Popular YouTube to MP3 site has agreed to shut down following a recently concluded legal battle. The website, which allows people to convert YouTube videos to MP3 audio files that can then be downloaded and played whenever they feel like, will not only shut down its website, but will hand over its domain to the Recording Industry Association of America, RIAA.
YouTube-MP3.org is one of the most visited websites, recording millions of visitors every day. Millions of people are able to convert their videos to MP3 files—and this is poses serious threat to the music industry in terms of revenue generation. “Stream ripping” as they call it, is similar to piracy if not worse—and the fact that YouTube-MP3 is going away probably for good is victory for the music industry.
According to Torrentfreak, a coalition of record labels that include Capitol Records, Warner Bros. Records and Sony Music Entertainment, represented by the RIAA took YouTube-MP3 to court. A complaint was filed in a California federal court in 2016, accusing the site of various types of copyright infringement. The main crux of the complaint filed by the RIAA was that YouTube-MP3.org was evading YouTube’s copyright protection process, thereby violating the Digital Millennium Copyright, DMCA. Act.
“Defendants are depriving Plaintiffs and their recording artists of the fruits of their labor, Defendants are profiting from the operation of the YTMP3 website,” the coalition argued, per The Independent.
“Through the promise of illicit delivery of free music, Defendants have attracted millions of users to the YTMP3 website, which in turn generates advertising revenues for Defendants.”
On the heels of the legal battle, YouTube-MP3 has agreed to hand its domain over to one of the record labels, while the site creator, Philip Matesanz has been banned from “knowingly designing, developing, offering, or operating any technology or service that allows or facilitates the practice commonly known as ‘streamripping’.”
As at the time of writing this, the website is still very much alive. However, should Matesanz fail to comply with the agreement, order would be given to the register to sign over the domain name.
As things stand, it’s only a matter of time until YouTube-MP3 finally goes offline.
In August, Australian Federal courts ordered major ISPs to block access to 59 websites known for carrying film and TV content illegally. For several years, movie studios and distributors have been fighting legal battles. In one of the cases, the judge ordered telecommunication companies, such as Optus, TPG, and Telstra to prevent their subscribers from accessing 42 piracy sites. While another judge ordered blocking of 17 more sites.
A 2016 report made available by data-analytics and piracy audience reconnection solutions provider, MUSO, revealed that pirate streaming sites had more than 57 billion visits in 2015. The data showed that of the total 78 billion film and television piracy website visits, 74 percent visits were to those that stream content illegally.
The data clearly highlights the fact that people no longer see web downloads or P2P/Torrents as primary sources for downloading content illegally. The researchers found out that out “of a total 78.49bn film and television piracy site visits, 73.69% (57.84bn) were visits to streaming sites, with 72.07% of visits via desktop devices, indicating consumption of infringing video content via mobile devices remains low.”