London-based online anti-piracy company MUSO, the independent alternative to the IFPI, has announced a world first for online anti-piracy, agreeing a deal with Russian social networking site VK.com.
An alternative to Facebook, the site boasts 250 million users. VK is the second most visited website in Russia and is seen as their most important channel for social media marketing. The problem for rights owners is that the site is also widely used as a portal to allow free and easy access to one of the world's largest archives of unlicensed music and video, with a reported 77% of files being unauthorized. This results in having a devastating financial impact across the global music industry costing potentially up to $1bn to rights owners.
MUSO co-founder and music services division head, Andy Chatterley, said: "This is a landmark day for anti piracy across the music industry. This agreement, which affects European and other global rights owners, will see commencement into the removal of hundreds of mp3 sites that are freely making available their entire audio library to 32 million people via VK.com's interface.
"We are very happy to have agreed a system of implementing the removal of infringing content with VK.com. The rise of illegal mp3 one-click download and streaming sites are one of the biggest challenges facing the industry. MUSO is committed to staying one step ahead in helping our clients deal with their illegal piracy problems."
MUSO's agreement with VK allows the constant monitoring of their site, automatically sending takedowns if a VK user uploads the same track again. MUSO's global client base will therefore gain one-click removal for tackling streaming audio. This will also positively impact on the trend in growing English language based sites that use VK's audio sharing API to provide instant one-click downloads to mp3 files, videos and software, removing any live links from the hundreds of illegal music MP3 sites linked through VK's API.
Websites like mp3juices.com and mrtzcmp3.net are two such examples and channel millions of users to download unlicensed songs for free, preventing artists from receiving any revenue.
MUSO works with over 1,000 media companies globally in providing a fast, powerful and cost-efficient platform which automatically searches and removes illegal content from every sector of the internet. The service also automatically optimises the Google search results, giving rights holders a fighting chance to promote their content to potential audiences in the best way possible. The new VK takedown tool is available immediately, and is free of charge to existing users.