Russian Stream-Ripper FLVTO.biz Defeats the RIAA In U.S. Federal Court

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Virginia, the place the Recording Industry Association America has simply suffered a critical defeat in opposition to FLVTO.biz

Major labels Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment have simply suffered a shocking and sudden defeat in opposition to Russian stream-ripper FLVTO.biz.

A federal choose has simply tossed a significant lawsuit filed by the RIAA in opposition to Russian stream-ripper FLVTO.biz, in addition to related web site 2conv.com.  Both are among the many largest YouTube stream-rippers on the planet.

In a ruling issued Tuesday (January 22nd) and shared with Digital Music News, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Virginia choose Claude M. Hilton dominated that the RIAA merely lacked jurisdiction in opposition to the Russian-based operation  Initially, attorneys on each side have been debating whether or not the State Virginia represented a correct venue for litigation in opposition to the worldwide video conversion web site.  But Hilton’s determination not solely bars the case from being heard in Virginia, it additionally prohibits a refiling in one other US jurisdiction, together with California.

The RIAA, which filed the swimsuit on behalf main label teams Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment, was broadly anticipated to coast by way of this lawsuit and set up a critical precedent in opposition to YouTube stream-rippers.  Instead, FLVTO.biz proprietor Turig Kurbanov aggressively fought again, doubtlessly opening a significant loophole for foreign-owned stream-rippers.

Kurbanov, who operates each FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com from Rostov-on-Don, Russia, employed a critical crew US-based litigators to fight fees.

The RIAA outsourced its authorized work to high-priced agency Jenner & Block, which now seems completely outmaneuvered.

“We are thrilled to report that the Court at present dismissed this motion for lack jurisdiction,” legal professional Val Gurvits Boston Law Group, PC emailed Digital Music News.  Boston Law Group is one three companies employed by Kurbanov to battle the RIAA’s swimsuit.

Interestingly, Kurbanov by no means set foot within the United States.  In truth, the positioning proprietor doesn’t actually have a visa authorizing journey into the U.S., although probably, the RIAA and Jenner & Block weren’t even anticipating Kurbanov to reply to the case.

“This determination goes a great distance in direction of curbing the copyright house owners’ misuse the US authorized system to bully international web site operators,” Gurvits relayed.

“All too ten plaintiffs file actions in US courts in opposition to international defendants that don’t have any connections with the US – and all too ten international defendants are subjected to default judgments for failure to look in a US courtroom.  We are completely happy we have been in a position to defend our shopper from having to defend this motion in a US courtroom 1000’s miles away from the place the related enterprise actions happen.”

The RIAA, probably surprised by the end result, is contemplating its subsequent strikes.

“Just realized the information ourselves,” the RIAA’s Cara Duckworth Weiblinger emailed us.  “We’re contemplating all our choices.”

It’s unclear what these choices are at this stage.  Without the power to refile in one other jurisdiction, the RIAA may very well be pressured to attraction the end result and hope for an overruling.  If that doesn’t occur, litigation could must begin in international courtroom techniques, together with Russia.

That sounds extraordinarily sophisticated, and explains why the group initially tried for a straightforward win within the States.

Beyond the authorized channels, legislative choices might also be obtainable.

Just just lately, Australia handed harsh legal guidelines in opposition to stream-ripping websites like FLVTO.biz, although Australia represents a sliver complete visitors to those websites.  Whether an analogous anti-ripper replace might occur within the U.S. is unclear, although the business just lately proved its skill to move pro-copyright laws with the Music Modernization Act (MMA).

More as this develops.  The full case is under.