Shutting Down Stream Ripping

A recent court decision shuts down a site.

Copyright on the Internet can be tricky and finding a definitive answer explaining all the rules can be even harder. But, when it comes to downloading YouTube videos and converting them to MP3 format -- a process known as stream ripping, a California court just shut down a popular website used for this purpose.

Torrent Freak's Ernesto writes about the ongoing battle between the YouTube-MP3 site and the RIAA. The site was taken to court last year for copyright infringement by the RIAA, which represents a number of record companies. Ultimately the parties agreed to a settlement in favor of the RIAA and the YouTube-MP3 site has been shut down permanently.

Supporting Web Links

Discussion Questions/Activities 
  1. This article provides a good opportunity to discuss copyright laws and the way they are applied to online items. Consider visiting the U.S. Copyright Office and Creative Commons sites to share additional resources with the students.
  2. Divide the class into small groups. Ask each group to explore one or more of the download resources mentioned in the Supporting Web Links articles. Does the resource address the issue of copyright? Is the method being promoted truly legal? Students may need to use their own judgement to determine whether the app or tool complies with copyright laws. 
  3. As an individual project, ask students to locate a current article regarding the issue of copyright as it applies to downloading web content. Students should write a brief paper summarizing the article.

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