There’s a long history of Google and YouTube being at loggerheads with music rightsholders over issues like (respectively) piracy and safe harbours. However, when it comes to the music industry’s latest piratical bugbear of stream-ripping, the two sides’ interests are aligned.
TorrentFreak has an interesting article based on an interview with the operator of several stream-ripping websites, talking about how YouTube has been trying to crack down on the sector.
Starting with cease-and-desist notices asking stream-ripping sites to comply with YouTube’s terms of services (which ban the practice), there is also a higher level. “Purges,” in the words of the operator. “If YouTube notices too many requests coming from a single IP address – it blocks that IP,” they said.
However, the piece also shows how the operators are adapting: setting up hundreds of tiny stream-ripping sites, ready for action when bigger ones get blocked. Tackling stream-ripping, like so many other forms of piracy in the past, is a game of whack-a-mole.