Record companies successfully act against nine streaming manipulation sites in Canada

 Campaign continues against streaming manipulation services that jeopardise revenues returning to artists ~

London, 14th March 2024 – IFPI, the organisation that represents the recording industry worldwide, and Music Canada, the trade association representing Canada’s major record labels – Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada – have announced that, following a successful legal complaint, a group of prominent Canada-based streaming manipulation sites have been taken offline.

IFPI together with Music Canada filed a complaint with the Canadian Competition Bureau regarding a group of nine connected consumer-facing streaming manipulation services based in Canada, the most popular of them operating via the domain MRINSTA.com. As a result of the complaint all nine sites (and their sub-domains) were taken offline.

The sites were engaged in music streaming manipulation services by selling artificial ‘plays’, ‘views’ or ‘streams’ on DSPs that did not represent genuine listening.  The complaint alleged that the group of sites contravened the Canadian Competition Act by, among other things, misleading Canadian consumers and distorting their impression of what content merits their attention, undermining the accuracy of the music industry charts and distracting from the effective functioning of streaming services by manipulating the algorithms on which they rely.

Lauri Rechardt, Chief Legal Officer, IFPI said: “Streaming manipulation has no place in music. Perpetrators and enablers of streaming manipulation cannot be allowed to continue to divert revenue away from the artists who create the music. The activity also harms consumers and distorts the fan experience. IFPI thanks the Bureau, and RCMP Federal Policing Cybercrime, for the time and resources that they have committed to addressing this serious issue and looks forward to future co-operation.”

Patrick Rogers, CEO of Music Canada, said: “Alongside IFPI, we’re committed to taking action against streaming manipulation sites and the bad actors who deliberately steal from artists and rightsholders. This is an important regulatory precedent that can be followed in other markets to protect rightsholders and the integrity of the streaming marketplace.” 

This is the latest in a series of actions being taken globally against manipulation services. IFPI is working with government agencies and intermediaries in various countries to disrupt the operation of such services.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

About IFPI

IFPI is the voice of the recording industry worldwide, representing over 8,000 record company members across the globe. We work to promote the value of recorded music, campaign for the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music around the world.

For further information please contact: press@ifpi.org | +44 (0) 20 7878 7979 

About Music Canada 

Music Canada is the trade association representing Canada’s major record labels: Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. Like its members, Music Canada is a partner to the industry, working with artists, independent labels, publishers, platforms, associations and others, in advancing forward-looking policies to ensure a dynamic and successful Canadian music ecosystem which returns value to music creators.

For further information: Regan Reid, Music Canada, rreid@musiccanada.com, (416) 462-1485

 




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