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Recent studies have shown that stream-ripping is the fastest growing form of music piracy all over the world. Several websites and mobile apps allow their users to turn YouTube videos, Spotify songs and other streaming content into permanent files that can be stored on computer and phones. Record labels are concerned about the rising numbers of stream ripping cases taking place today. According to reports, at least ten million songs are illegally copied and distributed in the UK each month. This number will continue increasing unless record labels come up with a new solution.
According to the PRS FOR Music and the Intellectual Property Office, over fifteen percent of the adults in the UK regularly use websites and apps to download music from websites that stream music. Among this, about thirty three per cent of them fall in the 16-24 age bracket. In September 2016, these websites were accessed over 498,681 times in order to pirate music in the United Kingdom alone. Interestingly, file sharing services like BitTorrent and KickAss Torrent were used only 23,567 times. This is a clear indication of how people are finding it easier to use third party websites and apps to download music illegally.
The recent survey conducted by record labels in an attempt to understand the reason behind music piracy revealed that over 31% of the users downloaded illegal music because they already owned the same music file in another format. Around 21% of the downloaders claim not to be able to afford to pay for the music and another 20% claimed that they felt that the music was overpriced. Interestingly, the survey also shows that many people were not aware of the fact that their actions are in fact against the law. Experts in the music industry recommend educating the public about legal and illegal music in an attempt to reduce the piracy attempts.