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A popular Discord server specializing in pirating music has been taken down by the RIAA. Sources within the RipRequests community suggest the problem stems from a leak before Adele’s new album “30” was released. This appears to be supported by a cease and desist notice obtained by TF which cites criminal copyright law.
Most mainstream music is available on commercial services, streaming or download, on the same date in dozens of countries around the world. Among other things, the coordinated Friday release program was designed to reduce piracy.
While for the vast majority of legitimate consumers this is enough to level the playing field, there is a smaller but significant subsection of music fans who prefer not only to have content faster, but also at zero cost. .
This was one of the functions of the ‘RipRequests’ Discord server and the corresponding community on Reddit. People who wanted to get the latest versions a few hours, days or even weeks ahead of schedule could sometimes get them from dedicated bots. But while it has worked well for a while, Adele’s thirst for the new album seems to have been a step too far for the record companies.
Adele’s ’30’ brings warmth
’30’ is the fourth studio album by English singer-songwriter Adele. As per the current release schedule, it appeared on official sites on Friday, November 19, 2021 courtesy of Melted Stone and Columbia Records. However, at least a day before (and quite possibly two) at least one copy was shared among hacker communities.
One of those communities seems to have included RipRequests and while this type of activity is not new to these types of platforms, this time the RIAA (of which Columbia and Adele are listed as members) quickly took to the game. in action.
As shown in the image above, in an announcement posted to Reddit, the team revealed that the RipRequests Discord server has been shut down by the RIAA. The post is now inaccessible as the team, apparently on their own, has temporarily locked the sub-Reddit.
The Discord server has been “forcibly” deleted
In most cases, copyright complaints filed by the RIAA against online services such as Reddit and Discord are handled under the notice and takedown provisions of the DMCA. A notice is sent and once received, these platforms should remove the content to avoid liability.
When an account holder has trouble on Discord, the company’s repeated infringement policy may come into play. No specific metrics are released by Discord (like two or three “strikes”) and indeed the company reserves the right to act immediately, even if there is no recurrence. It’s unclear if that was part of the reason Discord banned the channel, but other things could be at play here.
A copy of a copyright complaint / cease and desist notice shared with TorrentFreak (to our knowledge sent by the RIAA as of November 17) warns that the distribution of copyright protected tracks author before their commercial release is illegal.
“We have learned that, without the permission of the relevant copyright holders, you have engaged in the unauthorized reproduction, distribution and / or streaming of sound recordings which have not yet been marketed. , whose rights belong to one or more of our members ”, we read.
“More specifically, it has been brought to our attention that you are responsible for the leaked sound recordings of Adele’s upcoming album ’30’ which is scheduled for commercial release on November 19, 2021. Such activity is illegal and these actions must cease immediately. “
The complaint cites criminal law
The message is presented as a “stop and abstain” but has an interesting element. Most types of copyright infringement come with civil penalties, but in this case, the RIAA also cites the criminal law in its takedown notice.
“Such pre-broadcast piracy is prohibited by law. In particular, the willfully authorized distribution of a work in preparation for commercial distribution by making it available over a computer network accessible to members of the public, is prohibited by 17 USC § 506 (a) (1) (C) ”, reads -we .
The relevant article of law can be found here and it is clear that if the infringer knew (or should have known) that the work was intended for commercial distribution, then liability ensues. Depending on the circumstances, the penalties are increasingly severe, ranging from a maximum of three years’ imprisonment to an exceptional period of ten years.
The cease and desist notice also refers to 17 USC § 106, which entitles copyright owners to damages of up to $ 150,000 per work and attorney fees.