The RIAA is After The Identity of YouTubNow Operator Through a Subpoena

By Bill Toulas / May 16, 2019

The RIAA has obtained a subpoena from the Columbia Federal Court that compels the hosting platform “NameCheap” to hand over the identification details of the person who is behind the website. The latter is a popular YouTube ripping platform that allows millions of people every month to download YouTube videos, convert them to audio file formats, and pay nothing to anyone. The problem is that many of these videos are subject to copyrights, so the music producers and creators are damaged by this whole illicit downloading process.

Some are confused about why “free to watch” videos are not “free to download”, and the answer relies on the revenue that is made out of them. Content that is on YouTube generates revenue thanks to the ads that are served to the platform’s users, and so creators and publishers get to have their share. Stream-ripping platforms, however, take this step out of the process, so people can download the material locally, consume it repeatedly and pay nothing to the creator. This obviously breaches the standard licensing regulations, and the enablers for this process are the operators of these ripping websites. website

The website

YouTubNow is currently down, although previously, the platform did try to pass the responsibility to the user. As a notice on their website wrote:

“Obviously Google doesn't want you to download its content on your computer, however, if you are downloading for personal use, it is not illegal to download a YouTube video. YouTubNow service respects owners' rights and discourages users to use videos for anything that is against the copyright protection terms and conditions. Copyright infringement is in no way allowed on YouTubNow, and all the copyrighted contents are blocked from being displayed in the search results.”

NoFile, a file-hosting platform that is also associated with YouTubNow confirmed that they received a copy of the subpoena as well, so RIAA seems to be focused around the particular website, and not a collection of stream-ripping platforms or other pirate sites. This is also obvious from the letter that RIAA sent to the hosting company, which contains the following: “The purpose for which this subpoena is sought is to obtain the identity of the individual assigned to this website who has induced the infringement of, and has directly engaged in the infringement of, our members’ copyrighted sound recordings without their authorization.”

With one popular stream-ripping platform under attack, the only thing that changes for people who want to download YouTube videos locally are the tools. Still, there are numerous stream-ripping platforms out there, and those that are not based in the US are entirely out of the reach of the RIAA, or anyone else who wants to put an end to this.

Are you using any platforms that enable you to download and convert YouTube videos? Do you feel that this practice should be punishable? Let us know where you stand in the comments down below. Also, don't forget to visit our socials, on Facebook and Twitter

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