One of the biggest stream rippers on the web is suing competitors for issuing false DMCA notices.
YTMP3.nu alleges that competing stream-ripping services have issued fraudulent DMCA notices in an attempt to derail its services in search engines like Google. Sites that have too many DMCA claims are downranked in Google’s search results—with YTMP3.nu pulling in about 44.5 million visits per month. Similar Web ranks the website as the #15 most visited website in its Arts & Entertainment > Music category in the United States.
CreativeCode Ltd., the company that operates the websites, filed a lawsuit in federal court in California. Digital Music News has obtained the complaint, which partially seems to suggest the owner of said websites is upset he’s not getting the ad revenue he used to get.
“Defendants 1-20 are yet-to-be-identified individuals who are the owners and operates of several websites that have been sending fraudulent DMCA notices to Google falsely alleging that Plaintiff’s websites contain prohibited anti-circumvention technology,” the lawsuit begins.
“Starting on or about June 27, 2023, defendants began to submit fraudulent DMCA notices to Google, falsely alleging that the websites were infringing on copyrights held by the defendants (or that defendants were authorized to act on account of the copyright holders) and that the websites implemented software that circumvented technologic barriers regarding copyrights,” it continues.
“Google delisting or downranking the websites significantly reduced traffic to the websites. Plaintiff has noticed a striking decrease in visits to the websites, by hundreds of thousands of clicks per day since defendants began sending the fraudulent DMCA notices.”
One example of a fraudulent DMCA notice provided is one for the Rick Astley song, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
The complaint was sent by ‘End of YouTube Converter,’ which is not an entity that holds any rights to that song. CreativeCode is seeking a trial and accuses the unknown defendants of violating DMCA themselves, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, and breaching California’s Unfair Competition Law. The stream ripper is hoping to recoup at least $500,000 in damages.