As part of its crackdown against YouTube stream-rippers, the RIAA has targeted a slew of new websites.
First, with just a single subpoena obtained at the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the major label trade organization shut down YouTubNow several weeks ago. The stream-ripper had long bragged about its “powerful service” which allowed users to find and “download your favorite YouTube videos as well as music tracks quickly, easily, and absolutely for free.”
The move came amidst a major win for the Australian music industry.
Justice Parram, a Federal Court judge in the country, issued a broad ruling. Siding with Sony, Warner, and Universal Music alongside the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) and Music Rights Australia (MRA), Parram granted the industry the ability to demand that Telstra, Foxtel, Optus, TPG, and Vodafone – all major ISPs in the country – “take reasonable steps” to prevent access to multiple stream-rippers across seven domain names.
Then, the RIAA attempted to quickly shut down one of the world’s largest YouTube stream-rippers – Y2Mate. But that proved problematic.
Obtaining yet another subpoena at the federal court in the District of Columbia, the American music organization sent a threatening letter to both Cloudflare and NameCheap, an accredited domain registrar. The letter forcibly demanded “the name, physical address, IP address, telephone number, e-mail address, payment information, account updates, and account history” of Y2Mate’s owner.
Y2Mate, the 570th-most visited website in the world, receives nearly 64 million unique visits each month, mostly from the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, India, and Spain. Yet, unlike YouTubNow, the stream-ripper’s owner – only known as ‘Muvi’ – has long prepared for a drawn-out battle with the RIAA.
Unwilling to back down, Muvi noted that Y2Mate only exists to “create a copy of downloadable online-content for the private use of the user (‘fair use’).”
The stream-ripper’s copyright page also reads,
“Muvi does not grant any rights to the contents, as it only acts as a technical service provider.”
Y2mate’s pushback follows a serious victory by stream-rippers FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com, both operated out of Russia. In a shocking development, the RIAA was quickly defeated by Tofig Kurbanov, who oversees both sites. Kurbanov didn’t appear in a federal court in Virginia, the RIAA’s chosen venue, but hired a savvy legal team that quickly got the case tossed on jurisdictional grounds.
The RIAA has appealed that ruling, though the trade group now faces serious legal challenges that go beyond simple jurisdictional issues.
Despite those issues, the RIAA has obtained two new DMCA subpoenas against Cloudflare and NameCheap.
Perhaps an aggressive, threatening legal attack will still work on the smaller guys. Accordingly, the music organization has demanded the private information of the following websites:
As explained earlier, under the new subpoenas, Cloudflare and NameCheap must both hand over the names, addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses, among other personal information, of each website’s owner.
You can view the official letter sent to Cloudflare below.
Featured image by Tobias Vemmenby (CC by 2.0).