YouTube-MP3, a popular website that enabled users to download videos from YouTube and extract the MP3, is to close down because of copyright.
YouTube-MP3 is a stream-ripping enabler, which is already the most common form of music piracy. Currently, the site is still live and still offering to do what it does which is what got it into all the trouble with the US Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
However, we tried it and were told that "this service is not available from your jurisdiction", suggesting that the service has already been legally squashed in the UK.
"YouTube-mp3.org is the easiest online service for converting videos to mp3. You do not need an account, the only thing you need is a YouTube URL. We will start to convert the audiotrack of your videofile to mp3 as soon as you have submitted it and you will be able to download it," says the very first page of the website.
"Different from other services the whole conversion process will be performed by our infrastructure and you only have to download the audio file from our servers. Because of this our software is platform-independent: You can use it with your Mac, a Linux PC or even an iPhone.
"All our conversions will be perfomed in high-quality mode with a bit-rate of at least 128 kBit/s. Do not worry, our service is completely free. We need approximately three to four minutes per video."
That is all very straightforward and we can see why it might be the sort of thing that attracts the attention of outfits like the RIAA. According to a report on TorrentFreak, the site operators have come to an agreement with the RIAA and will be shutting shop.
The site had been charged of going against the mighty DMCA rules and YouTube's terms and conditions. TorrentFreak reports that the media victims felt really aggrieved.
"Through the promise of illicit delivery of free music, Defendants have attracted millions of users to the [YouTube-MP3] website, which in turn generates advertising revenues for Defendants," claimed the court papers filed by the RIAA on behalf of a number of record companies.
The courts were convinced, and the site operators have agreed to pay an undisclosed settlement amount, and to stay out of this kind of business in the future.
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