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The web’s biggest stream ripping site YouTube-MP3.org has agreed to shut down as part of a settlement in a copyright infringement lawsuit, according to TorrentFreak. Though no court documents have yet been signed, a recent filing shows YouTube-MP3 is willing to take the blame on all counts of infringement.
The complaints were filed last year by a coalition of record labels represented by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It said that the stream ripping site used the promise of free (illegal) music to bring in its own ad revenue. It also accused it of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by circumventing YouTube’s copy protection mechanisms.
YouTube-MP3 allowed users to enter a YouTube link and rip the video’s audio for their own use, essentially robbing labels of money they would earn for plays on YouTube.
Research from International Federation of the Phonographic Industry found that this process of stream ripping is growing ever more popular; nearly half of users between the ages of 16 and 24 admitted that they had stream ripped audio within the six months prior to April 2016, and YouTube-MP3 was found to be responsible for 40% of all illegal YouTube ripping of music in the world.
YouTube-MP3.org has agreed to shut down as part of a settlement in a copyright infringement lawsuit
Recording labels have also had issues with YouTube itself, claiming it doesn’t do enough to remove illegally uploaded content in the first place. Its parent company Google has been accused of not doing enough to crack down on piracy.
YouTube-MP3 has fought legal battles before, but managed to keep itself afloat for years before its impending close. It was threatened first by Google in 2012, then, in 2013, the site was sued for not only allowing users to rip music, but also storing the files for future downloads.
It ended that practice and was allowed to continue legally, but now it’s shutting down for good. The company will be ordered to hand over the domain to the RIAA, and owner Philip Matesanz will be barred from creating any other site that offers a similar service as YouTube-MP3.
YouTube-MP3.org is still live as of writing, though any attempt at using the service offers a maintenance error.