Record Labels Win Legal Battle Against YouTube MP3 Ripping Site: Watch Out, Pirates
YouTube-to-MP3 ripping has become a common practice for folks who need to extract audio from YouTube videos, presumably to pirate music instead of purchasing them. One of the most popular sites that enable this, YouTube-mp3.org, will soon shut down as the result of a settlement.
Popular YouTube MP3 Ripping Site Will Shut Down Soon
Last year, the Recording Industry Association of America sued the ripping site's operators for copyright infringement. A complaint filed in a California federal court accused YouTube-mp3.org of circumventing YouTube's copying protection mechanism, which violates the DMCA.
Both parties have now come to a conclusion a year later, as TorrentFreak reports. The site's owner has agreed to pay a settlement, the details of which remain undisclosed. Additionally, a proposed injunction prevents anyone with ties to the site from creating or being associated with "streamripping" sites going forward. The operators have also agreed to hand the site over to the RIAA, which will keep the domain.
The site will shut down as part of the settlement. At the time of writing, the site itself is still live, but converting a YouTube video into an MP3 file no longer works. The settlement and the proposed injunction, however, have yet to be approved and ordered by the court. Still, some apps that offer a similar functionality are being removed. According to MacRumors, ProTube was pulled from the App Store last week. Google made several requests to have it taken down. Google, for the record, owns YouTube.
YouTube has, for a long time, been a wellspring of piracy. Its platform essentially invites it, for lack of a better term. The site has tons of different types of content, from music to podcast to several films illegally uploaded. YouTube audiences can use third-party ripping sites that can extract content from YouTube easily.
Music videos and legitimate audio uploads by artists are prime targets for this. Users can simply extract audio and transfer it to their mobile devices — no need to open up the video again. This is perhaps why videos on the YouTube mobile app stop playing when the device is locked because, otherwise, users may essentially turn YouTube into a music player.
The settlement is a victory for the RIAA, but surely, YouTube-mp3.org isn't the lone MP3 ripping site on the internet. Piracy is an opponent of epic proportions, and the RIAA has to hope this is a crucial first step in defeating it altogether.