Over the past few years, the rise of streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music or Pandora has breathed new life into the music industry and changed the way people listen to their favorite tunes. Unfortunately, it has also brought about a new way of listening to music illegally. According to IFPI, so-called stream ripping (illegally saving music while streaming it) is now the most prevalent form of music piracy. While 35 percent of the internet users polled across 13 countries admitted to having accessed copyright-infringing music over the past 6 month, 30 percent did so by ripping streamed music.
In the past, illegally downloading music from Torrent websites or other online exchanges was the most common form of music piracy. However, now that a lot of music is available on YouTube or similar platforms, all it takes is a small tool to rip and save the song you are looking for. It may seem less shady than rummaging through the malware-infected back alleys of the internet, but it is just as illegal in the end.