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Record industry wins default judgment against MP3Skull

By | Published on Monday 29 February 2016


The Recording Industry Association Of America last week secured its default judgement against piracy website MP3Skull, with the court awarding it $22 million in damages and the rights to seize the copyright infringing service’s domains.

As previously reported, the RIAA pushed for summary judgement in its favour last year, after the operators of MP3Skull failed to respond to its litigation. The trade group listed 148 specific tracks that had been infringed via the piracy set-up and requested the full statutory damages per infringement, which is $150,000. Hence the $22,200,000 total damages figure.

Though, of course, not knowing who runs the piracy service makes getting any of those damages tricky. And even if you do track anyone down, chances are they don’t have any money worth chasing.

But, for the RIAA, the priority will be trying to force MP3Skull offline, making the domain seizure element of the judgement arguably more important. Though, obviously the ruling is only technically enforceable within the US, and piracy sites like MP3Skull are adept at jumping from domain registrar to domain registrar, keeping the formalities outside the States.

So it remains to be seen whether the court win has any real impact, though, as previously noted, while MP3Skull has been a significant piracy operation in recent years, its user base does seem to be waning because of various anti-piracy efforts against the site.