Google threatens legal action against YouTube conversion website
There are a number of websites that allow users to convert YouTube videos to audio or video for free. One of the popular YouTube video to audio conversion websites is YouTube-mp3.org. The website, which is said to have 1.3 million visitors per day, extracts audio from YouTube videos and lets users download the audio tracks. However, the growing popularity of the website has started to trouble Google, which has reportedly threatened to sue the conversion website.
According to Bittorrent web site Torrentfreak, Google, parent company of YouTube, has written a letter to Youtube-MP3's owner 'Philip' dated June 8, asking the latter to stop its services immediately and abide by its demands within seven days. In the letter, YouTube associate product counsel Harris Cohen pointed out that YouTube's terms of service bars any service to download YouTube content instead of streaming.
Cohen also pointed that to "separate, isolate, or modify the audio or video components of any YouTube audiovisual content made available through the YouTube API" is also prohibited. He further warned of “legal consequences” for YouTube-mp3 if the site continues the service.
The Torrentfreak report further says Philip has sent a reply to Cohen where he explains how his website serves a number of users every day and sought a phone number for further discussion. Philip further said instead of responding, Google blocked Youtube-MP3's servers from accessing Youtube.
YouTube-mp3 seeks help from users
"We would estimate that there are roughly 200 million people across the world that make use of services like ours and Google doesn't just ignore all those people, they are about to criminalize them," Philip said in a statement on Youtube-MP3.org. "With the way they are interpreting and creating their ToS every one of those 200 million users is threatened to be sued by Google." Read the full statement here.
It is surprising the conversion website managed to stay away from Google's eyes for so long. With Google taking on YouTube-mp3, it is being speculated the Internet giant will target other sites offering similar services soon.
- Google's top seven contributions to the Internet
- Google's transparency report highlights 'alarming' rise in web censorship
- Google testing YouTube redesign; looks closer to Google+