Tag Archives: Stream ripping

Popular Stream-Ripper Voluntarily Disables YouTube Conversion

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/popular-stream-ripper-voluntarily-disables-youtube-conversion-190723/

With millions of visitors per day, Onlinevideoconverter.com is the most-visited stream-ripping site on the Internet.

The service gained popularity by allowing users to convert and download videos from a wide variety of platforms, YouTube included.

The site has operated without any issues for years, but earlier this month something changed. YouTube decided to actively block servers of so-called stream-rippers, hoping to prevent these sites from facilitating “violative downloads.”

While this worked initially, many stream-ripping sites quickly found ways to circumvent the blockade. In many cases, switching to new IP-addresses did the trick, at least temporarily. This was also true for Onlinevideoconverter.com (OVC), which was fully operational again after a few days.

However, the team behind the site isn’t planning to keep up this fight. People who access the stream-ripper today will notice that YouTube downloads have stopped working again. A site representative informs TorrentFreak that this is intentional.

“In view of YouTube’s latest stance, we’ve decided to disable the conversion of all YouTube videos on our service,” OVC says.

For the time being the various YouTube references on the site remain intact. The site said that some of these will remain online for SEO purposes. It’s clear, however, that ripping and downloading YouTube videos no longer works.

Error…

The stream-ripping site notes that the decision was taken voluntarily and not after it was contacted directly by rightsholders or YouTube. OVC simply believes that it’s the best direction to take and it stresses that other downloading and conversion tools remain available.

“No one has reached out to us recently, we think it’s best for such a decision after YouTube’s latest effort,” OVC adds.

The music industry groups that have complained bitterly about the stream-ripping phenomenon will be happy with the decision, especially since OVC is the most popular stream-ripper out there. However, not all sites are ready to throw in the towel.

Mp3-youtube.download, for example, is vowing to do anything it can to keep the service available.

“I think the YouTube update is stupid because we will always find a solution,” the operator of Mp3-youtube.download told us, commenting on the issue.

This was to be expected, of course, as no blocking solution is perfectly effective. That said, the music industry hopes that enough services will become temporarily unavailable, to frustrate some people enough to give up.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Stream-Rippers Successfully Counter YouTube’s Blocking Efforts

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/stream-rippers-successfully-counter-youtubes-blocking-efforts-190719/

After the music industry complained about YouTube stream-rippers for many years, the streaming service took a drastic measure last week.

As first reported here, YouTube began blocking several popular stream-ripping tools, which resulted in these sites becoming unusable.

YouTube didn’t repond to our request for comment, but it appeared to be a concerted efforts to prevent outsiders from downloading music from the platform. A big move, which generated widespread attention, all the way up to the US Congress.

House Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, reportedly reached out to Google in response. Nadler is a driving force behind many copyright reform proposals and known as a staunch advocate of a more aggresive anti-piracy approach by tech companies.

According to CNET, Nadler was interested in hearing more about the blocking measures, and he’s not alone. Several music industry insiders have shown a keen interest in the developments as well, and the RIAA is cautiously optimistic following the news.

“While we do not yet know how effective these new measures are, we applaud YouTube for taking affirmative steps towards shutting down the fastest growing form of music piracy,” RIAA boss Mitch Glazier said.

YouTube, meanwhile, has yet to respond to our request for more details. CNET was more lucky, and quotes the video platform stating that “some MP3 stream ripping sites” were blocked after the platform made some changes recently.

“It’s our desire to be good partners to our content licensors as our interests are aligned on thwarting violative downloads and downloader site,” YouTube added in a statement.

While YouTube is happy to side with the music industry and the music industry is pleased with the enforcement efforts, the blocked sites are not sitting still. As is often the case when something becomes blocked online, people quickly find ways to thwart or circumvent the efforts.

And indeed, little over a week after the blocking efforts started, many of the targeted sites are able to rip MP3s from YouTube again.

Mp3-youtube.download almost instantly announced that it was working on a fix and today the site is working just fine. The same is true for Dlnowsoft.com, which was also blocked last week, as well as the massively popular Onlinevideoconverter.com, which is among the top 200 most-visited sites on the Internet.

Ripping again…

TorrentFreak spoke to the operator of a stream-ripping site who prefers to remain anonymous. He confirmed that bypassing YouTube’s block wasn’t that complicated. Simply moving the site to new IP-addresses did the trick.

“To fix the problem, we simply used other servers that are not in the range of IP-addresses blocked by YouTube,” the operator of the stream-ripping site informed us.

If YouTube is indeed serious about its efforts to take out ‘voliative’ stream-ripping sites, it will likely block the new IP-addresses as well, eventually. This will then trigger a proverbial cat and mouse game, one we know all too well from other pirate site blocking efforts.

Although it’s unlikely that YouTube can completely ban stream-ripping sites from its platform, continued blocking efforts may eventually prompt some site operators and users to give up. Whether these users will switch to legal services or other ”free’ resources, remains a question, of course.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

YouTube ‘Blocks’ Popular MP3 Stream-Ripping Sites

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/youtube-blocks-popular-mp3-stream-ripping-sites-190710/

Free music is easy to find nowadays. Just head over to YouTube and you can find millions of tracks, including many of the most recent releases.

While some artists happily share their work, the major record labels don’t want tracks to leak outside YouTube’s ecosystem. For this reason, they see YouTube-to-MP3-rippers as a major threat.

Several prominent music companies have already taken legal action against key players in recent years. They managed to shut down sites such as YouTube-MP3, blocked others, and are currently involved in a civil lawsuit against FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com in the US.

At the same time, music companies have repeatedly asked YouTube to step up as well. While the streaming site threatened several stream-ripping sites with tough language in the past, it hasn’t taken any strong countermeasures. 

However, it appears that this position may have changed. Several operators of YouTube-to-MP3 rippers have confirmed that the streaming service is actively blocking requests from their sites. 

“All my servers are blocked with error ‘HTTP Error 429: Too Many Requests’,” the operator of Dlnowsoft.com informs TorrentFreak. As a result, the stream-ripping site currently displays a “service temporarily unavailable, we will come back soon” error message. 

The site in question is not alone. Mp3-youtube.download, another stream-ripper, is facing a similar issue. According to its operator, something changed yesterday evening and users now see a ‘this URL does not exist’ error message when they try to convert a YouTube clip. 

The massively popular Onlinevideoconverter.com, which is among the top 200 most-visited sites on the Internet, appears to be affected as well. While videos from sites such as Vimeo can still be converted, YouTube links now return the following error message. 

None of the site operators we heard from was warned by YouTube in advance.

We also reached out to the video streaming service for a comment and further details, but at the time of writing, we have yet to hear back.

While YouTube’s efforts, intentional or not, are effective, they will likely trigger a cat-and-mouse game. The operator of a popular stream-ripper, who prefers to remain anonymous, managed to get around the blockade by deploying several proxy servers. 

Many other stream-rippers and YouTube converters such as FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com are still working fine as well, but it’s not clear whether they were actively targeted by YouTube. 

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

As US Stream-Ripping Increases, Almost Half of Rippers Are Educated & Affluent

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/as-us-stream-ripping-increases-almost-half-of-rippers-are-educated-affluent-190531/

According to major industry players, stream-ripping is a growing problem for recording labels and Internet platforms alike.

With revenues from streaming set to increase, people permanently downloading music from YouTube and similar platforms is considered a threat. Those who obtain content in this way can effectively circumvent the streaming business model, it’s argued.

A new study carried out by music industry research company MusicWatch suggests that in the United States, the phenomenon is on the increase.

The study was carried out among 5,000 Internet users 13 years and above in January and early February 2019. From 15 million participants in 2017, the study found that around 17 million citizens in the U.S. participated in stream-ripping during 2018.

“I suspect the gain might be related to a few reasons,” MusicWatch Managing Partner Russ H. Crupnick informs TorrentFreak.

Crupnick cites a few factors, including the overall popularity of YouTube and the decline in purchases from iTunes – but people still wanting to have a song for their collection. The gradual decline of P2P sharing may also play a part as people still retain a desire for music, thanks to streaming.

“As more people stream they get a greater appetite for music,” Crupnick notes.

MusicWatch says that just over half (56%) of those who stream-rip are male, with 68% of all ‘rippers’ falling into the 13 to 34-years-old bracket. The company categorizes 30% of users as ‘heavy’, ripping around 112 files (or roughly 10 to 11 albums worth of music) every year.

The main reasons for people to stream-rip are to have offline access to songs (46%) and wanting to own a song that isn’t considered worth buying (37%). While neither comes as a surprise, cost isn’t cited as a major factor.

Indeed, MusicWatch found that almost half (48%) of stream-rippers come from households with an annual income of $75K-$199K, with 43% holding down white-collar jobs. So what drives these people to rip?

“With a lot of piracy it’s not been about cost, it’s been about selectivity. I want something but not enough to pay for it?” Krupnick says.

“Unlike the P2P days, they aren’t downloading thousands of songs randomly. Just what they want for a collection, or a project. And they don’t want that song enough to pay $.99 for it.”

MusicWatch informs TF that the demographic for heavy streamers and those with a lot of devices is the affluent and the belief is that they are more tech-savvy than average. However, many people don’t consider that what they’re doing is potentially illegal.

“It’s using YouTube; the app is on Google Play or Apple’s App Store…what’s the problem?” Krupnick says,

“And in fact, I think that is part of the problem. We all knew that Napster/Limewire was ‘bad’. Here’s an app I get from Apple, that works fine on my iPhone or Mac, connects to a legal streaming service – where’s the problem?”

MusicWatch believes that search and app platforms should do more to educate consumers about which uses of their services could potentially result in copyright infringement. The company adds that stream-rippers are more likely to go the movies, play video games and subscribe to Netflix or Hulu, so if they pirate/rip music, that behavior could spill over to other areas.

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

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

RIAA Obtains Subpoena to Unmask YouTube-Ripping Site Operator

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/riaa-obtains-subpoena-to-unmask-youtube-ripping-site-operator-190515/

Stream-ripping tools have become a big deal for the music industry over the past several years.

Instead of having to revisit platforms like YouTube, Spotify or Deezer, users of ripping tools or sites are able to download content to their own machines. The labels argue this deprives artists and indeed platforms of revenue while breaching music licensing conditions.

Perhaps the biggest problem is presented by sites that allow people to rip content from YouTube, whether that’s video or audio, or audio alone. While this can be for legitimate purposes, millions use stream-ripping platforms to obtain copyrighted content for free.

One such site is YouTube-ripping service YouTubNow.com. According to SimilarWeb stats, the site currently receives around 15 million visits per month, with the highest share of its visitors hailing from the U.S.

“YouTubNow is a powerful service that allows you to find and download your favorite YouTube videos as well as music tracks quickly, easily and absolutely for free,” the site’s promo material reads.

“It’s an excellent YouTube to MP3 downloader as it makes any soundtrack a separate audio file tailored especially for you!”

This clearly isn’t something the RIAA appreciates. The music industry group targeted YouTubNow last week via a DMCA subpoena directed at the site’s domain name registrar, NameCheap.

In common with a similar process aimed at file-hosting platform NoFile and first reported here on TF, the RIAA filed its request at a federal court in Columbia, demanding that NameCheap hands over the personal details of its client. The Court was happy to oblige.

“We believe your service is hosting [YouTubNow.com] on its network,” a subsequent RIAA letter to NameCheap reads.

“The website associated with this domain name offers files containing sound recordings which are owned by one or more of our member companies and have not been authorized for this kind of use, including without limitation those referenced at the URL below.”

The allegedly-infringing URLS

It isn’t clear whether the RIAA has already filed any DMCA takedown notices with YouTubNow via the email address published on the site. Nevertheless, from the ‘copyright notice’ published on the site itself, YouTubNow claims no responsibility for what users do with the service.

At users’ own risk….

From the wording of the letter sent to NameCheap and the subpoena itself, the RIAA appears more concerned about the entire YouTubNow service, rather than just a few seemingly random URLs.

“The purpose for which this subpoena is sought is to obtain the identity of the individual assigned to this website who has induced the infringement of, and has directly engaged in the infringement of, our members’ copyrighted sound recordings without their authorization,” the RIAA writes.

In addition to demanding the operator’s name, physical address, IP address, telephone number, email address, payment information, account updates and account history, the RIAA suggests a termination of the service’s domain might also be in order.

“We also ask that you consider the widespread and repeated infringing nature of the site operator(s)’ conduct, and whether the site(s)’ activities violate your terms of service and/or your company’s repeat infringer policy,” the RIAA writes.

This is at least the third DMCA subpoena the RIAA has obtained against allegedly-infringing sites in recent weeks. TF previously reported that the group is targeting several ‘pirate’ sites that use Cloudflare and file-hosting platform NoFile.

A copy of the RIAA’s letter, obtained by TF, is available here (pdf)

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.