Long before YouTube Red was a thing, many casual pirates filled their MP3 players with music ripped from YouTube videos. Though the earliest methods of getting this audio were cumbersome, websites quickly appeared online that made the process as simple as providing a YouTube URL and clicking a download button. The most popular of these websites is being shut down for good.
The most popular website for turning YouTube videos into MP3 audio files is YouTube-MP3.org. The site is readily identifiable by anyone who has used it in the past, and though popular among consumers, it has been a thorn in the side of many record labels. Though traditional pirating means remain — namely torrenting — the simplicity of ripping YouTube videos meant sites like YouTube-MP3 were heavily utilized.
Last year, the RIAA took the folks behind YouTube-MP3 to court on behalf of various record labels. The operators were hit with accusations of copyright infringement and allegedly helping music lovers get around YouTube’s copyright protection technology. The matter has dragged on for the last year or so with few updates.
According to TorrentFreak, the two entities have struck a settlement — details unknown — that will bring the legal matter to an end. Though the legal documents most recently posted for the legal matter show that the site’s operator(s) will pay under the settlement, the figure wasn’t made public. It was revealed that the YouTube-MP3 domain will be given over to a record label, however.
That will be done as part of an injunction that will also prevent the operators from making any alternative websites or services with the same technology. Though the website is still live at the moment, it appears it will be taken down — or at least taken over — once the judge signs off on the settlement.