This is the fascinating story of MP3skull.com, which used to be one of the world’s most popular sites for MP3 and music downloads. It is a story full of twists and turns and intrigues.
The MP3 Skulls web site provides free downloads of all kinds of audio files, including mp3 music. The flip side is that much of the content of the site were unauthorized copies of copyrighted music.
But music labels were not playing any more and illegal download sites and services are now taking a hit here and there. The site wasn’t spared. As a matter of fact, it was the target a massive move to tackle illegal music downloads.
Sony, Warner, Universal and the Recording Industry Association of America, jointly filed legal proceedings against the site, and the court ruled that MP3 Skulls pay the sum of $22 million. The ruling also required that the domain name be handed over.
Yes; the Empire (pun intended) struck back with its full might. You do know the TV series, Empire; right? Right. Connect the dots.
A Quick Historical Background of MP3 Skulls
The web site was founded in 2010. It was particularly notorious for linking directly to MP3 files on other websites. So it was not only guilty of pushing out music content but of hot-linking while doing so.
Because of this, MP3 Skulls suffered a huge drop in ranking when the search giant took a swipe at pirate sites in 2013. Before then, it was one of the top ranked web sites on the internet. Of course, the site lost a lot of traffic too as a fallout of that. The original MP3Skull.com site finally went offline about three years after. But that was not all there was to the drama.
Aggrieved music companies wanted to send a powerful message to the pirate media download sites, and MP3 Skull was a big target – big enough to create the kind of shock waves needed in the industry. As already stated earlier, a group of some of the leading companies in the industry filed a suit against the operators of the site.
The legal battle against MP3Skull.com
According to Forbes, nobody from the illegal music download site showed up in court once all through the process. So, the original website is gone. Hurrah; right? Not so fast. In its place has risen a handful of alternative domain names that are variants of the original site.
Are these owned by the people behind the original site? Whoever owns them is playing smart, as they have been up and running for months now.
Odd though that the original MP3Skull.com site itself had been unavailable long before the court’s ruling. Was that an attempt by the owner/s to evade detection and apprehension? The battle against piracy and intellectual property violations is a tough one. But it is a battle that is very real.
There is even a Windows Phone app that allows users to play and download music on their phones for free. One wonders how many MP3 Skull clone sites and apps exist out there. A new one shows up every other year.
The MP3Skull battles are far from over
Despite the hit from the legal action by the consortium and the subsequent shutdown of the main site, new sites bearing the same name and using different variations of the domain name keep showing up. All you have to do is run a search for the name and they pop up.
Taking down the various MP3Skull.com mobile apps is clearly the easier part of the battle against MP3 piracy. All that producers have to do is work with Google and Microsoft or any other app store developers.
Getting rid of the multiple websites will be the harder part of this fight. Websites spring up every other month and from the remotest servers around the world. It looks like this fight against illegal music download websites is going to be a long one.
MP3skull.com lives on. Empire needs to buckle up, and may the Force be with us all.