For the past couple of years Plaintiffs have been doing their all to shut down a variety of YouTube to MP3 conversion sites, labelled as ‘stream rippers’. This all started back in 2016 when the major labels, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment brought a lawsuit up against YouTube-mps3.org. Despite the fact that the major labels ended up settling with the conversion website, it was done out of court, so the opportunity for a legal precedent was missed.
Earlier this year, the major labels were at it again, this time targeting a different YouTube converter known as FLVTO.biz. The ‘stream ripper’ is based in Russia and owned by a man called Tofig Kurbanov, who was also alleged to be the owner of another converted known as 2conv.com. Despite questions over whether this apparent owner was real, and if so, whether he would even respond to the lawsuit, Mr Kurbanov surprised the major labels by seriously lawyering up. He sought representation from Dans Anderson PS, Boston Law Group PC, and Ciampa Fray-Witzer LLC.
The labels have filed the lawsuit from the state of Virginia, but Kurbanov’s team have dismantled this argument. None of the actual plaintiffs reside in Virginia, only the lobbying group and the counsel of Jenner and Block. One of the defendants main arguments is that the major labels seem to be implying that YouTube is almost like a plaintiff in this case, when in actual fact the streaming giant seems completely unbothered by the existence of converters.
The case will most likely be tossed out, or at least
relocated to another state, or even somewhere outside the US. It seems as if
YouTube to MP3 converters will be around for some time longer, perhaps until
YouTube itself takes an interest in their takedown.