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YouTube to MP3 converter site MP3Fiber shuts down after threats – but other services remain

The free MP3 download service also worked on SoundCloud and Daily Motion

Anthony Cuthbertson
Tuesday 21 August 2018 13:35 BST
Illegal YouTube download services have continued to blight the platform despite it introducing the feature to premium subscirbers
Illegal YouTube download services have continued to blight the platform despite it introducing the feature to premium subscirbers (REUTERS)

A website that allows people to convert YouTube videos into MP3 files has shut down following legal pressure.

MP3Fiber allowed web users to download audio files for free from sites including YouTube, SoundCloud and Daily Motion, however it has faced a backlash from the music industry.

It is the latest in a series of closures of similar services, after the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) launched an investigation into the website's operator.

A message on the MP3Fiber website said: "Due to a complaint by the RIAA we had to shut down all conversions. Sorry for the inconvenience."

The shut down of MP3Fiber follows the demise of YouTube-MP3, a similar service that was forced to cease operations last year after a lawsuit was brought against it.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has previously condemned such services, saying that the operations enable piracy that can be as damaging to the music industry as torrent sites.

"These sites are making large sums of money from music without paying a penny to those that invest in and create it," a spokesperson for BPI told Torrent Freak earlier this year.

"We continue to pursue our strategy to clear these illegal sites, to prevent music fans from being ripped off and to further encourage the use of legal music sites."

Some digital rights groups have stood behind the download services, arguing that there can be legitimate use cases for them and that the RIAA's referral to them as "stream-ripping" sites misstates copyright law.

"There exists a vast and growing volume of online video that is licensed for free downloading and modification, or contains audio tracks that are not subject to copyright," the Electronics Frontier Foundation (EFF) told the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) last year.

"Moreover, many audio extractions qualify as non-infringing fair uses under copyright. Providing a service that is capable of extracting audio tracks for these lawful purposes is itself lawful, even if some users infringe."

Other free services remain operational, including the Videoder app that has over 40 million users worldwide.

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