3rd April 2023

Record companies in Germany take successful action against hosting provider of stream ripping software, YouTube-DL

3rd April 2023 – IFPI, the organisation that represents the recording industry worldwide, and BVMI, its National Group in Germany, working on behalf of their member record companies, have managed a successful action against the individual hosting the stream ripping software YouTube-DL. The Hamburg Regional Court has issued an injunction requiring the individual to stop hosting the software. The software allows users to download content directly from YouTube, thereby circumventing YouTube’s technical protection measures applied to protect licensed streamed content from unauthorised downloading.

Stream ripping is the illegal practice of creating a downloadable file from content that is legally available to stream online. It is the most prevalent form of online music copyright infringement.  Based on a survey carried out last year, 27% of people globally used stream ripping sites as a way to illegally download music.  This figure increased to 40% amongst 16- to 24-year-olds. Legal actions targeting stream ripping services have been successful against other sites in Germany as well as in various other jurisdictions, including in Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Ecuador, France, India, Italy, Spain, Malaysia, Peru and the UK.

Frances Moore, Chief Executive, IFPI, commented:YouTube-DL’s services were making it possible for users to rip streams and download copyright protected music without paying for it. The decision today from the Hamburg Regional Court builds on the precedent already set in Germany, further indicating that hosting stream ripping software of this nature is illegal. We continue to work around the world to tackle the issue of stream ripping which diverts revenue away from those investing in and creating music.

Dr. Florian Drücke, Chairman & CEO, BVMI, commented: “Illegal music use remains a major challenge for the industry worldwide. Globally, 30 per cent of users report listening to or buying music through unlicensed or illegal means, with stream ripping among the most popular methods. This is unacceptable and harms all players in the industry as well as the music fans themselves. Against this background, the decision of the Hamburg Regional Court that the host provider must refrain from distributing the YouTube-DL software is consistent and important for the industry.”

Notes to editors:

About IFPI

IFPI is the voice of the recording industry worldwide, representing over 8,000 record company members across the globe. We work to promote the value of recorded music, campaign for the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music around the world.

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