World’s Largest Youtube Ripping Site Agrees to Shut Down
YouTube-mp3.org, the world’s largest stream-ripping service, has agreed to shut down following a massive lawsuit from labels UMG, Sony and Warner Bros.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sued the site and its owner, Philip Matesanz, through California’s court system around a year ago. Youtube-mp3 allowed users to input a YouTube url and output an mp3 file of the audio specified in the aforementioned url. The site was simple and effective, with funding coming primarily from on page advertisements. Allegedly, this site was responsible for 40 percent of all music ripped from YouTube.
The lawsuit covered only 300 songs that had been converted from video to mp3 and downloaded by the site’s users. The labels in possession of the music sought damages of $150,000 per instance of piracy. 300 instances is a miniscule number in comparison to the amount of traffic the site received.
As a result of the lawsuit, Matesanz agreed to transfer the site to a party representing the RIAA and pay an undisclosed settlement fee. The site is currently offline, and the court issued an order to ban Matesanz from “knowingly designing, developing, offering or operating any technology or service that allows or facilitates the practice commonly known as ‘streamripping'”.
Since YouTube’s relatively recent rise in popularity as a music streaming platform, streamripping has been cited as the fastest growing and most aggressive form of piracy on the internet.