The music industry continues to score victories in its fight against major music pirates.
Starting a major offensive against music piracy several months ago, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has managed to shut down numerous popular websites.
In mid-March, for example, the major music industry organization shut down YouTubNow. Following a single subpoena request at the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the YouTube stream-ripper quickly disappeared, with users unable to rip their favorite music.
The website continues to read, in apologetic form, “Sorry, the site is currently under maintaining.”
Then, teaming up with the IFPI and Music Canada late last month, the RIAA successfully took down large-scale cyberlocker, DBRee. According to the IFPI, all three organizations contacted the site operator. Repentant, the anonymous operator shut down the file-hosting service, vowing to never again infringe on “sound recordings in the future.”
Finally, popular piracy platforms Mixstep and NoFile have since closed their respective websites following similar subpoena requests last week.
But this goes beyond site shutdowns. The music industry has also managed to strip away Grande Communications’ “safe harbor” protections in court.
Not everything has gone as well for the music industry, however. Earlier this year, a federal judge handed the RIAA an unexpected defeat against Russian stream-ripper FLVTO and its sister site, 2Conv. In addition, Y2Mate – one of the largest stream-rippers in the world – still hasn’t closed its doors following another subpoena request.
Now, the music industry has scored another key victory against a major music pirate.
Taking down a music piracy giant.
On average, German-based stream-ripper Convert2MP3 received 684 million unique visits each year from users all over the world. This comes out to around 57 million unique visits each month. In contrast, Y2Mate received over 75 million unique visits last month. Still active, it’s now the 499th most popular site in the world.
As with most stream rippers, people loved using Convert2MP3 to download their favorite music videos and tracks from YouTube.
Following the closure of YouTube-MP3, whose owner voluntarily agreed to shut the website down, the BVMI and the IFPI silently targeted Convert2MP3 in court over “large-scale and sustained violations of record labels’ copyrights.”
To avoid major legal consequences, the anonymous owner has agreed to a settlement. In addition to handing over Convert2MP3’s credentials, the site operator has also agreed to an undisclosed financial compensation.
The IFPI wrote in an official press release,
“The settlement required the global shutdown of Convert2MP3 and any other infringing sites owned by the operator. Additionally, the site is required to hand over the Convert2MP3 domains to IFPI and give broad undertakings not to infringe copyright or circumvent technological protection measures in relation to recorded music in future.”
A court in Germany had previously granted both the IFPI and the BVMI a preliminary injunction against the website. Both music industry groups had accused the platform of owning and producing software which allowed the site to circumvent “effective technological protection measures.”
Speaking on the music pirate giant’s closure, Frances Moore, IFPI’s Chief Executive, boasted,
“The successful outcome if this case sends a clear signal to other stream ripping sites that they should stop their copyright infringing activities or face legal action.”
Dr. Florian Drücke, Chairman and CEO of BVMI, added,
“Since the music industry has transformed into a digital business, it’s of the utmost importance that the rights of artists and their partners are protected online. We’re seeing an increasing understanding on the part of the courts and the fans that digital licensing is crucial for the creative industries and that business cases based on free riding are unacceptable.”
The IFPI also signaled it will continue to take more stream-rippers to court should they fail to heed similar warnings.