Italian court confirms stream ripping is illegal
Court notes widespread, uncontrollable and irreparable nature of copyright violations made possible by Yout.com
IFPI, the organisation that represents the recorded music industry worldwide, welcomes the interim decision by the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio against stream ripping site Yout.com, which confirms that stream ripping is illegal.
The case concerns a blocking order issued by the Italian telecoms regulator AGCOM in February 2019, requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block the site from those looking to access it to illegally convert and download MP3 files or ‘stream rip’ music. AGCOM issued the decision following an application by the Federation against Music and Multimedia Piracy (FPM).
In its decision dated 2 August 2019, the court dismissed the site’s appeal and upheld the blocking order issued by AGCOM citing the “massive, uncontrollable and irreparable nature of the copyright infringements that can occur daily on the site” – the court noted that there are around 10,000 daily downloads via the Yout.com platform.
A final decision of the court is not anticipated before 2020. In the meantime, the block will remain in place.
Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, said: “We welcome this decision and the robust statements by the Court regarding the illegal nature and harmful effects of the service. Stream ripping sites such as Yout.com make vast sums of money from advertising while paying nothing to artists or record companies. The industry continues its global campaign to tackle this issue.”
AGCOM has previously ordered ISPs to block access to 12 stream ripping sites to date but this was the first time a stream ripping site has appealed AGCOM’s decision.
The decision in Italy follows a series of positive blocking orders issued against stream ripping sites around the world. Courts in Australia, Denmark, Russia and Spain have all handed down decisions requiring ISPs to block their users’ access to stream ripping sites.
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