The website Yout.com, something of an outlier in the stream-ripping ecosystem by virtue of fighting back, is challenging various countries’ attempts to block it.
The blocking orders coming amid accusations of the site’s alleged use as a piracy tool come in a bid to prop up large music labels’ interests and have so far had varied success around the world.
Yout is a “front-end” for the technology known as stream ripping or recording, that is used to save audio and video files of media streamed on the internet.
In its terms of service, Yout says that it is meant only for personal and non-commercial use and that the site enables its users to create a copy of accessible online-content “for the private, non-commercial use (‘fair use’)” – but that they are not allowed to publish this content again on the web unless the original owner authorizes them.
None of this has left any impression on the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), TorrentFreak reports, which has been going after this and similar sites with a vengeance, claiming that copyright is violated and pressuring countries around the globe to block these services providing an easy way to use ripping tools (which are otherwise available as programs users can run on their computers – the websites are merely a matter of convenience).
In addition to this, there are licenses that explicitly allow for streamed content to be downloaded locally using this tech; the situation is reminiscent of the trouble the BitTorrent protocol and sites that use it have been facing for a long time.
Even so – stream ripping sites are in trouble from massive corporations, but Yout operator, developer Johnathan Nader, isn’t taking it lying down. He has so far challenged blocking attempts in countries as far apart as Brazil and Denmark, and is even suing the RIAA in the US, in a bid to have the site operate there legally.
In the meantime, Yout managed to successfully appeal blocking orders issued against in Peru – even if ISPs are yet to comply, and even if this victory may only be temporary, like in Brazil. But in Spain, the Supreme Court refused even to hear the site’s appeal.
If you're tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.