Back it the day, music piracy meant sneaking a cassette into your pocket and walking out of the record store. In the digital album, it was Napster and all the other illegal file-sharing programs. That was followed by “stream ripping,” which involved recording songs from, say, Napster, and selling those files. Now we have something else: streaming fraud.
These new pirates have figured out a way to create fake streams that siphon royalties away from legitimate artists. Using bots and streaming farms, they’re scooping between one and three percent of all royalties. A quick bit of math suggests that this means more than half a billion dollars is going to these pirates and not the proper artists.
Remember how we thought that streaming would eliminate music piracy? Well, apparently not.