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Music labels sue YouTube ripping site over piracy

Engadget Engadget 27/09/2016 Steve Dent
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With the downfall of the Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents, users are turning to another way to get illegal songs: ripping YouTube streams. Record labels have taken note of the problem and sued the largest site, YouTube-mp3.org for $150,000 per violation. They say the site has up to 60 million users and and hosts tens or hundreds of millions of illegal downloads per month. "It should not be so easy to engage in this activity in the first place, and no stream ripping site should appear at the top of any search result or app chart," says RIAA president Cary Sherman.

YouTube-mp3.org is one of many, many sites that let you download and keep high-quality video and audio files from YouTube. The problem is that while artists and labels get paid for YouTube plays (though not enough, they complain), there's no money at all when users permanently download the files to a hard drive.

It should not be so easy to engage in this activity in the first place, and no stream ripping site should appear at the top of any search result or app chart.

The problem is so prevalent that you can now upload playlists from services like Spotify to YouTube, then rip all the songs from it in one go. On top of going after the ripping site, the music industry also fired a shot across the bow of Google and ISPs. "We hope that responsible advertisers, search engines and hosting providers will also reflect on the ethics of supporting sites that enrich themselves by defrauding creators," said UK record label rep Geoff Taylor.

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