Convert2MP3, one of the world’s biggest stream-ripping sites, has closed following action by international recorded music trade bodies IFPI and BVMI.
The site, which had 684 million visits over the past 12 months, has agreed to shut down, surrender its domains and not infringe the rights of record companies in the future.
A settlement was reached after legal action was brought against Convert2MP3 for large-scale and sustained violation of record labels’ copyrights. Financial compensation is included in the agreement.
Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, said: ‘Stream-ripping is a threat to the entire music ecosystem. Sites such as Convert2MP3 show complete disregard for the rights of artists and record companies and take money away from those creating and investing in music.
‘The successful outcome of this case sends a clear signal to other stream-ripping sites that they should stop their copyright infringing activities or face legal action.’
Dr. Florian Drücke, chairman and chief executive of BVMI, added: ‘This is a great success for the digital music market. Since the music industry has transformed into a digital business it is of the utmost importance that the rights of artists and their partners are protected online.
‘We are seeing an increasing understanding on the part of the courts and the fans that digital licensing is crucial for the creative industries and that business cases based on free riding are unacceptable.’
Sites like Convert2MP3 extract an audio file from a licensed audiovisual work – usually a streamed music video – and present it to a user as a free permanent download.
These sites exploit high levels of traffic to profit from advertising but pay nothing back to artists or creators.
The action against Convert2MP3 is part of a global industry strategy to tackle these illegal sites.