Music piracy is on the rise, but not thanks to some basement pressing plant. Modern music piracy comes mostly in the form of stream ripping.
According to digital rights monitor INCOPRO and PRS the use of stream-ripping platforms in the UK increased by 1390% between 2016 and 2019. BitTorrent file-sharing and the sharing of links to digital lockers were flat or in decline.
YouTube streams are the most likely to be ripped and y2mate.com is the most popular ripping tool according to the study.
PRS’s Head Of IP And Litigation Simon Bourn commented: “This report shows that music piracy is very much still alive and kicking, and that stream-ripping is now responsible for a mammoth proportion of the overall piracy problem”.
“Streaming royalties now account for over 20% of our members’ income”, he continued, “and the popularity of this illegal activity has a severe and direct impact on the royalties we can collect for them from legitimate services. Each time a stream is ripped, the user is then listening to and consuming that rip outside of the licensed ecosystem”.