Last year, popular Germany-based YouTube to MP3 converter website, youtube-mp3.org, was sued by a coalition of record labels for infringing their rights, and generating ad revenue based on content owned by these record labels. Now, YouTube-MP3 has agreed to shut down indefinitely, make an undisclosed payment, and also hand over its domain to the complainant, to end the copyright infringement lawsuit.
YouTube-MP3 is claimed to be the world’s leading YouTube audio ripping site that allowed users to convert YouTube videos into audio mp3 files for free, and then listen to them offline as many times as they want. This, record labels allege, has been eating into revenue, and can be seen as worse than piracy. The complaint against this site was filed in the California federal court last year by three organisations that represent the music industry- the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), the BPI (British Recorded Music Industry), and the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) – accusing it of not only copyright infringement, but also circumventing YouTube’s copying protection mechanism, and violating the DMCA.
Now, TorrentFreak reports that both parties have agreed to a settlement and “a proposed injunction will prohibit the site’s operator from knowingly designing, developing, offering, or operating any technology or service that allows or facilitates the practice commonly known as ‘streamripping,’ or any other type of copyright infringement for that matter.” It also states that the site’s domain name needs to be handed over to one of the representatives of the record labels, and if the owner refuses, the registry needs to comply and do the needful.
This means that YouTube-MP3 has decided to pull the curtain on its service. For now, the site is live, but trying to convert a video will throw an error message that reads, “There is some maintenance going on. Please try again within the next hour.”
According to an IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) report published last year, the audio ripping site has been reportedly raking in more than 60 million monthly visitors. In the same report, it was mentioned that a whopping 50 percent of the 16 to 24-year-old survey respondents used stream ripping services like the above-mentioned website to download music.