RIAA, IFPI, and BPI File Lawsuit Against Top YouTube to MP3 Site

Top YouTube to MP3 stream ripper sued by the RIAA, the IFPI, and the BPI.
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Rip image by Peter Ostergaard, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC By 2.0)

Just say no to Youtube to MP3 ripping? The industry is clamping down on the fast-growing streaming conversion sector.

In a joint effort, The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) have taken Youtube-mp3.org to court.

The RIAA announced the action against the service on its website today.  The announcement is part of a broader crackdown on ‘youtube to mp3’ converters.

The lawsuit was filed in a California federal court.

Youtube-mp3.org describes itself as “the easiest online service for converting videos to mp3.”  It’s the biggest youtube to mp3 converter on the planet.

It couldn’t be easier to use.  All you’ll need to do is paste a YouTube URL into the search box to “convert the audiotrack of your videofile to mp3…and you will be able to download it.”  According to the site, you don’t even need to have an account in order for this to work.

They even tell users,

Do not worry, our service is completely free. We need approximately 3 to 4 minutes per video.

The RIAA has a different take on this service, however.  And, the entire youtube to mp3 space in general.

The RIAA describes Youtube-mp3.org as “the world’s largest site dedicated to offering illegally “stream ripped” music.”  The organization also alleges that the service engages in activities that breach YouTube’s Terms of Service.

Going further, the RIAA states that,

Both the site and its operator have generated millions of dollars without paying any remuneration to artists and rights holders.

IFPI Chief Executive Frances Moore said,

This is a coordinated action to protect the rights of artists and labels from the blatant infringements of YouTube-mp3.org.  This is the world’s single-largest ‘stream ripping’ site.

“Music companies and digital services today offer fans more options than ever before to listen to music legally, when and where they want to do so – over hundreds of services with scores of millions of tracks – all while compensating artists and labels. Stream ripping sites should not be allowed jeopardise this.”

Youtube-mp3.org and its peers are better known in the music industry as “stream rippers.”

YouTube-mp3.org was the creation of young German teen Philip Matesanz. He launched the site from a room in his parent’s home after finding a flaw in YouTube that allowed MP3s to be created from YouTube. According to Breitbart, he bankrolled the site with his monthly allowance of 50 euros. Back in 2011, the German Federal Ministry, the German counterpart of the United States Department of Justice, ruled that copying videos from YouTube for noncommercial private use was completely legal. He argued that his service was merely the cassette recorder to YouTube’s radio.

When asked why Google doesn’t try to stop stream ripping, Paul Resnikoff told Breitbart,

They want all of the material easily accessible through the platform. The fewer rules and more information the better. They will go through any loop hole to provide the maximum amount of access.

How exactly do stream rippers make money?

According to IFPI and the RIAA, youtube-mp3.org makes money “using the high levels of traffic they generate to make money from advertising.”  Youtube-mp3.org makes hundreds of thousands of dollars per month just from advertisements, according to estimates.

The IFPI is looking to stop the rise of stream rippers. If successful in its case against YouTube-mp3.org, one would expect similar suits to follow. Resnikoff told Breitbart why taking down music rippers would actually make sense from a business point of view.

“The amount of streaming – paid, unpaid, YouTube – has surged enormously over the past two years.  But the biggest development is that the amount of [paid] downloads has absolutely plummeted.

As music streaming rises, so does stream ripping.  But paid downloads are now plummeting, hurting both company’s and artists’ pockets.  And despite the lawsuit, Youtube-mp3.org is still online.

13 Responses

  1. Versus

    “He argued that his service was merely the cassette recorder to YouTube’s radio.”

    Wasn’t that illegal as well?

  2. Rick Shaw

    Legal action is easier than fixing problems by coming up with creative, mutually-beneficial solutions.

    • Remi Swierczek

      Action of PEANUT BRAINS of music NERLAND against busy fly on music corpse!

      UMG endorsed all inclusive streaming and YouTube/VEVO style ads will BURN $200B of music goodwill obvious to an IMBECILE to $20B sub and ad ASH!

      HAVE SOME BALLS and tackle Google and YouTube, lock music in virtual walls and convert 100,000 Radio stations to $100B music store by 2020. It is SIMPLE!

  3. Think it through?

    [i]”When asked why Google doesn’t try to stop stream ripping, Paul Resnikoff told Breitbart,

    “They want all of the material easily accessible through the platform. The fewer rules and more information the better. They will go through any loop hole to provide the maximum amount of access.”[/i]

    But, if they want the material to be accessed through the platform, condoning stream-ripping necessarily de-incentivizes accessing it through the platform, since the ripped version is now available to the user off-line, and without them having to access the platform.

    Have you thought any of this though?

    [i]”As music streaming rises, so does stream ripping. But paid downloads actually plummet, hurting both company’s and artists’ pockets.”[/i]

    What about the rise in legitimate, paid streaming subscriptions? Isn’t that contributing – on a far more direct level – to both the decline in paid downloads AND to both record companies’ and artists pockets?

    Why are you intentionally avoiding the most salient facts, when talking to Breitbart?

  4. wallow-T

    I’m going to repeat myself. From the original posting, emphasis mine: “YouTube-mp3.org was the creation of young German TEEN Philip Matesanz. He launched the site from A ROOM IN HIS PARENTS’ HOME … he bankrolled the site with his MONTHLY ALLOWANCE…”

    The music biz is being destroyed by reasonably clever kids. If your business model depends on clever kids not tinkering with things, you have a profound problem.

  5. Peter simms

    I think it should be illegal to advertise on the stream ripper sites. That would give them less incentive to provide the service.

  6. Cks

    This lawsuit is stupid, period. The problem is not the recorder but who makes the content easily recordable. Remember cassette tapes, CD recorder, MiniDisc, how did suing them work out for the RIAA? When you stream something to your computer you are effectively downloading it. You can easily use that data and convert it to something else like an mp3. It’s Computer Basics 102. In this case, this happens on a website who converts something that is already available to an mp3. The lawsuit should go after Google who makes the content unprotected via Youtube and easily downloadable but that would too logical.

  7. FarePlay

    And you got to love it when an ad pops up on a YouTube video you are watching advertising for free download software.

    Talk about getting you coming and going.

    2. People still want music on their hard drive, they just found a way not to pay for it.

  8. ZoOtSuIt

    technology has developed and allowed this….the dude found a flaw so fix it simple as that…furthermore….why be upset to tell musicians sorry in order to make money you have to go out and play your music for people not make a buncha copies and sell sell sell because no one is buying anymore i.e. people got smarter and desire drove innovation nothing wrong with that…so now you conform consumers have paid enough after all you are the GIFTED artist…if youre music is good people will come and PAY so just play!!!!