The music industry is going after websites that allow people to rip songs off of YouTube.
Companies in the U.S. and United Kingdom filed a lawsuit on Monday against YouTube-mp3.org, a website that allows people to rip the audio from YouTube videos into downloadable files.
Some of the biggest names in the music industry including Sony Music, Warner Bros. Records and Capitol Records are part of the suit. The lawsuit can be found in its entirety at the bottom of this story.
“This is a coordinated action to protect the rights of artists and labels from the blatant infringements of YouTube-mp3, the worlds single-largest ‘stream ripping’ site,” said Frances Moore, CEO of the International Federation of the phonographic industry, in a press release.
The lawsuit seeks to push back against one of the newer ways that people pirate music. YouTube remains one of the biggest online music platforms, as well as an important place for artists to find new fans.
YouTube-mp3 is just one of many sites that allow users to paste in the URL of a particular video and download the audio. The music industry associations that have banded together for this lawsuit claim that “stream ripping” is the fastest growing form of piracy, with just under half of all 16 to 24 year olds having used one of these websites.
The lawsuit also claims YouTube-mp3 is the largest of these website with around 60 million unique users per month. The site is based in Germany, and makes money off advertising without kicking anything back to artists, the organizations claimed.
The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. District Court in California.
YouTube itself has also come under scrutiny from the music industry. While companies like Spotify are beginning to drive growth in revenue thanks to growing subscriber bases, YouTube remains a mostly free platform where popular songs can receive hundreds of millions of plays with only advertising providing some money.
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