World's most popular YouTube stream-ripping site sued by music labels over copyright infringement

By midian182 ยท 33 replies
Sep 28, 2016
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  1. Some of the biggest record labels in the world have sued a popular website that converts YouTube videos into .mp3 audio files. The group says that facilitates copyright infringement through its stream-ripping service.

    The BBC reports that Universal, Warner Bros, Sony Music, and others have launched a lawsuit against the German operator of the site in Los Angeles federal court. They are seeking damages that include $150,000 for every alleged instance of piracy.

    The site works by simply inputting a YouTube URL, hitting the convert button, then downloading the audio track taken from the video. The Recording Industry Association of America said that’s 60 million users per month made it the largest website of its kind, responsible “for upwards of 40 percent of all unlawful stream-ripping of music from YouTube in the world."

    The labels say that "tens, or even hundreds, of millions of tracks are illegally copied and distributed by stream-ripping services each month" and that is the "chief offender."

    "This site is raking in millions on the backs of artists, songwriters and labels," said Cary Sherman, Chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America, in a statement.

    "We are doing our part, but everyone in the music ecosystem who says they believe that artists should be compensated for their work has a role to play. 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 claim includes 304 songs that the labels allege have been illegally stream-ripped through, including tracks from Meghan Trainor, Sia, Missy Elliott, Sugar Ray, James Blunt, and One Direction. has not commented on the case. The website claims that it copies music to its own servers. "Different from other services the whole conversion process will be performed by our infrastructure, and you only have to download the audio file from our servers."

    The music industry also took aim at those organizations it believes support stream-ripping sites. "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 BPI Chief Executive, Geoff Taylor.

    A hearing date has yet to be set.

    Permalink to story.

  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,681   +1,080

    Cry me a river...
  3. Kotters

    Kotters TS Maniac Posts: 283   +180

    Boy, hope they don't realize youtube-dl is a thing.
  4. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 465   +217

    Reminds me of my youth when I used to sit and record mix tapes from what was played on the radio.
    wastedkill and bluto 2050 like this.
  5. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,265   +436

    lmao they only figured this out 10 years later.

    There are numerous browser add ons that allow you to rip youtube videos into mp3.

    Day late a dollar short!
  6. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,006   +657

    Its illegal? Isn't this just time shifting - or is there a specific prohibition on that for 'streaming'?
    wastedkill and Panda218 like this.
  7. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 212   +123

    You can do a better job with Audacity using the Stereo Mix input, then saving in Mp3 320 kbps or FLAC if needed. Will they go after the Stereo Mix input next? Calling it illegal?
  8. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,304   +648

    I just search spotify or pandora. As far as "owning", shoot, if it wasn't made before the late 80's, I probably wouldn't listen to it anyway. My music tastes runs the gamete, from classical, blues, (old 60's through 80's) country, rock (classic)... pretty much anything but (C)rap. I wouldn't download most of the new stuff anyway, so if it isn't on pandora or spotify, I probably won't listen anyway.
  9. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 212   +123

    Precisely. No one ever claimed that was illegal, if done for personal use.
    wastedkill likes this.
  10. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    One of my car show videos got hit with like 10 copyright violations due to ambient music. Youtube needs to make ambient music fair use - cause it is.
  11. SirChocula

    SirChocula TS Addict Posts: 110   +102

    How's the sound quality? Correct me if I'm wrong but if the source itself (youtube) isn't 320kbps or FLAC, then recording it through audacity or any other means would not give you any benefit even if you save it in those formats. It would just be a reproduction of the audio quality of file that YT has.
  12. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 212   +123

    You're right, but at least this wouldn't add more compression in FLAC or almost none in MP3 320kbps. I dunno what the site mentioned uses for compression though.

    Edit: it's 128kbps. Hence it will add some more noticeable compression.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
  13. Bruce Fraser

    Bruce Fraser TS Rookie

    I don't get it.
    For years, I've wondered why the media companies aren't suing the pants off YouTube, for the millions of songs people have posted there. Sure, some are "official" video releases, but I venture that's a very small minority.

    And the people who include the notice "No copyright infringement intended"--that's utter rubbish. If you don't own it, you may post an excerpt (that's what "fair use" is all about), but not the whole thing.
  14. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 212   +123

    Lots of artists wouldn't exist without pirated mp3. Any artist nowadays can be famous around the world in a matter of days without having published any album. That's huge. Grimes comes to mind. She started off MySpace giving free songs (two free albums) and later when her first commercial album Visions came out, she said publicly that she didn't mind if people shared it.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
    wastedkill likes this.
  15. Lurker101

    Lurker101 TS Evangelist Posts: 819   +343

    I find this to be very dubious at best. I mean NOBODY is downloading James Blunts music, legally or illegal. Nobody can be that bloody stupid.
    wastedkill likes this.
  16. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    Where do I sue? I've got a song I wrote on youtube and its been ripped Trillions of times using the site above.
  17. GirlDownunder

    GirlDownunder TS Enthusiast Posts: 74   +21

    Kind of sh*tty to actually have bought the LP, only to have it go to cr*p over my mind, I ought to be able to download it, since I bought it.

    And what about the concerts on video? Even if you had the money to buy a ticket- if they sell out, tough luck. Or, there's a duo which appeared on a show-- never recorded.

    Why shouldn't I be able to snag those?

    Sorry. This is the Sony-company-types suing-- the very ones who ripped artists off BIG TIME, forever, & now are crying....tough to you, too.
  18. Mister Rios

    Mister Rios TS Rookie

    What a load of bull crap. So if I go to a record store and want an album for my collection, and state that it's for personal use only, it will be provided to me free of any charge?
  19. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 212   +123

    LOL you must be very young. Audio Tape Recorders (Stereo Tape Decks) in the 70's, 80's and 90's were sold just for that,,,recording radio and music. People were buying it as tape player too but mostly to record the songs they wanted when it played on the radio or to copy other tapes and LP records and 45rpm. That was how people got music they didn't buy before the MP3 and the Internet.
    If it were illegal then to record songs playing on the radio for personal use, they would have sold players that don't record and it would have failed except for the Walkman and car radios.
    GirlDownunder and Lionvibez like this.
  20. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 465   +217

    No not at all, but no one is stopping you from recording that audio from another source to listen to in the future. Just don't go sharing and selling it and your secret is safe ^^
    Igrecman likes this.
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

  22. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 212   +123

    You may find laws in many parts of the world that are totally impossible to enforce unless they could post a policeman in every home. Like I bought a few years ago the Hauppauge HD_PVR so that I could record for keeps some HD TV shows my Cable TV PVR recorded. If there is a law to forbid this for personal use, they should never have allowed the HD_PVR to be sold in the first place. Same for audio and the thousands of devices sold for many decades to record it. Just don't share it, that of course deserves to be considered illegal.
    Fair Use?
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
    Panda218 likes this.
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    "Illegal", and "unenforceable" are two entirely different things. My post was correct from the legal standpoint. I don't think it takes a genius to figure out that law will pretty much be completely ignored in the Home. However, it could conceivably be enforced against uploading one's personal material to iTunes. That's where the problem begins. Surely you remember the old adage, "give therm an inch, and they'll take a mile". Internet sharing and copyright infringement by individuals, (and some companies), has already taken that "mile" and many, many, more, just like it.

    My point is, the pendulum is starting to swing the other way, and the entertainment industry is aggressively trying to take back that distance, and add a few miles to their scorecard. They're also doing a damned good job of enlisting governments to their cause.
    Funny you should mention "fair use". It was the Sony corporation who won big in favor of "fair use", when they sued to allow their VCRs to be sold for "personal use in the home". Now, they're one of the most aggressive and litigious companies in existence, trying to limit those rights they fought so hard to obtain. I guess that's what happens when you crap out on the hardware segment of your business, and now make more money in entertainment distribution.
  24. Techstar

    Techstar TS Member Posts: 94   +18

    Just make your own music, it's extremely simple these days and anyone can do it.
  25. Techstar

    Techstar TS Member Posts: 94   +18

    Anything can be used in it's entirety for educational and public discussion purposes without any copyright infringement.

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