Danish Court Sets First Precedent, Ruling Stream-Ripping to be Illegal

Following P2P file sharing, stream-ripping seems to be the new challenge for record labels. In a landmark case, a court in Denmark ordered ISPs to block access to stream-ripping site Convert2MP3 after it deemed the latter’s activities as illegal. This is the first time that such a site was declared illegal anywhere in the world.

Stream-ripping sites such as Convert2MP3 allow users to download audio and video from online streaming platforms such as YouTube, which hosts perhaps the biggest collection of songs. You can see how this represents a huge problem for the music business.

Danish anti-piracy outfit RightsAlliance took legal action on behalf of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the Danish Artist Union, the Danish Musicians Association, and copyrights collection society KODA, against Convert2MP3. The court ruled in favor of the accuser.

Setting a Precedent

Though stream-ripping has been presenting a growing problem for the music industry, no action had been taken until now, which is why this particular ruling is of significance.

Following the ruling, the Rights Alliance had said that “the result of the case is historic, as it is the first time worldwide that a stream-ripping service has been ordered to be blocked.” As such, the decision against Convert2MP3 is likely to be referenced in similar cases in the future.

There is one previous legal case involving stream ripping dating back to 2016. At the time, the world’s largest YouTube ripping site – YouTube-MP3 – was sued in the United States. The case however ended in a settlement and no ruling was passed.

The ruling is particularly important since it will help end the confusion surrounding the legality of the practice to users according to Alliance Director Maria Fredenslund. Up until now, many internet users consider that such services are legal, arguably because they draw their music from free services such as YouTube.