Indie Music

Discord, Reddit are music industry’s next targets

Discord are Reddit are the newest targets in music industry’s ongoing battle against piracy and copyright infringement. Recent industry actions against YouTube ripping sites have resulted in court awarded damages of tens of millions of dollars.

The music industry signaled that Discord and Reddit were in the crosshairs last week when the international recording trade group IFPI asked that they be added to the EU’s next ‘Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List’ on behalf of its 8000 members.

The report will likely continue to name YouTube rippers, cyber lockers and torrent sites as problems. But social media and messaging platforms including Discord, Reddit, Telegram and Twitter, are now also top targets.

“Although there are huge numbers of services that infringe our members’ rights, due to the grave economic harm caused by pre-release piracy, the services mentioned above – Discord, Reddit, and Telegram – are considered enforcement priorities for the music industry and are a particular focus in this submission,” the IFPI writes.

Why Discord

“Most notably and problematically for the music industry, Discord has rapidly become an underground marketplace for the distribution and crowd funding of stolen, unreleased or prerelease content, through so-called ‘Group Buys’. This is where users use a Discord server to operate an auction to sell unreleased or pre-release content,” says the IFPI.


“We have detected many instances of pre-release content distributed across the platform, including on leak-specific subreddits. REDDIT is used in combination with other services such as Discord and Twitter to promote the distribution of pre-release content,” says IFPI writes.

Reddit knows it has a problem and banned 2,813 users and 2,625 subreddits after repeat infringements last year.

But the IFPI says that “Reddit needs to take further steps to identify and address the illegal sharing of content, especially pre-release content, on the platform.”

The final report will be released later this year. A copy of IFPI’s full submission for the European Commission’s ‘Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List’ is available here (pdf) via TorrentFreak.

Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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