The three major labels have filed a lawsuit against an operation that they claim is a top offender in stream ripping. German company YouTube-mp3.org is charged with piracy by engaging in an increasingly common form of music copying, where music videos are reduced to audio-only MP3 files for personal consumption and sharing. The suit alleged that YouTube-mp3.org is responsible for at least 40% of all unlawful stream ripping worldwide. The plaintiffs’ claims include copyright infringement, contributory copyright infringement, vicarious copyright infringement and inducement of copyright infringement.
“Stream ripping has become a major threat to the music industry, functioning as an unlawful substitute for the purchase of recorded music and the purchase of subscriptions to authorized streaming services,” the labels said in their suit, filed in California federal court.
A study by the IFPI earlier this month pointed to stream ripping as a top choice for pirating content. Its research found high rates of the activity among the 16-24 age group across 13 markets.