Convert2MP3, one of the world’s most popular stream ripping sites, has been shut down following a joint operation by international labels body IFPI and German trade organization Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI).
According to IFPI, Germany-based Convert2MP3 was visited 684 million times in the past 12 months.
In 2017, German record labels filed a lawsuit in the German courts against Convert2MP3 for large-scale and sustained violation of record labels’ copyright by enabling users to create downloadable audio files from videos on YouTube and other sources.
Convert2MP3’s operator has also agreed to surrender its domains to IFPI and has given assurances they will not infringe copyright or “circumvent technological protection measures in relation to recorded music” in future.
“Stream ripping is a threat to the entire music ecosystem,” said IFPI chief executive Frances Moore in a statement. She said sites like Convert2MP3 “show complete disregard for the rights of artists and record companies and take money away from those creating and investing in music.”
Moore added, “The successful outcome of this case sends a clear signal to other stream ripping sites that they should stop their copyright infringing activities or face legal action.”
The shutdown of Convert2MP3 comes just under a year since the site was declared illegal in Denmark, following legal action carried out by the Rights Alliance on behalf of IFPI, collecting society KODA, the Danish Artist Union and the Danish Musicians Association. In that instance, the Danish courts ordered local ISPs to block access to the site.
Not every attempt to tackle the problem has been successful though. Earlier this year, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed a copyright infringement case brought by Universal Music, Sony Music and 10 other record labels against the operator of FLVTO.biz, a notorious Russian stream-ripping website. The RIAA has since appealed that verdict. Numerous other stream ripping sites remain freely available online, despite a concerted effort by rights holders and music trade bodies to ban them.