One of the prime sites for illegal music downloads, MP3Skull have closed down for good after facing music giants in a legal battle

After facing a combination of the music industry’s biggest powerhouses in court MP3Skull, unsurprisingly, lost a legal battle to continue supplying free music illegally. Last year the 3 major record labels; Warner, Sony and Universal, joined forces with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to sue and shut down MP3Skull.

The resulting decision by the court requires MP3Skull to pay an intimidating $22 million to the RIAA and record labels. The sum was reached after 148 illegally downloaded songs were used as evidence against MP3Skull, equating to roughly $150,000 recompense for each track. Whilst the website hosted a vastly larger amount of tracks than 148, the selected tracks were chosen as proof enough of MP3Skull’s piracy.

The judge’s also decided that MP3Skull would have to turn over their domain name as well as the payout and shutting down of their site. Reportedly no-one from MP3Skull ever appeared in court and therefore never responded to any claims made. With no defense and the incredible scope of the prosecution the case was closed pretty easily.

MP3Shark follows a crackdown on piracy over the past few years. Whilst music piracy has seen increasing drops thanks to music streaming and the work of government and the industry to eliminate it, piracy is still a prominent source of consumption for all media. Last year however popular streaming site Grooveshark was forced to close after facing court, and Megaupload creator Kim Dotcom is facing potential charges for his work on file sharing websites.

Of course, being the internet, an alternative for MP3Skull has already appeared online. But it’s official closure will have a large impact and is another step in clearing up the rife content piracy that currently plagues the internet.