- Pregnant woman masterfully trolls gender-obsessed relative Today 3:05 PM
- HBO’s ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ returns from a 2-year break with brand new ways to make you cringe Today 3:00 PM
- Far-right accused of impersonating antifa online to encourage violence at Richmond rally Today 1:59 PM
- Second Amendment protesters defend gun rights with truly terrible signs Today 12:52 PM
- David Lynch surprises fans by dropping Netflix short out of the blue Today 12:29 PM
- Poop-focused parody of Kent State Gun Girl sparks conservative ire Today 11:58 AM
- 6-year-old raises $250K for Australian bushfires by making clay koalas Today 11:31 AM
- What you need to know about Clearview AI and its facial recognition app Today 10:36 AM
- Apple TV+ gets its first SAG Award while Netflix and Amazon nab 2 each Today 10:07 AM
- Facebook apologizes for translating Chinese president’s name to ‘Mr. Sh*thole’ Today 9:45 AM
- New York Times endorses Klobarren for president Today 8:45 AM
- 6 gift cards that make for the most thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift ideas Today 8:16 AM
- Studio Ghibli films are coming to Netflix—but not for Americans Today 8:13 AM
- Brad Pitt clutching Jennifer Aniston’s hand sparks all the rumors Today 7:47 AM
- The man who sold shares of himself on the internet Today 7:00 AM
Several U.S. record labels have lost a major legal battle against the Russian owner of two popular YouTube-ripping sites, TorrentFreak reports.
Tofig Kurbanov, the owner of FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com, had been accused of piracy by prominent members of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), including Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros.
Kurbanov’s websites allow users to convert YouTube videos, such as those by music artists, into MP3 format, a service the music industry sees as a major piracy threat.
After being hit by the lawsuit in August of last year, Kurbanov opted to file a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that U.S. courts have no jurisdiction over his operation. The RIAA labels responded by demanding Kurbanov stand trial.
U.S. District Court Judge Claude M. Hilton handed down his ruling last week, stating in a 14-page opinion that although the ripping websites are available to American users, that alone is not a sufficient reason to order Kurbanov to face the U.S. legal system.
TorrentFreak notes that the decision “is merely about jurisdiction and doesn’t make an assessment of the alleged copyright infringements.”
Judge Hilton also added that neither websites appeared to purposefully target U.S. users.
“Even if the Websites’ servers knew exactly where the users were located, any interaction would still be in the unilateral control of the users as they initiate the contacts,” Judge Hilton’s opinion states.
Speaking to TorrentFreak, Val Gurvits, one of the lawyer’s representing Kurbanov, praised the judge’s decision.
“This decision goes a long way towards curbing the copyright owners’ misuse of the US legal system to bully foreign website operators,” Gurvits said. “All too often plaintiffs file actions in US courts against foreign defendants that have no connections with the US – and all too often foreign defendants are subjected to default judgments for failure to appear in a US court.”
Kurbanov’s victory comes after numerous ripping services closed their doors in 2017 following a similar lawsuit against the now-defunct YouTube-MP3, once the largest ripping service online.
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.