recently that stream ripping has appeared towards the top of the wider music industry’s piracy gripe list. A report earlier this year by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office and PRS For Music reckoned that stream ripping is now the “most prevalent and fastest growing form of music piracy”. Meanwhile last September both the RIAA and its UK counterpart the BPI took action against leading stream-ripper YouTube-mp3, the former filing litigation, the latter threatening to.

At the time the boss of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, Frances Moore, told reporters: “This is a co-ordinated action to protect the rights of artists and labels from the blatant infringements of YouTube-mp3, the world’s single-largest ‘stream ripping’ site. Music companies and digital services today offer fans more options than ever before to listen to music legally, when and where they want to do so – over hundreds of services with scores of millions of tracks – all while compensating artists and labels. Stream ripping sites should not be allowed jeopardise this”.

Both the RIAA and YouTube-mp3 have now confirmed to the Californian court that a settlement has been reached. Specifics aren’t known, though Matesanz has seemingly accepted all of the labels’ claims about copyright infringement and agreed to pay undisclosed damages. The site will also shut down and its URLs will be passed to the RIAA.

The court has also been asked to issue an injunction that will ban Matesanz from “knowingly designing, developing, offering or operating any technology or service that allows or facilitates the practice commonly known as ‘streamripping'”. Oh, and also “knowingly infringing, knowingly causing to be infringed, or knowingly enabling, facilitating, encouraging, promoting, inducing or participating in the infringement of any copyright owned or controlled by the plaintiffs”.

The court still needs to approve the settlement, but either way, you probably need to find a new service for all your stream-ripping needs. I mean, you need to stop stream-ripping, it’s a terrible thing to do. No, I mean this doesn’t affect any of you at all, because you’ve never ripped a stream in your life. What’s stream-ripping?