Music piracy isn’t what it once was, but it’s still alive and well and the RIAA is trying to do something about it. In a letter to Elizabeth Kendall, the acting assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Innovation and Intellectual Property, the industry organization outlined a number of “notorious” platforms that it claims infringes on its member’s IP. These are essentially stream ripping sites, ones offering stolen MP3s, and others that are unauthorized song-sellers.
According to Billboard, these are the sites submitted by the RIAA:
Stream-Ripping Sites (+ amount of visits in past year): Mp3juices (over 1.7 billion); Convert2mp3 (2.3 billion); Savefrom (2.7 billion); Youtube2mp3 (827 million); Convertmp3 (1.5 billion); FLVTO & 2Conv (1 billion combined).
MP3 Search and Download Sites (+ visits): Newalbumreleases (80 million); Rnbxclusive (8.4 million); DailyNewJams (8.4 million).
BitTorrent Indexing Sites (+ visits): ThePirateBay (3.26 billion); Rarbg (1.5 billion); 1337x (798 million); Torrentdownloads (214 million).
Cyberlockers (+ visits): 4shard (1 billion); Uploaded (1 billion); Rapidgator (703 million); Zippyshare (1.6 billion); Dopefile (90.8 million); Chomikuj (336 million).
Unlicensed Pay for Download Sites (+ visits): Mp3va (8.7 million); Mp3fiesta (1.4 million).
It turns out that a large number of these infringing sites are based in Nigeria, of all places (no doubt run by the same prince that keeps wanting to put large sums of money in our accounts in exchange for some up-front cash), and there are more than 200 of them that now distribute direct download links to pre-release or just-released music.
The RIAA also says that counterfeiters now sell fake CDs through online retailers such as Amazon and eBay. These come mostly from China and Russia.
With streaming now so widespread and in many cases free thanks to ad-driven tiers, it’s a wonder that people go through the trouble of either ripping songs or buying illegal CDs. These actions are no doubt more popular in developing countries without widespread smart phone use, so you wonder just how much money would make it back to the labels if piracy was totally eradicated. Still, it’s good to know that the RIAA is on the ball in this area.