News May 31, 2019

How the US can learn from Australia about blocking stream ripping

How the US can learn from Australia about blocking stream ripping

A new report makes it clear that the US is losing the war on stream rippers, and could well learn from Australia’s tough approach.

According to the MusicWatch Annual Music Study (published May 30), 17 million Americans illegally downloaded music licensed for in the US in 2018.

That was a 13% release of 15 million in 2017.

“Streaming, and easy, efficient access to music was supposed to have solved many of the issues around unsanctioned sharing and ,” said the marketing research and analysis service for the music and entertainment industry.

“Legacy forms of piracy through P2P file-sharing applications has faded, but the use of websites and apps that facilitate the downloading of music licensed only for streaming is thriving.”

MusicWatch called out legitimate search and app platforms for not doing more to discourage apps that “promote piracy”.

It noted that 25% of stream-rippers surveyed said they found their stream-ripping app of choice via a simple internet search while 28% did so from an online app store.

“Certainly the app and search companies could do more to educate consumers about which uses potentially constitute copyright infringement,” said MusicWatch.

It said YouTube Downloader, Free YouTube to Mp3 Converter and Mp3 Video Converter were three of the most popular stream-ripping apps.

Australia has in the meantime has taken the lead in the fight against stream ripping. In April, the music industry successfully used the legal system to get Australian ISPs to do their part.

Sony, Universal, and Warner, with Music Rights Australia and APRA, obtained from the Federal Court a blocking injunction against four sites, and which put ISPs on notice.

The likes of Telstra, Foxtel, Optus, TPG and Vodafone had to take responsibility to stop their subscribers from accessing Russian-based FLVto 2conv (which received 263 million visits in the 12 months to 2018), Flv2mp3, and German-based Convert2mp3.

This would not have been achieved if Australia had not in November 2018 made changes to its Copyright Act.

Before that, the creative industry needed to prove a site had a “primary purpose of infringing” before ISPS would move.

However, the rules changed to include sites that also facilitated infringement.

The MusicWatch study also indicated the sort of consumer behaviour that rights groups are facing.

The Top 30% of stream rippers copied 112 files on average.

46% said that being able to load files directly onto their devices for offline listening – a feature offered by legal subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music – as one of the main reasons for stream-ripping.

The study also warned, “Research shows that stream-rippers are more likely to participate in other unsanctioned forms of music sharing such as downloading songs from unlicensed mobile apps, or sharing on digital lockers.

“Stream-rippers tend to be better educated and from higher income households, negating the excuse that piracy is driven by lack of financial resources.

“Discouraging stream-ripping isn’t just good for music; it’s good for the entire entertainment ecosystem.”

Read the report here https://www.musicwatchinc.com/blog/thanks-to-stream-ripping-music-piracy-still-a-scourge/

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