Over the past month or so, the music industry global trade body (IFPI) has been infuriated by the ever-increasing damages that mp3-ripping sites such as ‘YouTube-mp3’ are causing to revenue streams. These ripping sites allow for any YouTube video (under 20 minutes) to be downloaded via an mp3 file for listening pleasure offline. Basically, once your track is uploaded to YouTube, it’s free. Now this isn’t the first time ‘YouTube-mp3’ have been approached to stop this practice, but this time round I can see it being much more serious.
During this week, the first punch was thrown by the industry with the launching of legal action against the notorious site. Some of the biggest record labels in the world (Unicersal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment etc) have filed a lawsuit before the Court of California against the audio-ripping platform and the German founder Phillip Matesanz. The operating company ‘PMD Technology’ behind the site weren’t off the hook either also being reigned into the lawsuit. What have they been accused of? Well on is simple… Circumventing technological measures. Wait that wasn’t the simple one… They are also being sued for copyright infringement. Yeah that one’s easier to understand.
So you might be asking yourself, what prompted all this legal action out of nowhere? Well that’s the sheer volume of overwhelming negative statistics. The traction of ‘YouTube-mp3’ is unreal at the moment with over 60 million regular users ripping music each and every day. Now that is a lot of free music. According to the company IPSOS that specialise in this sort of research, a whopping 49% of all 16-24 year have engaged in the audio-ripping activity. No-one took notice when YouTube’s parent company Google threatened the site back in 2012, but now people have realised the billions of dollars lost through this practice, everyone wants their cut.
As a musician and music artist myself with music on the market right now, I have to say I completely understand why this lawsuit has come into action. Although I can’t admit innocence to engaging in the activity, I can state that this site has led to a huge decline in the music industry. Artists are no longer surprised what number of albums they have sold, but rather if they have sold anything at all. The artists that sold millions of albums a couple years back, sell thousands now and the artists that sell thousands, well they don’t bother to release albums anymore.
I guess we shall wait to see how this develops…