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April 25, 2019 | News Articles

Trump Administration Reports Highlight Stream-Ripping As Major Threat To U.S. Creative Community

WASHINGTON – Today the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released two key reports: one highlighting illicit services that threaten American creators (Notorious Markets) and one highlighting foreign countries that fail to protect American creators (Special 301). Below is a quote from Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman & CEO Mitch Glazier on the reports:

“We are extremely grateful to Ambassador Lighthizer and his team for shining a spotlight on stream-ripping, one of the biggest threats to the American creative community, and acknowledges the role reverse proxy services play in making it more difficult for rights holders to address the source of piracy.  The American music industry is crucial to our nation’s economy and culture. This is an important moment to recognize what these threats are and who is enabling them, and to chart a strategy to go after them.  

“We are especially gratified that a specific focus of the reports is the substantial harm caused by stream-ripping piracy, labeling it as a ‘dominant method of music piracy causing substantial economic harm to music creators undermining legitimate online services.’  Stream-ripping services rip off creators by circumventing YouTube’s and other services’ systems.  A study from research firm MusicWatch concluded that while other forms of online theft have decreased, stream-ripping piracy remains one of the fastest growing forms of piracy today, with a 50% increase in the number of stream-rippers in the U.S. over a two-year period.

“The Notorious Markets report highlights the role of ‘reverse proxy services’ that allow operators of illegal websites to hide where their sites are hosted to evade enforcement efforts by rights holders.  The inclusion of these services also sends a strong signal to platforms such as CloudFlare to be more responsible players and work with creators to ensure that their services are not being used to for illegal purposes.

“USTR and the interagency team worked tirelessly to produce another high-quality Special 301 report and Notorious Market report, releasing them together for the first time.  These reports commit to promoting copyright protection and enforcement around the world, including the rejection of loopholes that diminish protections such as flawed safe harbors and over-broad exceptions. 

“We look forward to continuing to work with Ambassador Lighthizer and his team to help secure an environment where American creativity can thrive and prosper.”

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