By Joan Solsman
“YouTube has caught the attention of a high-level congressional office interested in its copyright-protection practices, an inquiry that comes as the massive video site cracks down on stream ripping, a type of music piracy. Stream ripping swipes audio tracks off YouTube videos and spits them out as MP3 downloads.”
Why it matters
Many videos are posted on YouTube with the express purpose of enabling consumers to hear music without buying it.
Some further thoughts
While it’s clearly an infringement, some media executives will say (off the record) that it’s OK because the audio is often of low quality and serves as an incentive to purchase the music through legitimate channels.
A clamp-down on YouTube won’t stop people from using free video content tools that allow them to extract the audio tracks from regular YouTube videos (not those from stream ripping sites). But anti-piracy countermeasures such as watermarking, fingerprinting and monitoring – including the tools developed by YouTube itself – help content owners identify whether or not it’s there due to infringement.