Amazingly, not a single nation had declared stream-ripping sites – which enable pirates to download audio files from video platforms like YouTube – illegal until this week.
A Danish court has ordered the nation’s internet service providers to drop the block hammer on a site called Convert2MP3. The simple page enables users to dump a YouTube URL in a search bar and hit “convert” in order to save and download the file in the audio or video format of their choosing.
TorrentFreak points out the ban is first of its kind anywhere in the worst, which is surprising considering this is one of the easiest ways of pirating music imaginable, short of a direct “Steal Me” button on YouTube. It’s much easier than using peer-to-peer platforms to download music, that’s for sure.
Given YouTube has multiple versions of millions upon millions of songs, sites like Convert2MP3 effectively turn the Google-owned video platform into a free music download repository.
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The declaration of illegality came followed legal action by Rights Alliance on behalf of the London-based International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).
“The result of the case is historic, as it is the first time worldwide that a stream-ripping service has been ordered to be blocked,” Rights Alliance said.
“It also proves that the activities of Rights Alliance are compliant with developments on the Internet, where illegal services constantly find new ways to exploit rights illegally. The case thus illustrates the importance of the technology-neutral approach in the Alliance’s blocking work.”
The site, which says it is based in Germany, did not respond to requests for comments on the trial.
Whether the court victory will prompt the IFPI to bring action against Convert2MP3 (or other sites of that ilk) in other nations around the world remains to be seen.
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