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Available inIndonesian, English
Area servedWorldwide
UsersOver one million per day as of March 2015
Launched2010; 10 years ago (2010)
Current statusOffline
Written inHTML, JavaScript and PHP

Mp3skull was a website that provided direct download links to MP3 files located on third-party sites. It was founded in 2010 and the site has been the subject of controversy for helping users to find unauthorized copies of copyrighted music.[1]

Although Mp3skull was among Alexa's Top 500 websites in 2013, it suffered a drop in ranking due to a Google algorithm update that impacted sites considered to be promoting piracy.[2] As of February 2016, RIAA and other music labels led a successful court case against Mp3Skull. The website moved to a new domain. As of October 2016, the website is offline.

Blocking and censorship[edit]

Mp3skull claimed to comply with the DMCA and removes infringing content reported by content owners. On 17 April 2015, a lawsuit was filed against the operators of the website. The music companies involved in the suit asked for $520 million in statutory damages and a permanent injunction that prevents domain registrars and registries from working with the site.[3][4][5][6][7]

It has been speculated that the lawsuit was filed as a way for the record labels to backdoor SOPA and use it further as a precedent to take other domains and websites down.[1] Similar lawsuits against Hotfile and IsoHunt ended with both sites being shut down and settlements of $80 million and $110 million respectively.[8][9]

In October 2015, the website was submitted to USTR as a notorious pirate site by RIAA. According to RIAA, Mp3skull is the most highly trafficked MP3 website of its kind in the world as of 2015.[10][11] As of February 9, 2016, RIAA had requested a total of 1,769,414 URLs on to be removed from Google's search results.[12][13] RIAA has mentioned the website specifically in their blog as well as in a public forum by CEO Cary Sherman.[14][15]

The site's domain name was changed from to early in 2015, and the site has been operating via different domains ever since.[11][16] On 24 February 2016 group of prominent RIAA labels have won a default judgment against the site in a lawsuit started on 17 April 2015. Listing 148 music tracks as evidence, the companies asked for the maximum $950,000 in statutory damages for each, bringing the total to more than $190 million. This award was granted by U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke, who additionally issued a permanent injunction preventing the site's operators from engaging in copyright-infringing activity in the future.[17][18][19][20][21] The site is consequently now offline.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Major Record Labels Use Lawsuit Against MP3Skull To Try To Backdoor In SOPA". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  2. ^ "Google's New Search Downranking Hits Torrent Sites Hard". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  3. ^ "Major Record Labels Sue MP3Skull Over Mass Piracy". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  4. ^ "RIAA, back on anti-piracy warpath, sues song-linking site MP3skull". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  5. ^ "RIAA seeks $22 million in damages from MP3Skull". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  6. ^ "RIAA Labels Want $22 Million Piracy Damages From MP3Skull". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  8. ^ "Hotfile Shuts Down and Takes User Files With It". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  9. ^ "isoHunt Shuts Down After $110 Million Settlement With The MPAA". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  10. ^ "RIAA and MPAA Report Notorious Piracy Sites to U.S. Government". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  11. ^ a b "Acting Assistant United States Trade Representative (AUSTR) for Intellectual Property and Innovation, Office of the United States Trade Representative". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  12. ^ "Copyright Removal Requests – Google Transparency Report". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  13. ^ "RIAA seeks $22 million in damages from MP3Skull". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  14. ^ "MP3Skull: A Site Dedicated To Ripping Off Music – RIAA". RIAA.
  15. ^ "RIAA Wants Google to End Piracy "Whack-A-Mole"". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  16. ^ "Arista Records LLC et al v. Monica Vasilenko and Does 1-10" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  17. ^ a b "RIAA Wins $22 Million Piracy Lawsuit Against MP3Skull". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  18. ^ Dredge, Stuart. "Music labels win $22.2m damages from MP3Skull – if they can find its owners". The Guardian.
  19. ^ McIntyre, Hugh (26 February 2016). "Illegal Download Site MP3Skull Is Closing For Good". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  20. ^ "RIAA gets $22M default judgment against "brazen and egregious" MP3 website". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  21. ^ "RIAA Shuts Down Long-Running Piracy Site in Latest Court Win". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-05-07.