Now the Music Industry is Freaking Out About “Stream Ripping”

Back in the late 70s and early 80s, the record industry told us that home taping was killing music. In the early 90s, they said new technology like Digital Audio Tape was going to be the death of everything. That followed by freakouts over CD-ripping. And we all know the meltdown that came with Napster and P2P file-sharing.

What’s the threat today? Stream ripping. From the Wall Street Journal:

Earlier this year, a federal judge shut down the free music-download site Mp3skull.com and awarded $22 million to the record companies that had sued it for copyright infringement. But Mp3skull.onl, which has surfaced in its place, is touting a service even more worrisome to the music industry: stream ripping.

That practice, which involves turning a song or music video played on a streaming service into a permanent download, is growing fast among young music fans, even as other forms of music piracy wane. The site’s community manager didn’t respond to requests for comment.

As music-streaming services blossomed over the past decade, so have mobile apps and sites allowing users to create MP3 files from songs streamed on free services such as Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube. Fans can listen to the songs without YouTube’s ads—and without having to buy the songs or pay for a subscription service such as Spotify AB andApple Inc.’s Apple Music.

Sound familiar? Are you doing this? Just askin’, you know…

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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