‘Stream-ripping’ piracy has increased nearly 15 times over in the last three years

Stream-ripping services account for over 80% of the 50 most popular piracy websites

Instances of music piracy have risen nearly 15 times over in the last three years, new research states.

The latest lead cause of piracy comes from so-called “stream-ripping” websites.

According to new research from PRS For Music, such activity has increased by 1390% between 2016 and 2019, becoming by far the biggest form of music piracy in the UK.

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It now means that stream-ripping services account for over 80% of the 50 most popular piracy websites.

The research describes stream-ripping as “the obtaining of a permanent copy of content that is streamed online,” adding: “The process can be carried out on audio and audio-visual content and, in either case, it is possible to create an audio-only copy of the music. Once a copy is created and saved, it is possible for a user to listen to it offline and share it between their devices.”

Spotify
Spotify is the second most affected service for ‘stream-ripping’ (Picture: Getty)

It goes on to add that YouTube is the service most regularly used for stream-ripping, while Spotify has recently become the second most affected service.

“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,” Simon Bourn of PRS For Music said.

“Streaming royalties now account for over 20% of our members’ income, and the popularity of this illegal activity has a severe and direct impact on the royalties we can collect for them from legitimate services,” he added. “Each time a stream is ripped, the user is then listening to and consuming that rip outside of the licensed ecosystem.”

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“Streaming royalties now account for over 20% of our members’ income, and the popularity of this illegal activity has a severe and direct impact on the royalties we can collect for them from legitimate services,” he added. “Each time a stream is ripped, the user is then listening to and consuming that rip outside of the licensed ecosystem.”

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