Popular Music Piracy Site Shutting Down

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Youtube-mp3.org is shutting down, according to a settlement filed in California courts last week, the Verge reports. The site long served as the most popular service for converting YouTube videos to downloadable audio files, averaging an estimated 60 million unique visitors each month.

Last year, a group of 15 record labels sued the website and its proprietors for copyright violation, through the facilitation of music piracy. Pending a judge's approval of the settlement, Youtube-mp3.org agreed to cease operation, hand control of the domain name to the Recording Industry Association of America, and pay an undisclosed settlement fee to the labels.

This lawsuit represents a growing trend in labels' anti-piracy methods and fervid intellectual property protection. Earlier this year, a report from the United Kingdom's Intellectual Property office called stream-ripping the "most prevalent and fastest growing form of music piracy." Another recording industry-backed study from 2016 warned of audio-ripping as the fastest growing form of piracy, with 49 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds using stream-ripping services to listen to copyrighted music.

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