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More court orders issued against stream scammers in Germany

By | Published on Monday 24 August 2020


The German record industry has secured injunctions against five more websites accused of enabling stream manipulation.

The court orders target websites,,, Netlikes and Likesandmore. Meanwhile, a sixth site,, seemingly voluntarily stopped offering streams-for-pay services after receiving a cease-and-desist notice.

Stream manipulation is where companies set up numerous accounts with streaming services and then set those accounts listening to specific tracks, so to boost the stats associated with said recordings.

Some make money by selling manipulation services to artists and labels who are keen to boost their streaming stats, possibly for bragging rights, possibly to influence chart position, or possibly to trick potential business partners into thinking their music is more popular than it really is.

But others exploit the way digital royalties are calculated in order to scam money out of the system. If you buy premium subscriptions and then have them listen to your own music 24/7, you can secure royalty payments significantly higher than what you spent on subscription fees.

As a result of all that, not only is stream manipulation the modern day equivalent of buy-back, screwing with industry data and charts, it also means that there is less money to go around those labels, publishers, artists and songwriters behind all the legit streams.

Both sides of the stream manipulation scam have been known for quite some time now, with the streaming services themselves cracking down a little. Meanwhile, last year labels, publishers, services and trade bodies came together to launch a code of conduct on all things stream manipulation.

That code was basically everyone publicly agreeing that stream manipulation is wrong. Which a cynic could have read as the industry kind of saying “we’ve all been scamming the system to an extent, so now we’re committing not to, so we can officially get angry with those that do”.

Despite all that, in many countries stream manipulation has remained something of a back burner scandal, occasionally brought up as something a shift to user-centric royalty distribution could help tackle. Though in Germany there has been much more attention given to the whole thing.

Back in March, German record industry trade body BVMI, alongside its global counterpart IFPI, secured an injunction against a stream manipulation service called It was with that injunction secured, that BVMI and IFPI then went after the five sites that are subject to the new court orders, as well as

Commenting on the latest injunctions, IFPI boss Frances Moore said: “The recorded music sector continues to invest in and drive the development of the legitimate digital music market around the world, working to ensure that those who create music are remunerated fairly and accurately for their work”.

“Streaming manipulation companies deprive rightholders of revenue and mislead consumers”, she goes on. “We are committed to tackling this problem. These latest legal actions in Germany are an integral part of our strategy of taking on these sites wherever necessary around the world”.

Meanwhile, BVMI chief Florian Drücke added: “For fans and artists, confidence in digital music services is crucial, not least because music is now a predominantly digital medium. Against this background, there is no room for anti-competitive influence large or small, and these important court decisions once again demonstrate the music community’s determination to continue to take consistent action in this area”.

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