For most of this year, we have been tracking a non-stop cloning process around MP3 Skull. Despite numerous attempts to shut down MP3 Skull, clone versions keep popping up. Working with partners as part of our active site-monitoring process, we’ve identified a number of cloned versions.
These are currently the most active versions.
It’s unclear who’s running the new location. It could be the same group as before, or a completely new group of developers capitalizing on the brand name. However, as a recent RIAA report signaled, this new website may belong to the owner of MP3Juices.cc and YouTube2MP3. Both services have gone down in the UK after the owner apparently implemented a voluntarily geo-block to avoid legal action. The current MP3 Skulls website also uses a similar font and page style as MP3Juices and YouTube2MP3, along with convenient links to these sites.
As with the old MP3skull.zone URL, this site promises MP3 stream ripping from SoundCloud, YouTube, last.fm, VK.com, Spotify, and more. All users have to do is enter the URL and click on ‘Search.’
Again, we’re not sure who’s really behind this new installation. The first time around, nobody showed up in court. But a quick sample search shows that MP3 Skull has gone back to its old ways.
Now, the question is how long the new address will last. So far, it looks like some traffic is transferring over. But we’ll have to wait until next month to truly gauge the traffic levels. Earlier, we reported that MP3 Skull was handling traffic of more than 4 million views a month, though a complete site shutdown killed that party.
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In 2016, the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) successfully sued MP3 Skull for $22 million in damages. That seemed like the end, until the ‘mole’ resurfaced at a new location, mp3skull.onl. Both sites are now dead.
Users have also flocked to the following alternatives.
BeeMP3 promises users quick and easy MP3 searches on the web. The website lists a quick 5-step process on how to quickly download infringing content. Unlike the now-defunct MP3Skull.zone and MP3skulls.direct, you won’t get any YouTube to MP3 stream ripping features.
Last month, the website registered 13+ million unique visitors, a huge jump over MP3 Skull’s original 4+ million monthly views. The website draws huge traffic from the United States (17.35%), the United Kingdom (16.30%), and India (6.24%). The owner of MP3Juices and YTMP3 may run the website.
As the site owner admitted in a Facebook post, most ISPs have blocked access to MP3guild.com. Yet, the main site drew 1.62 million unique visits last month.
As with MP3 Skull and BeeMP3, MP3Clan provides a search bar. Simply enter the song you’d like to illegally download. However, unlike both websites, MP3Clan provides direct links to infringing content, including recent albums like Taylor Swift’s Reputation and Pink’s Beautiful Trauma. Yet, as a notification states, the website struggles maintaining active links on some MP3 files.