YouTube MP3 Converters Have Blocked UK Traffic, Apparently to Avoid Trouble

By Tom Pritchard on at

Despite the protests of the EFF, there are still people out there (particularly rights holders) who have an issue with sites designed to rip audio from YouTube videos. After the closure of YouTube-MP3 earlier this year, the RIAA promised action would be taken against a number of other, including and

Both sites have not shut their doors, but TorrentFreak reports it's only affecting users from the UK. I decided to give this a check to be sure, and without activating any sort of VPN or proxy I was served up a message saying "This service is no longer available Thanks for being part of us. Goodbye!".

When is witched by location to Canada, both sites were working fine. Intrigued I tried a few more times with the free options this particular VPN offered. Going through Germany also caused both sites to be 'blocked', while the Netherlands, Chile, Sweden, Czech Republic, and even Russia, were all working fine.

Presumably more countries are affected in the same manner as the UK and Germany, but I can't test all of them. As to why it isn't clear, since the people in charge of both sites haven't commented on the matter so we have no idea why the site has only shut down in a few places. Maybe it's part of a wider rollout, which is why TorrentFreak only found the UK was affected - whereas now Germany seems to be affected to. Why the slow burn? Who knows.

YouTube-MP3 was blocked here last year, after action from music industry group BPI, which happened ahead of the global shutdown that occurred last month. The BPI is not responsible this time, but in a statement to TorrentFreak its chief executive claimed that the closure of YouTube-MP3 is causing a ripple effect that's affecting similar sites:

“We are seeing that the closure of the largest stream ripping site, YouTube-mp3, following coordinated global legal action from record companies, is having an impact on the operations of other ripping sites.

However, stream ripping remains a major issue for the industry. These sites are making large sums of money from music without paying a penny to those that invest in and create it. We will continue to take legal action against other illegal ripping sites where necessary.”

By voluntarily geo-blocking users coming from places like the UK and Germany, it likely means both sites will be facing less pressure in the future. While it protects them from UK and German industry groups, it doesn't protect them from the RIAA in the USS. That's a much bigger enemy to make, and as long as the sites remain active to American users it's an enemy that won't be going away. [TorrentFreak]

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