FLVTO.biz ordered to produce data logs in trial with large tags

A U.S. judge has officially ordered the YouTube stream pulling websites FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com to compile and deliver data logs, including information on the location of users.

Justice Theresa Carroll Buchanan recently granted the plaintiffs’ motion to compel the retention and production of web server data, which the RIAA filed earlier this month. The underlying confrontation in the courtroom began in the summer of 2018, when the majors (Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music) filed a lawsuit against YouTube stream ripping platforms FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com as well as their owner, Tofig Kourbanov.

While some observers expected the lawsuit – one of several involving the music industry and stream ripping services, which allow users to download audio from videos – would quickly produce a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, the court first determined that it did not have jurisdiction over FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com, based in Russia.

An appeals court, however, overturned that decision about a year ago, saying in part that site visitors must agree to a terms of service agreement before use, in addition to relaying that “the mere absence of a monetary exchange does not automatically imply a non-commercial relationship ”between the entities and their users.

Then, FLVTO.biz in February 2021 demanded that plaintiffs file the lawsuit in Russia rather than Virginia, pointing out that about 90% of website traffic comes from outside the United States and that the Big Three labels had spearheaded several “recent” lawsuits in Russia. Despite the interesting jurisdictional nuances of the case, and following the dismissal of FLVTO.biz’s Supreme Court petition, the Virginia court is still hearing the case.

Now, as initially mentioned, the presiding judge has approved an order calling on FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com to create and transmit server data, legal documents reveal.

The complainants’ memorandum in support of the request to compel the retention and production of the data logs is fairly straightforward, as the document claims that the information in question “is essential evidence which will demonstrate the ongoing widespread infringement” on stream-ripping websites.

And while the defendants maintained “that the requested server data does not exist”, it “clearly exists”, according to the plaintiffs, because it is allegedly generated when the sites “receive, process and respond to user requests for information. ‘ripping and downloading streams. “The” server data “searched includes the names of the videos that users extract, the corresponding MP3 files, and” the geographic locations of the users who download the audio files, “the majors continued.

Diving into the details of this server data, the plaintiffs went on to get the URL of each ripped video, the track title (assuming the video contains music, of course), the artist involved, The “date and time” of the generation of the individual file, “the geographic location (ie state) of” the affected user, and more. Additionally, the major labels have suggested that IP address deletions can “easily address” defendants’ concerns about user privacy, for example. TorrentFreak.

Despite the defendants’ opposition to the petition and allegations that the requested data does not exist, the plaintiffs were able to convince Judge Buchanan to approve the order, as mentioned – and it will be worth continuing to follow. the affair that has been going on for years. by the court.

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