Indie Music

RIAA Releases “Notorious” Copyright Offenders List

2Copyright violation remains an ever-present issue in the music business, affecting not only an artist's ability to make money, but also that of labels. Consequently, the RIAA annually drops a list of the top offenders. Here we look at who this year's guilty parties are.


Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0

Copyright is at the heart of every artist and songwriter’s ability to make money, so any time that’s violated it’s taking food out of their mouths. Of course, this applies to record labels as well, which is why the RIAA submits a list of “Notorious” copyright offenders every year to the United States Trade Representative’s office.

According to Billboard, these are the sites submitted by the RIAA:

–Stream-Ripping Sites (+ amount of visits in past year): Mp3juices (over 1.3 billion); Ytmp3 (1.2 billion); MP3-YouTube (700 million); Y2mate (775 million); Converto (90 million); FLVTO & 2Conv (1.7 billion combined).

6–MP3 Search and Download Sites (+ visits): Newalbumreleases (64 million); Rnbxclusive (8.4 million); Leakthis (7.4 million); Xclusivejams (5 million).  

–BitTorrent Indexing Sites (+ visits): ThePirateBay (686 million); Rarbg (1.5 billion); 1337x (710 million); Torrentz2 (547 million); Limetorrents (202 million); Seedpper (16.83 million).

-Cyberlockers (+ visits): Hitfile (32.4 million); Turbobit (327 million); Rapidgator (313 million); Zippyshare (1.2 billion); Chomikuj (300 million); Dbree (7.4 million); Uploaded (3230 million); Nitroflare (106.3 million); Share-online (72.7 million); Filecrypt (141.7 million).

–Unlicensed Pay for Download Sites (+ visits): Mp3va (8.7 million); Mp3fiesta (1.4 million); Music-bazaar (1.865 million).

There’s one additional offender that the RIAA sites as not doing enough to combat piracy, and that’s the messaging app Telegram. The organization writes:

“Telegram offers many user-created channels which are dedicated to the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted recordings, with some channels focused on particular genres or artists. Telegram itself hosts many of the copyrighted recordings made available through these channels and the RIAA has sent DMCA notices to Telegram containing over 18,000 instances of copyrighted recordings offered without authorization through these channels. Telegram claims that it forwards our notices to the channel operators. Telegram claims that it forwards our notices to the channel operators who are responsible for removing the infringements listed in our notices. We have found, however, that most channel operators appear to take no action in response to our notices, with nearly all of infringements listed in our notices remaining available.”

The organization also reports that a number of unauthorized “Greatest Hits” albums are on the rise in both CD and vinyl form (I saw a Beatles never-issued Greatest Hits vinyl album when I was last in Turkey).

The point of all this is that music copyright violations still exist. Even though streaming has caught the mainstream and in most cases has eliminated the desire for illegal music, piracy still doesn’t want to die and there are many copyright offenders doing everything they can to keep it alive.

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