New research highlights issues and igonorance of the law.

According to new research carried out by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and PRS For Music, Stream-ripping is now the “most aggressive” and “fastest-growing” form of music piracy.

For those not in the know, “Stream-Ripping” is the term that commonly refers to the process where audio from music-streaming services is ‘ripped’ by users into digital files which can be downloaded and then transferred to and played on media devices, such as a smart phone.

Yeah, sorry about that…

According to the dual reports, use of stream-ripping sites increased by 141.3% between 2014 and 2016, and consequently now dwarfs all other illegal music services.

Make it harder

There have been various calls over the years for platforms like YouTube to try to implement measures to make it harder to pull content out of a stream. Unsurprisingly, it is record label companies who have shouted the last. UK and US record industry stalwarts, Universal, Sony, Capitol Records, Atlantic, Warner Bros and others took out a landmark $40 million lawsuit against the owner of German-based Stream Ripping site, YouTube-mp3.org.

The record labels claim that “tens, or even hundreds of millions of tracks are illegally copied and distributed by stream-ripping services each month”.

16-34 age bracket

Other statistics from the reports show that 15% of UK adults regularly frequent sites that allow users to illegally convert Spotify songs, YouTube videos and other streaming content into permanent files that are then available to be stored on their own personal devices; 33% of the reported users are in the 16-34 age bracket.

Ros Lynch, Copyright & IP Enforcement Director of IPO said this of the research: “It’s great that legal streaming sites continue to be a hugely popular choice for consumers. The success and popularity of these platforms show the importance of evolution and innovation in the entertainment industry. Ironically it is innovation that also benefits those looking to undermine IP rights and benefit financially from copyright infringement.”