There is a quiet crisis brewing in the creative community…the potential end of music as a viable pathway out of economic hardship. Almost any song that comes to mind can be acquired online easily, at absolutely no charge. Adele’s “Send My Love” can be downloaded using ListenToYouTube.com. Kanye West’s “Famous” can be obtained using YouTubeinMP3.com. Even classics like Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” can be had using YouTube2MP3.cc.
The list of sites that participate in this song download frenzy, stealthily chipping away at music’s foundation, is long and growing. They are called stream rippers, named after their ability to rip audio from streamed music – and they have something in common…they all mine YouTube for music. At YouTube.com, music has become a free for all…literally. And the profession of music making hangs in the balance.