The IFPI and German music trade body BVMI have secured an injunction against the operator of Followerschmiede.de, a prominent stream manipulation site.
The injunction was issued by Berlin District Court. It orders the Germany-based Followerschmiede.de – which creates “plays” on a digital service provider that do not represent the actual consumption of music by a genuine consumer – to discontinue that activity.
This action is the latest development in the global recording industry’s ongoing strategy to tackle the issue of stream manipulation. Last year, IFPI, its member companies and national groups joined a broad industry coalition in signing a voluntary code of best practice aiming to detect and prevent stream manipulation, as well as mitigate its effects in the marketplace.
Frances Moore, chief executive, IFPI, said: “Those who create music must be remunerated fairly and accurately for their work and investment. Stream manipulation undermines this – whether by undermining the accuracy of charts, royalty payments to music creators or otherwise – and cannot be tolerated.
“Streaming platforms need to find a robust technical solution to this issue. For our part, we are prepared to take legal action against these sites, as shown by this action in Germany, and we will continue to do so wherever necessary worldwide.”
Dr Florian Drücke, chairman & CEO, BVMI, said: “We took this action as part of our commitment to protect the legitimate legal market for music and to hinder any fraudulent services seeking to undermine it. This should be seen as a signal to other manipulation services that we are prepared to take action against them.”