More excellent reporting from Hannah Karp.
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 and Apple Inc. ’s Apple Music.
While streams can potentially be ripped from any music-streaming service—paid or unpaid—the most popular sites and apps allow users to convert YouTube videos into ad-free, audio-only downloads with a single click.