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The Record Industry Association of America has submitted a list of piracy websites to the US Government

Written by Samuel O'Toole on 09 October 2017

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The list of ‘notorious markets’ has been submitted by the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) to the Office of the US Trade Representative. The list will be used by the US Government to determine its status regarding foreign countries and copyright enforcement.

The list begins with the victories achieved by the RIAA, notably the closure of websites that were using the Sharebeast platform. The RIAA claimed the platform was the largest music piracy website in the US and included Emp3world, AudioCastle, Viperial, Album Kings, and im1music. The operator of which pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement

The second notable victory for the RIAA was the closure of YouTube-MP3.org. The website was one of the top ranking websites on the internet in terms of visits. The closure came following a settlement agreement with the RIAA that was inclusive of an undisclosed payment.  The RIAA comments: “The most popular YouTube ripping site, youtube-mp3.org, based in Germany and included in last year’s list of notorious markes [sic], recently shut down in response to a civil action brought by major record labels,”

However, with a good two successes under its belt the RIAA knows that the game is far from over. The RIAA explaines that: “Unfortunately, several other stream-ripping sites have ‘doubled down’ and carry on in this illegal behavior, continuing to make this form of theft a major concern for the music industry,”

In its list of ‘notorious markets’ the RIAA mentions a number of other stream ripping websites. Whilst these websites are firmly in the RIAA’s headlights it is stated that a majority of the sites uses domain privacy services to obscure their identities.

Even the Pirate Bay and other torrent sites are mentioned in the list. Again it is mentioned that the sites change their domain names in an effort to avoid ISP blocks and have been using Cloudflare to obscure the server locations. The RIAA states that: “BitTorrent sites, like many other pirate sites, are increasing [sic] turning to Cloudflare because routing their site through Cloudflare obfuscates the IP address of the actual hosting provider, masking the location of the site.”

Last but not least, the list goes on to explain of new threats. There has been a rise of third party app stores that are reported as offering a number of infringement apps. Nigeria has also allegedly been pumping the market with pirate sites offering free music.

The RIAA clearly acknowledges that this is a big battle, and a battle that is far from over. 

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