Stream-ripping tops UK piracy in new report

Stream-ripping is the top form of piracy in the UK, with a new report echoing other research into the prevalence of this activity. PRS for Music and the UK’s Intellectual Property Office published a report that pointed to stream-ripping as the top form of piracy. This illegal activity increased 141.3% between 2014 and 2016. Stream-ripping involves making a permanent copy on an audio or video file streamed online. YouTube was the most common site where stream ripping took place, used by a reported 75 of the 80 stream-ripping services surveyed in the report. SoundCloud, Spotify, and Deezer were also common targets.

The survey of more than 9,000 people reealed that 57% of UK adults are aware of stream-ripping. Those services had been used by 15% of the respondents. Most users of stream-ripping were men between the ages of 16 and 34.

“We hope that this research will provide the basis for a renewed and re-focused commitment to tackling online copyright infringement,” said Robert Ashcroft, CEO of PRS for Music. “The long term health of the UK’s cultural and creative sectors is in everyone’s best interests, including those of the digital service providers, and a coordinated industry and government approach to tackling stream ripping is essential.”

Anna Washenko