RIAA Claims Major Victory in FBI Takedown of Minor Sharing Sites

March 7, 2017

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The RIAA has achieved what it described as a “huge win” in taking down two sites they link to pre-release piracy. Visit ShareBeast.com or AlbumJams.com and all you’ll see is the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning page.

What Are, or Were, the Sites Involved?

ShareBeast and AlbumJams were taken offline due to copyright infringement, according to a statement from the RIAA.

The copyright watchdogs claim that ShareBeast was responsible for distributing a “massive library of popular albums and tracks.” ShareBeast is also accused in the RIAA statement of distributing tracks before they were released, amounting to “thousands of songs.”

The AlbumJams site isn’t named in the statement, but it’s likely that the site was taken down for the same reasons.

The RIAA’s claims that the site was responsible for such a huge number of copyright infringements might be inflated, however. TorrentFreak, analyzing the traffic data for ShareBeast, found that its popularity had been declining over the last year, quite significantly, in fact.

AlbumJams was far less popular, according to the same reporting. Alexa data shows that the site ranked at under 1,700,900 in global popularity, not exactly a major web destination.

Take What You Can

While AlbumJams and ShareBeast may well have been thorns in the RIAA’s side, it doesn’t seem like either of them really amounted to much more than minor sharing sites, despite the chest pounding on the part of the RIAA.

It is notable, however, that the FBI is involved, as criminal investigations into sharing sites have been less common in the US than they have in Europe.

While the agencies that protect copyright holders have scored some recent victories, it seems like this one is not quite as meaningful as the RIAA claims. In the end, they took down two sites with marginal popularity. This doesn’t seem likely to have much impact at all on the music industry’s declining revenues.

Meanwhile, much bigger RIAA targets remain online. KickassTorrents, for example, ranked as the 6,950th most popular site on the web, going by Alexa’s data. The Pirate Bay ranked at 1,015 worldwide. While the RIAA is touting this latest takedown, both of the sites that were removed from the web were certainly small fish in the grand scheme of things.

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