Major Labels Demand Legal Fees From Yout, Decry Stream-Ripper’s ‘Improper Delay Tactics’

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An aerial shot of Hartford, Connecticut, where Yout is based. Photo Credit: formulanone

In October of last year, the RIAA called on Yout to cough up $250,000 in legal fees. Now, with the Hartford-based stream-ripper having moved to stay the corresponding motion, the major labels are doubling down on their demands.

This newest twist in the years-long courtroom confrontation just recently came to light in a filing submitted by the RIAA. Yout levied the overarching complaint in October of 2020, as the major labels were leaning particularly hard into a crackdown against stream-ripping services.

To be sure, stream-rippers (which enable users to download audio, allegedly including protected music, from videos on YouTube and elsewhere) such as and have ceased operating in the U.S. after the RIAA spearheaded suits against them.

But Yout went ahead and named the RIAA in an action, as mentioned, maintaining among other things that the industry representative had violated the DMCA by sending false takedown notices. In turn, said notices had allegedly inflicted material harm upon its (Yout’s) reputation.

Then, Yout promptly appealed after the case was dismissed (this time with prejudice, following a prior dismissal in 2021) in October. Shortly thereafter, the major labels issued the initially highlighted demand for the “conservative” legal-fee bill, calculated at $875 per hour for the lead attorney and “a blended associate rate of $630/hour.”

Lastly, in terms of the multifaceted dispute’s history, the RIAA agreed to give Yout until December 1st to respond to the described demand. The plaintiff allegedly failed to provide this response but instead moved to stay the legal-fee request or, if the stay was denied, receive a second response extension, running until December’s end. Predictably, the RIAA has now made clear its position that “a stay is not warranted.”

By not meeting the response deadline, Yout has “waived any opposition” to the motion for attorneys’ fees, per the RIAA’s legal team, which also drove home the belief that there’s “no reasonable basis” for a stay.

“Yout seeks only to delay resolution and the potential award of fees,” the firmly worded text reads, proceeding to claim that the presiding judge “should reject Yout’s improper delay tactics” and green-light the allegedly owed quarter-million-dollar payment.

Furthermore, Yout doesn’t “lack resources” and “failed to submit a declaration or any other admissible evidence to support” its claim that the $250,000 judgement would inflict “irreparable harm,” according to the RIAA.

“Moreover, even if Yout’s claim were true, it would not constitute irreparable harm—if RIAA’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees is not stayed, and if this Court awards fees that Yout cannot afford, Yout has the option of posting a bond and appealing that decision,” the document indicates towards its end.

At the time of this writing, Yout didn’t appear to have publicly responded to the development. In November, the IFPI’s “Engaging with Music” report identified record-high listenership during 2022 – while likewise acknowledging continued concerns surrounding piracy.