Culture

Owner of YouTube ripping site settles lawsuit with record labels

Owner of YouTube ripping site settles lawsuit with record labels”

Previous year major labels UMG, Sony Music, Capitol Records, Atlantic and Warner Bros. took out a landmark lawsuit $57 million lawsuit against the German operator of the ripping site in a federal court in LA.

The final judgment has yet to be handed down, but according to legal documents, Matesanz will soon be banned from "knowingly designing, developing, offering, or operating any technology or service that allows or facilitates the practice commonly known as stream-ripping".

Last year, record labels took the popular YouTube-ripping site YouTube-mp3.org to court seeking the pirating website's permanent shutdown and $150,000 per violation.

Matesanz previously had a run in with the German record industry back in 2013, in a case that specifically focused on YouTube-mp3.org storing back ups of the MP3 files it had converted.

Almost half of young adults and teens ages 16 to 24 have used the website-which is said to be one of the world's largest in regards to piracy-to rip music from YouTube for years, causing a decline in streaming revenue at RIAA-represented labels such as Sony Music, Capitol Records and Universal Music Group. "Sites like these undermine the health of the legitimate marketplace and the livelihoods of millions of music creators worldwide", Cary Sherman, the RIAA chairman and CEO, said in a statement Thursday.

In September 2016 the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) sent YouTube-mp3.org a cease and desist letter. As a result of that letter and the RIAA lawsuit, the pirate company earlier this year geo-blocked users from the US and United Kingdom, but users in Germany and elsewhere were still able to infringe.

The specifics of contributory and authorising infringement vary from country to country, but the legal case against YouTube-mp3.org seemed pretty strong in both the USA and the United Kingdom, which presumably motivated the settlement on Matesanz's part.

UMG Music, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group were named plaintiffs in the suit, in addition to a host of subsidiaries including Capitol Records, Zomba, and Nonesuch. "Most fans understand that getting music from a genuine site supports the artists they love and allows labels to nurture the next generation of talent".

Commenting, BPI boss Geoff Taylor said: "Music stands on the cusp of an exciting future in the streaming age, but only if we take resolute action against illegal businesses that try to siphon away its value".



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