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Music Labels sue YouTube music converter TubeFire

Posted by on 26/08/2011

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A chain of music recording labels have filed a lawsuit against a Tokyo-based YouTube to MP3 converting website, TubeFire. They are suing for $3 million in damages and want the site to be shut down indefinitely.

The Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) filed the suit against MusicGate (owners of TubeFire) in the Tokyo District Court on August 19th, citing that TubeFire allowed users to download converted songs held on YouTube. The conversion site downloaded videos of YouTube and stored them on their servers for download by any one of its users. While many other conversion sites handle just the conversion, they don’t permanently store videos like TubeFire.

According to the suit, over 10,000 videos were transferred to users during the May-June 2011 period alone.

Strangely enough, TubeFire has not fully accepted the suit since they were not officially served papers about the case. They were actually informed about the situation via the public media, but they have already suspended services to their fan base to avoid any further complications.

Here is a notice on their website (Google translated to English)

TUBEFIRE So far, we have the best attention and operated so as not to infringe copyright. However, as you know already, such as newspaper reports, was submitted to the Tokyo District Court has been accused of violating copyright and service TUBEFIRE. At the moment, because the complaint did not receive details of the plaintiff’s case and the accused is unknown reasons, for any reason, to take seriously with the issues that were noted on the copyright of services TUBEFIRE In order to completely prevent the spread of the problem until the end of the trial period from 23 August 2011, we decided to stop the service and related TUBEFIRE. To everyone’s available, but we apologize for the inconvenience, thank you for your understanding and updating.

Let’s see how this plays out. With videos popping up on YouTube, especially through services like VEVO, Sony and EMI, tons of conversion sites have appeared (especially with the advent of high definition web videos). While TubeFire may be in a tricky situation, many others have a chance to escape on the grounds of providing a YouTube to video conversion services (no server storage). YouTube is a great service, but obviously won’t work without an Internet connection, so conversion services are very useful in my opinion.

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