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Judge Dismisses Major Labels’ Lawsuit Against Stream-Ripping Website

A popular stream-ripping website will live on for now after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by 12 major labels against the website’s Russian operator. Universal Music Group, Capitol, Warner Bros., and others had claimed FLVTO.biz, where users can convert YouTube links into downloadable audio files in mp3 and other formats, was a vehicle for music piracy and copyright infringement. The judge dismissed the case on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction, Billboard reports.

Court documents reportedly stated that FLVTO.biz received over 263 million visits between October 2017 and September 2018, including nearly 26.3 million visitors from the United States and around 500,000 from Virginia, where the lawsuit was filed. The website’s domain was registered through the Arizona-based company GoDaddy, while the developer and operator Tofig Kurbanov reportedly lives in Russia. Kurbanov also operates the less popular YouTube stream-ripping website 2conv.com, which was also named in the suit.

Major labels successfully shut down a similar service, YouTube-mp3.org, in 2017 after filing a copyright infringement lawsuit the previous year. That website’s operator lived in Germany. Considering a simple Google search at the time this post was published turned up dozens of other options for converting YouTube videos into audio files, the industry’s legal fight seems a bit futile.