U.S. trade report highlights stream ripping as piracy concern

office-us-trade-representative-canvasThe Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released its annual report of ‘notorious markets,’ a listing of the areas posing the greatest risk to American creative industries. The report specifically details the recent trend of stream ripping as an issue focus. This practice involves making an illegal copy of content from a legal service such as YouTube, turning streaming material into a file for download. The report added YouTube-mp3.org, a site known for stream-ripping piracy, to its notorious markets list.

“Digital music revenues and streaming revenues in particular represent an increasingly important share of music industry growth,” the report reads. “Stream ripping is a direct threat to this digital growth as it eliminates the need for users to return to licensed services, thereby depriving artists and record companies of this important revenue source.”

YouTube-mp3.org was sued by the major labels in September over its activities in stream ripping. This practice has been becoming more popular, but is also drawing more scrutiny from the industry. Reports earlier in the year from both the IFPI and Muso pointed to stream ripping as an area of concern in combatting piracy.


Anna Washenko


  1. “the recent trend of stream ripping” – erm, recent?!? I think anyone who has run an internet radio station would know this has been going on for years!

    I actively combat stream rippers on my own station, as best I can, within the limits of the Shoutcast server I run.

    Yes, you can block certain user agents, and connects that don’t provide any user agent string at all, and even kick a user who’s been connected longer that a set length of time, but other than checking and blocking individual IP address, there’s not much that can be done.

  2. They might also consider going after companies like this: https://streamwriter.org/en/

    Who make software design to rip audio streams, fundamentally enabling piracy of music. But in this case, that particular bit of software gives off a user agent string, so can easily be blocked from a server.

  3. Open letter to the Music Industry:
    As you know, there is a lot of discussion regarding the fair payment
    of writers and performers of music
    that is being streamed – whether for a very small price per stream or for free.

    At Dynamic, where we have many, many recordings available on CD Baby,
    we feel that
    our income has been adversely affected by the policies in place right
    now. A look at our earnings (and therefore the earnings of CD Baby too!)
    demonstrates that through the first quarter of 2016, our revenues are
    only at 67% of the same quarter last year.
    2015 was down slightly from 2015, and I’m guessing that if we had not
    added additional titles during 2015, the difference
    may have been more significant. If this trend continues through
    2016, being down 33% in CD Baby income is not good.

    And we’re only one company on CD Baby – if other musicians, record
    companies, independent performers, etc. are seeing the
    same trend, it’s a serious loss in income to people who are not being
    compensated properly for streamed and free music.

    We believe CD Baby should unite with the others who have taken a
    stand to gain reasonable payment for artistic endeavors.

    Spotify payment to Dynamic Recording:

    63 streams – $.06 cents. This is a major rip off.
    Radio stations pay us 8.5 cents per play.

    cdBaby, iTunes, amazon all pay us well.
    Smart music buyers love the free music and do not purchase or download.
    Many top Artists have pulled there music from streaming, because their sales
    and downloads have dried up.

    Dave Kaspersin
    Dynamic Recording Studio Independent Label

    • Smart music buyers will buy the music depending upon if the music is good.

      Also, many indie artists that my family and I listen to disagree with your attitude regarding streaming. Unlike Taylor Swift, they aren’t major pop stars and can’t afford to pull their music from streaming services.

    • “Radio stations pay us 8.5 cents per play.” — Dave, could you break this out please? Is it for use of the recordings? Radio stations are not legally compelled to pay anything to labels for over-the-air use of recordings. For online streaming, they pay 17 cents per hundred streams. And even that is much lower *per listener* than the online services.

    • The stars mentioned in that article are well-known enough that they can afford to pull their music from the services. Singers and bands that aren’t well-known are in the process of growing their fan base and can’t take that risk.

    • David Cook is an indie artist we follow. His latest album sold 11,000 copies on its debut week and debuted at No. 35 on Billboard 200, No. 22 on Top Album Sales, No. 8 on Independent Albums and No. 7 on Internet Albums.

      It’s as a I said before, a factor into album sales is whether or not people like what you are selling.

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