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27 September 2019CopyrightRory O'Neill

Music piracy drops in 2019, dominated by stream-ripping: report

The rate of music piracy has fallen this year from 2018, according to a new report from recording industry representatives.

This week saw the publication of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s (IFPI) annual study examining trends in how people around the world listen to music.

The latest iteration reveals that 23% of people use stream ripping to access music, with 27% infringing music copyright in the last month.

Stream ripping involves extracting and downloading the audio from a file that is available to stream online, such as on Spotify or YouTube, and is the most prevalent form of music copyright infringement.

The figures mark a substantial drop from those presented in last year’s report, which said that 38% of music consumers infringed copyright, while 32% regularly used stream ripping to download songs.

A third (34%) of 16-24 year olds use the method to listen to music, the latest report said.

This younger demographic is the most prolific infringer of music copyright, with 38% of 16-24 year olds responding that they had listened to music via unlicensed methods in the past month.

“Using unlicensed sources to listen to or download music, otherwise known as copyright infringement, remains a threat to the music ecosystem,” the report said.

According to IFPI, just less than two-thirds (62%) of those who infringe music copyright would use licensed methods if this was no longer an option.

Providers of stream-ripping services are facing mounting legal pressure from the music industry.

In May, the Federal Court of Australia granted the country’s first ever injunction against stream-ripping providers.

The injunction followed a lawsuit by the Australasian Performing Rights Association against  Russian stream-ripping sites Flvto and 2conv, as well as Convert2Mp3 and Flv2Mp3.

Industry has had less success tackling the phenomenon in US courts. In January,  the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia threw out a lawsuit brought by record companies including Capitol Records, UMG, Sony Music and Warner Bros.

The court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over Russia-based Flvto and 2conv.

This story was first published on TBO.

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