Piracy

YouTube Ripping Service ‘Y2Mate’ Blocked Access to U.S. and U.K. Visitors

By Bill Toulas / August 4, 2021

Y2Mate ("y2mate.com") appears to be subject to a geo-blocking restriction, as visitors from the United States and the United Kingdom report problems accessing the site. The site remains up for the rest of the world, but it has shut the door to two of its largest traffic sources, which is notable (global Alexa rank of top 250). However, the massively popular YouTube-to-MP3 platform falsely shows a "service discontinued" message if visited from the two blocked countries, which could have two possible explanations.

First, the message could be there to appease its prosecutors, making them think that it's gone for good. Secondly, we could be dealing with a shutdown that comes in waves - or phases if you prefer. In the first case, which is the most likely anyway, users dealing with geo-blocking could just use a VPN tool to easily overcome the restriction. As such, the platform would continue to enjoy the community's support, users would still have access to ripping services, and copyright holders would "hopefully" remain unaware of the simple scheme.

YouTube ripping sites and tools have been a headache for music labels, artists, and copyright holders. They enable users to store music on their systems, playback offline, and possibly even reproduce it on restricted mediums where a large number of third-party audiences have access. The main problem with this way of consuming music is that YouTube doesn't serve users any ads, no ad revenue is generated, and nobody is getting their cut. For users, though, this is very convenient for several reasons, so reliable ripping sites like Y2Mate are extremely popular.

All that creates a host of problems for the operators of these sites, as they are typically in advertisers' and internet service providers' blocklists. Often, they have to face copyright violation and piracy facilitation lawsuits and legal trouble in general. In most cases, though, the owners of these sites remain anonymous as their registrars don't have valid identification information on them.

Back in October 2020, the RIAA obtained two DMCA subpoenas against Cloudflare and Namecheap, forcing them to share everything they had on the operators of 40 ripping domains, including the high-profile 'Y2Mate'. Whether they got anything valid from that move, or if this blocking is the result of a different motion, we don't know at this point.



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