Online music piracy has declined sharply in recent years, as documented in a report earlier this month. However, music industry bodies are still energetically pursuing new forms of piracy that pop up, including stream-ripping. US body the RIAA is celebrating this week after operators of a group of Russian websites were ordered to pay “millions” in damages after a lawsuit brought by labels.
The RIAA claims that the sites attracted “more than 300 million global users during a single twelve-month period, encouraged copyright infringement” while making money from selling advertising. The ruling by a US magistrate judge included statutory damages of $50k per copyrighted work, although that ruling will now be reviewed by a US District Judge before it can become final.
Making the operators of these sites actually pay the damages is another story entirely, of course, but the ruling will still be seen as a big win by the RIAA, its label members and the wider industry.