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Posted inNews

Music bodies take down stream-manipulation sites in Brazil

Global industry body the IFPI and its various local members are continuing their fight against stream-manipulation websites, with Brazil the latest frontier in the battle.

Yesterday, the IFPI and Pro-Música Brasil announced that they have succeeded in getting 10 sites shut down this year; forced 20 more to stop offering these features; and have got 35 more sites de-listed from the Mercado Livre online marketplace.

This follows the shutdown of 14 other Brazilian sites late last year. “Streaming manipulation has no place in music; we continue to tackle it globally,” said IFPI boss Frances Moore.

However, on another facet of the IFPI’s activity around streaming – stream-ripping – it may not be so keen on developments in France, where (as TorrentFreak reports) the Ministry of Culture appears to have claimed that stream-ripping is legal IF it meets certain conditions: “It must be made from a lawful source at the request of the user, without being stored by the converter, and no circumvention of technical protection measures must be carried out”.

The latter point may be the one where the IFPI can argue its case though.

This story was amended after publication to clarify that the Brazilian announcement is about streaming manipulation, not ripping. Our bleary-eyed morning writer (me) is very sorry for the error.

Posted inNews

GitHub reinstates YouTube-DL project after RIAA takedown

GitHub is one of the most popular sites for developers in the world, hosting open source code and helping people manage their projects.

It’s also on a collision course with music rightsholders in the US, over a takedown notice sent to GitHub in October by industry body the RIAA focusing on a project called YouTube-DL – an open source repository that has been used by a number of sites and tools that enable YouTube videos to be downloaded.

The RIAA’s complaint pointed to the mention of specific music videos in YouTube-DL’s source code as evidence of its piratical uses, and GitHub duly took down the software. Until yesterday, when it put it back up again.

Posted inNews

YouTube is trying to crack down on stream-ripping websites

There’s a long history of Google and YouTube being at loggerheads with music rightsholders over issues like (respectively) piracy and safe harbours. However, when it comes to the music industry’s latest piratical bugbear of stream-ripping, the two sides’ interests are aligned.

TorrentFreak has an interesting article based on an interview with the operator of several stream-ripping websites, talking about how YouTube has been trying to crack down on the sector.

Starting with cease-and-desist notices asking stream-ripping sites to comply with YouTube’s terms of services (which ban the practice), there is also a higher level. “Purges,” in the words of the operator. “If YouTube notices too many requests coming from a single IP address – it blocks that IP,” they said.

Posted inNews

PRS for Music claims stream-ripping has grown ‘dramatically’

UK collecting society PRS for Music has published some research into the growth of ‘stream-ripping’ piracy: sites and tools that help people rip streams (e.g. from YouTube or Spotify) into downloads.

It claims that usage of these services has “dramatically” increased by 1,390% in the UK between 2016 and 2019, to become the most popular form of piracy. “Usage of stream-ripping services accounted for 80.2% of the top 50 specifically music infringing sites,” claimed the report.

There are some 900lb gorillas here too: one site, y2mate, is estimated to have accounted for 47% of the usage for those top 50 sites by October 2019.