Stream-ripping is the fastest-growing form of music piracy, according to new research.
The research, conducted by Intellectual Property Office and PRS For Music, reveals that the use of stream-ripping sites increased by 141.3% between 2014 and 2016. These sites allow people to convert streams from sites like YouTube and Spotify into formats like mp3 for phones and computers. Around 15% of adults in the UK regularly use these services, the research suggests, with 33% of them between 16 and 24 years of age. The most common reason given for stream-ripping was that the music was already owned by the user in a different format.
"As soon as we think we've come up with an innovative solution, the pirates seem to come up with an even more innovative infringement tactic," says the IPO's chief economist Pippa Hall.
Robert Ashcroft, chief executive of PRS for Music, added: "We hope that this research will provide the basis for a renewed and refocused commitment to tackling online copyright infringement. The long-term health of the UK's cultural and creative sectors is in everyone's best interests, including those of the digital service providers, and a co-ordinated industry and government approach to tackling stream-ripping is essential."