7th December 2018

EU Commission publishes first ‘Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List’

Report highlights continuing threat of music copyright infringement, including stream ripping sites

The European Commission today published its inaugural Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List, which exposes websites and marketplaces outside the EU that are responsible for counterfeiting, piracy or other forms of intellectual property abuse of European products.

The list is intended both to raise awareness with law enforcement authorities and policymakers of these sites’ unlicensed nature, as well as to encourage intermediaries to take action to prevent misuse of their services.

Commenting on the list’s inclusion of sites that infringe music copyright, IFPI chief executive Frances Moore, said:

“Music has value that must be protected, and we welcome this step by the EU on behalf of music creators. For our part, record companies are coordinating global enforcement action to tackle copyright infringement, however, the illegal sites named in the list employ a deliberately complex, multi-jurisdictional and often anonymous set-up of their operations, which allows the operators to hide their identity and location.

“The Commission’s Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List offers important and practical guidance for policymakers, law enforcement and international corporations, when identifying and dealing with websites that infringe intellectual property rights. The list helps to raise awareness of several sites exploiting music content and particularly highlights the continued existence of so-called ‘stream ripping’ sites that make unauthorised permanent copies of streamed content, predominantly from YouTube.

“Stream ripping is the fastest growing form of music copyright infringement globally and sites operating ripping services are a threat to the music ecosystem. They undermine legitimate music services – that license rights and pay artists and rights holders – and profit by diverting fans away from those legitimate services, while paying nothing to the creators or producers of that music.”

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