Security

YouTube Ripping Sites Request Court to Discard User Data Logging Claim

By Bill Toulas / July 6, 2021

Three weeks ago, a large group of powerful music labels submitted a legal request to compel Tofig Kurbanov to preserve and produce user logs from his two YouTube ripping sites, “FLVTO.biz” and “2conv.com”. The Russian owner of the sites, who is known for not being afraid to fight in courts, is grasping this chance to prove his fame, and he is now asking a federal court in Virginia to reject the request submitted by the copyright holders.

The man says demanding sites to log user data violates people’s privacy rights in several countries, so it would be practically and legally challenging for a website to comply with such an order. Kurbanov maintains that even if he was to implement a selective logging system, it would require the filtering of IP addresses. This otherwise basic piece of information is considered personal information in some countries like Germany.

In Russia, which is used as another example, users would find trouble from the state if they ripped something that is considered inappropriate or objectionable by the local authorities. If Kurbanov were to keep user logs, Roskomnadzor would immediately request regular access to that data, and this would surely lead to a thinning out of the Russian audience that uses the “FLVTO.biz” and “2conv.com” services.

In summary, the defensive line can be concluded as an impossible choice that would lead to inevitable violations while also putting user safety at risk, and the only way to address this deadlock is to reject the demands that come from the music labels. Finally, Kurbanov’s lawyers mention previous cases where courts have ruled that user data collection for the purpose of identification is unacceptable.

This objection will be considered along with the responses of the music labels to it, so there’s still a long way to go in relation to this case, but no matter the ruling, it will be something that affects the entire field. From what was made known through TorrentFreak, which follows the case closely, the copyright holders will now reduce their demands to requesting Kurbanov to only log partial IP addresses. This way, they will be able to follow up with users based in the U.S. while ignoring foreigners and avoiding the creation of legal complexities for the owner of the ripping sites.



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