In a World First, a Danish Court Just Ruled a YouTube Ripping Site is Illegal

By Tom Pritchard on at

Sites that offer users the chance to rip the audio from online videos, whether it's YouTube or someone less popular, are nothing new. They've been enabling a new form of piracy for years, and as a result the entertainment industry has been trying to have them shut down. While the EFF may have told the US government that ripping sites were not illegal, the Danish court system clearly didn't get the memo.

Convert2MP3, which lets users download the audio from various online video platforms, has been under attack by Rights Alliance on behalf of music industry group IFPI. Now a court in Frederiksberg has ruled the site is illegal, informing ISPs they have to start blocking it. It's the first time such a site has been declared as being against the law and blocked, which is a very big win for the entertainment industry - not just those represented by the Rights Alliance who said:

“The result of the case is historic, as it is the first time worldwide that a stream-ripping service has been ordered to be blocked.

“It also proves that the activities of Rights Alliance are compliant with developments on the Internet, where illegal services constantly find new ways to exploit rights illegally. The case thus illustrates the importance of the technology-neutral approach in the Alliance’s blocking work.”

The organisation has been working towards having Convert2MP3 blocked, but that wasn't possible before the courts ruled the site was illegal. But now that it has the consequences are a lot more far reaching. While Rights Alliance achieved its goal, the ruling is likely to pop up in other similar cases around Europe and the rest of the world. Rights Alliance also hopes that it will make people realise such sites aren't legitimate operations, and take profits away from the music industry as a result of user action - assuming they were all going to pay for the music anyway.

In the past ripping sites have been killed off by the entertainment industry via other means, including being sued do many times they can't afford to keep operating. While it's not clear what's going to happen to Convert2MP3, the fact that it doesn't supposedly operate out of Denmark means it's not likely to collapse just yet. Future legal action might end up changing that, though. [TorrentFreak]