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Indie Label Leads Crackdown on YouTube Uploaders *TorrentFreak

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The music industry is doing everything it can to get rid of its YouTube ripping problem. The RIAA and BPI, for example, regularly send DMCA anti-circumvention notices to Google, asking the company to remove sites from its search results. In recent months, independent label “Because Music” has also joined in on the action, dominating the two music industry groups in the process.

Three years ago, the RIAA began targeting YouTube takedown sites by sending relatively rare takedown requests to Google.

Instead of the usual DMCA copyright notices, the music group asked the search engine to remove various URLs for alleged violations of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision.

The sites in question are accused of circumventing YouTube Rolling Encryption, a technical protection measure that attempts to protect audio and video from unauthorized copying. As such, the RIAA argues that the sites should be removed from Google’s search results.

Shortly after the RIAA launched this campaign, its British counterpart BPI began sending out similar requests. These groups represent the wider music industry, including many major labels, and both have in-house anti-piracy teams that handle these takedowns.

Indie Label Takedown Spree

These industrial groups are not lacking in firepower, but this year their activities have been largely overshadowed by a newcomer. After sending its first anti-circumvention takedown notice in February, an independent French record label is setting the tone.

The label in question is Because the music and it only has a few dozen signed artists. That didn’t stop the company from sending more than 2,800 takedown requests asking Google to remove more than 10,000 links to YouTube grab sites.

“Tool to bypass YouTube’s security measures allowing users to illegally download our copyrighted content”, the same notice notify Google, requesting the removal of various feed extraction URLs.

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To put that number into perspective, the RIAA has sent just over 100 anti-circumvention notices this year, while the BPI is stuck at around 180. That means the indie label has submitted around ten times as many takedown requests to the during the same period.

36% of all circumvention notices

The French label is by far the most prolific sender of DMCA anti-circumvention notices. According to Google’s Transparency Report, it is responsible for more than a third (36%) of all reviews submitted to the search engine.

Because Music’s DMCA anti-circumvention notices are also sent on behalf of another independent label, Yonea and Willy, and all mention just one track: “Dans ma ruche” by rapper Guizmo. With over 3 million views on the YouTube video, it’s clear to see why the label is trying to protect it from unauthorized uploads.

Google removed several thousand feed extraction URLs in response to these takedown requests. An exact figure is more difficult to establish as the number of URLs varies between reviews, but effort certainly has an impact.

At the same time, YouTube rippers themselves don’t stand still either. They actively oppose takedown notices by constantly using new URL structures.

For example, Because Music asked Google to remove from its search results this week. This removal worked for a while, but the site quickly switched to in response.

It’s pretty much a perpetual game of cat and mouse.