from the get-ripped dept
As we’ve detailed previously, the RIAA has for the past year or so specifically moved on to targeting stream-ripping sites as a primary focus. It’s not entirely without logic, as more and more piracy by percentage has moved away from direct file downloads and torrents, and onto ripping streams. The focus has largely been on YouTube, where some sites have declined to play games and accepted defeat. But the RIAA is also targeting these sites to have them delisted from search engines. There, the whac-a-mole game is most definitely being played.
The upside for the RIAA is that there’s no standard counter-notice option for these requests. So, even when site owners don’t agree with the request, they have no option to protest it. Besides going to court, perhaps.
That doesn’t mean that these operators are sitting idly by while their search traffic is taken away. On the contrary, behind these scenes there’s a full-blown takedown war going on. Or to phrase it less aggressive: a game of takedown whack-a-mole.
Pretty much all of the large YouTube rippers are continuously updating to new URLs, which are not yet taken down by the RIAA. In most cases, new numbers are simply added to the URL. This ensures that their websites continue to show up in Google’s search results.
If this all sounds exceedingly pointless to you, welcome to the club. By trying a route that doesn’t allow actual protest and oversight, the RIAA has instead chosen a method that is gloriously ineffective. Get a search engine to delist a URL, and the stream-ripping site simply alters the URL and gets it listed once more. Then the RIAA requests the delist on that new URL, at which point we rinse and repeat. The end result?
The result is a game of whack-a-mole that can potentially continue for years. Unless one side gives up of course.
None of the YouTube rippers we contacted responded to our request for comment. From what we can see, their traffic doesn’t appear to be impacted much. Some have seen a drop in traffic recently, but others witnessed an uptick at the same time. In any case, all the major sites are still findable in Google’s search results.
Whatever you may think of the RIAA’s claim that stream-ripping sites ought to be taken down, a claim that I very much disagree with, we should all certainly be able to agree that this current strategy is completely pointless. It’s time to come up with a new plan, RIAA folks, because when you play whac-a-mole, the idea is that you never actually win.