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December 21, 2016 | International


WASHINGTON – The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) today released its annual ‘notorious markets’ report that lists various illicit online websites and physical markets that pose a significant threat to the U.S. creative communities. Specifically, the report calls out the emerging threat posed by stream ripping, which industry analysts have described as the fastest growing form of online music theft. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman offered the following comment on the report:

“We appreciate the important work of Ambassador Froman and his staff in highlighting some of the worst-of-the-worst sites that traffic in unauthorized music and other creative works. The multitude of harms committed by these markets go far beyond the immediate negative impact on the livelihoods of the music community, and include threatening jobs, undermining economic growth, deceiving consumers, and jeopardizing a key U.S. competitive advantage – American creativity.

“In particular, we are especially grateful that USTR has cited illicit stream ripping as a priority issue, specifically calling out Stream ripping is a considerable and growing threat for the entire music community, with one study estimating a 50% increase in the usage of these sites. This new report rightly shines a much-needed spotlight on this specific type of notorious market, which robs songwriters, artists and labels of the royalties they would have earned from licensed streaming services.

“This report also calls attention to growing concerns regarding the use of reverse proxy services by notorious markets to obscure the location of their hosting provider. These unacceptable tactics employed by many illicit website operators are designed to frustrate detection and enforcement efforts by music creators when their work is being stolen.

“We also note that USTR has appropriately acknowledged progress by markets that have taken positive steps to provide access to legitimate U.S. content. We welcome that progress. We thank USTR and other agencies for their hard work on this report and their continued commitment to intellectual property rights protection and enforcement generally.”