×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

World’s Largest YouTube Ripping Site Ordered to Shut Down

The music industry has scored a major legal victory, sinking the pirate outfit YouTube-mp3.org, a global “stream ripping” site operating out of Germany that was facilitating the theft of millions of dollars worth of music intellectual property per year.

The ruling signed today (Sept. 7) concluded the action brought last September in U.S. Federal Court Central District of California by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on behalf of the labels succeeded in shuttering the site, which had 60 million global visitors per month and was characterized by the RIAA as “the world’s largest stream ripping operation.”

Stream ripping – the process of creating a downloadable file from content that is available to stream online – is now the most prevalent form of online music copyright infringement, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). YouTube-mp3.org and sites like it typically extract audio files from music videos and distribute the sound recordings to users free permanent downloads.

The pirate sites monetize the freebies through paid advertising that is estimated by the RIAA to add up to “hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue per month,” none of it channeled back to creators, artists or copyright holders. “This is a significant win for millions of music fans, as well as music creators and legitimate music services,” RIAA chairman and CEO Cary Sherman said. “The swift and successful conclusion of this case should send an unmistakable signal to the operators of similar sites,” he added.

Stream ripping sites “blatantly infringe,” IFPI chief executive Frances Moore said. Moore noted that globally “hundreds of services with over 40 million tracks” allow fans “more options than ever before to listen to music legally, when and where they want to do so, compensating artists and labels. Stream ripping sites should not be allowed to jeopardize this and we will continue to take action against these sites.”

In researching the suit, RIAA lawyers found evidence of  YouTube-mp3.org  existing as far back as 2009, but “it came on to our radar around 2015,” a spokeswoman for the association said.

In September 2016 the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) sent YouTube-mp3.org a cease and desist letter. As a result of that letter and the RIAA lawsuit, the pirate company earlier this year geo-blocked users from the U.S. and U.K., but users in Germany and elsewhere were still able to infringe. This formal injunction by the U.S. court has resulted in YouTube-mp3.org  agreeing to shut down globally and not to infringe in the future.

UMG Music, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group were named plaintiffs in the suit, in addition to a host of subsidiaries including Capitol Records, Zomba, and Nonesuch. Defendants were PMD Technologie UG, YouTube-mp3 and Philip Matesanz. The order was entered Tuesday (Sept. 5) by Judge André Birotte Jr. “in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants on all counts.”

Research conducted by IFPI finds that stream ripping sites are operating on a massive scale, with 53 per cent of all 16-24 year-olds engaged in the activity.

“This illegal site wasn’t just ripping streams, it was ripping off artists,” BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said. “Most fans understand that getting music from a genuine site supports the artists they love and allows labels to nurture the next generation of talent. Music stands on the cusp of an exciting future in the streaming age, but only if we take resolute action against illegal businesses that try to siphon away its value.”

More Music

  • Harry Connick Jr.

    Harry Connick Jr. Swears Off Super Bowl After Saints Defeat

    Tempers flared during today’s NFC championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams at the Super Dome after a controversial non-call on a potential pass interference penalty and head-to-head hit by L.A. defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman, who slammed into Saints pass receiver  Tommylee Lewis on a crucial third-down play. The ref’s decision [...]

  • Editorial use only. No merchandising.Mandatory Credit:

    Lady Gaga Slams Government Shutdown, Mike Pence at Vegas Residency

    Lady Gaga took a short break from singing “Million Reasons” at her Saturday performance of “Enigma” in Las Vegas to slam the president for the continued government shutdown. While sitting at the piano for her performance, Gaga broke into a takedown of the government shutdown and Vice President Mike Pence, who has been in the [...]

  • maggie rogers

    Album Review: Maggie Rogers' 'Heard It in a Past Life'

    Maggie Rogers earned one of those very rare “Saturday Night Live” slots in which a musical guest is booked onto the show well in advance of her major label debut album’s release — two and a half months prior, in this case. And the scrutiny of such an appearance is not always pretty. Rogers’ “SNL” [...]

  • iHeartRadio Alter Ego Review

    Concert Review: Muse, Weezer, the Killers Rock iHeartRadio Alter Ego 2019

    iHeartRadio’s Alter Ego — a multi-band bill that serves to showcase some of the biggest names in alternative rock — is a relatively new creation, but clearly one that’s been embraced by radio listeners in the greater Los Angeles area who filled the Forum on a Saturday night. Twenty-One Pilots, the Revivalists, Rise Against, Bishop [...]

  • BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 18: (EDITORIAL

    Dax Shepard, Bobby Bones, 'Breakfast Club' Among iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Winners

    iHeartRadio launched its first ever Podcast Awards on Friday (January 18) in Los Angeles. Among the winners in 22 categories were “Whine Down with Jana Kramer” (Best Entertainment TV Podcast); “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard (Breakout Podcast); “Bobbycast” (Music Podcast); and “The Breakfast Club” (Best Multicultural Podcast). The winners were determined by iHeartRadio listeners. Taking the top prize of Podcast [...]

  • Fyre Festival Caterer Receives Thousands in

    Unpaid Fyre Festival Caterer Raises Thousands in Donations on GoFundMe

    As two Fyre Festival documentaries hit the airwaves, a couple who say their credit was ruined due to the Fyre Festival’s lack of payment for their services have raised $54,381 at time of publication on GoFundMe. Elvis and Maryann Rolle wrote on their page that they catered “no less than 1000 meals per day” in [...]

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content