Internet, recorded music
YouTube-mp3 has agreed to shut down and hand its domain(s) over to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). With millions of visitors each day, the ‘steam ripping’ YouTube-MP3.org was one of the most visited websites on the Internet.
Last year, the Germany-based YouTube to MP3 converter website was sued by the RIAA for copyright infringing their rights. It had also been sued by the record industry in its home country in 2013. Now in an agreed settlement, YouTube-MP3 will shut down indefinitely. The BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) and the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) were also parties to the action, which accused the site of not only copyright infringement, but also circumventing YouTube’s copy protection mechanism, and violating the USA’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act. A report earlier this year by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office and PRS For Music said that stream ripping was now the “most prevalent and fastest growing form of music piracy”. According to an IFPI report published last year, the site has been reportedly attracting more than 60 million monthly visitors. In the same report, it was mentioned that 50 percent of the 16 to 24-year-old survey respondents used stream ripping services to download music.
The settlement decrees “a proposed injunction will prohibit the site’s operator from knowingly designing, developing, offering, or operating any technology or service that allows or facilitates the practice commonly known as ‘streamripping,’ or any other type of copyright infringement for that matter.” It also states that the site’s domain name would be handed over to a nominee of the labels. The site is still live at the time of writing, but trying to convert a video to a file generates an error message that reads “There is some maintenance going on. Please try again within the next hour.”
Both the RIAA and YouTube-mp3 have now confirmed to the Californian court that a settlement has been reached. Site owner Philip Matesanz has seemingly accepted the labels’ claims (about copyright infringement) and has agreed to pay undisclosed damages. and that the site will also shut down and its URL(s) 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’ [and] 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,