Most artists and music labels share their music with the public on YouTube, free of charge.
The popular video platform has become an important promotional channel that brings in billions of dollars of advertising revenue every year.
The success story has a downside, however. Millions of people use so-called stream-ripping websites to download music tracks from YouTube, without permission. YouTube’s terms and service prohibit this activity but there are hundreds of online tools through which people can easily ‘rip’ and download content from the site.
Music companies, often represented by the RIAA, are actively cracking down on what they see as major piracy threat. Some operators of these stream-ripping tools disagree, pointing at the variety of legal use cases instead.
Yout vs. RIAA
At the end of 2020, the operator of one of the largest stream-rippers took matters into his own hands. Instead of hiding in the shadows like some of his competitors, Yout.com owner Johnathan…