Telcos block stream ripping sites

Music industry successfully obtains injunction targeting four stream ripping services

A group of music labels and the Australasian Performing Right Association have been successful in their efforts to obtain court orders ordering ISPs to block access to so-called stream ripping sites.

The sites allow the download of audio or video from online streaming services, such as YouTube and Spotify.

Federal Court judge Justice Perram last month issued orders instructing Telstra, Foxtel, Optus, TPG and Vodafone, as well as the companies’ subsidiaries, to take reasonable steps to stop their customers from accessing four stream ripping services, spread between seven separate domain names.

The orders follow a similar pattern to past site-blocking cases, directing telcos to implement DNS blocking (or any alternative technical means if the music labels agree to it).

The legal action, which was coordinated by Music Rights Australia (MRA), targeted 2conv, Flv2mp3, Convert2mp3 and Flvto.

Convert2mp3 is a Germany-based service. The other sites are operated by a Russian company called Perspectiva.

The application for injunction was heard in April, with the applicants revealing that the target sites generate around 200 million page impressions every month.

“These no fault injunctions are used to block the worst of the illegal sites which undermine the local and international music industry,” an MRA spokesperson told Computerworld earlier this year.

“We use this effective and efficient no fault remedy to block the illegal sites which undermine the many licensed online services which give music fans the music they love where, when and how they want to hear it,” the spokesperson said.

This was the second site-blocking injunction sought by Australian music industry organisations. In 2016 MRA coordinated legal action targeting BitTorrent site Kickass Torrents. The Federal Court in April 2017 ordered ISPs to block access to the service.

The recent action is the first to use Australia’s copyright laws to target stream ripping, which according to a 2018 report published by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has become the most-popular form of online music copyright infringement.

Previous efforts by the entertainment industry have focused on sites that support BitTorrent or direct downloads, illicit streaming, subtitle downloads, indexing services, or apps for unauthorised set-top boxes.

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Tags Telecommunicationspiracysite blocking laws

More about AustraliaFoxtelInternational Federation of the Phonographic IndustryOptusSpotifyVodafone

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