Business News Digital Labels & Editors Legal notices
By Chris Cooke | Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2021
A Virginia court told the Russian operator of FLVTO and 2conv stream extraction sites that it must keep logs of user activity and then share those logs with record companies suing it for violation of the law author.
Stream pulling sites – which turn temporary streams, often YouTube streams, into permanent downloads – have of course been the music industry’s biggest piracy problem for years, of course. The argument being that such sites are involved in copyright infringement. This is why the majors have decided to sue Tofig Kurbanov, who operates both FLVTO and 2conv.
With the case against Kurbanov ongoing, the majors recently requested access to the FLVTO and 2conv logs to identify the specific YouTube videos that are being pulled audio through both websites, as well as the location of the rippers. But Kurbanov argued that he had not kept such diaries and that it would be “unduly tedious” to expect him to start doing so.
However, the labels retorted that storing such information was a relatively easy task, mainly involving the activation of automated server logging tools that Kurbanov had deliberately disabled. And to that end, they asked the court to force Kurbanov to start recording and sharing the information they needed.
In a court filing earlier this month, they said: “In the normal course of operations, defendant’s websites necessarily generate server data, including data that identifies: (a) ongoing YouTube videos skidding; (b) MP3 audio files being copied and distributed; and (c) the geographic locations of the users downloading the audio files. Respectfully, the court should order the defendant to keep and produce this key evidence ”.
In addition to claiming that storing these logs would be “unduly cumbersome,” Kurbanov also raised privacy concerns regarding the storage and sharing of this data, primarily because specific user IP addresses would be involved. However, the labels said that while they wanted geographic data down to the state level in the United States, Kurbanov could remove the actual IP addresses before handing over the logs.
Either way, the court has now sided with the labels on it, with the judge stating in a brief court order that “the plaintiffs’ request to compel the retention and production of web server data is granted ”.
Obviously, the labels are hoping the papers will show that many of the YouTube videos ripped on FLVTO and 2conv contain recordings owned by the majors, and that a lot of those rips are happening in the United States. We’ll see if that’s the case – and if it helps the recording industry convince the court that Kurbanov should be held liable for contribution copyright infringement.