Google is coming down heavily on websites that offer to convert YouTube videos for download as MP3s. It seems that after the services offered by these websites appeared to be in sharp contrast to YouTube's terms of service, the search giant decided it was time to take some action. One such website, YouTube-MP3.org received a letter from Google, asking them to stop offering such services and have given them seven days to comply, failing which would cause them to face legal consequences.
In fact, YouTube-MP3.org's servers have been blocked from accessing the popular video service from Google.The letter, dated June 8, reportedly has been seen by TorrentFreak who state that it was written by Harris Cohen, a YouTube associate product counsel and is addressed to the site (YouTube-MP3.org) owner, Philip. In his letter, Cohen writes that offering any kind of service "that allows YouTube content to be downloaded (as opposed to simply streamed) is prohibited." Cohen, according to the letter further highlighted that, " “separate, isolate, or modify the audio or video components of any YouTube audiovisual content made available through the YouTube API” is forbidden, as is externally storing copies of YouTube content."
Another website, Music-Clips.net also reportedly has received a letter from Google, which can be viewed in the image below.
The letter sent to Music-Clips.net
YouTube-MP3.org has in a detailed post, laid bare the website's functioning and have gone ahead and clarified a host of facets, which include -
- We never used the YouTube API to pull any videos from them.
- We truely believe that our service is legal. German Courts have ruled that an online recording tool is not different from any tv recorder or something compareable.
- The German Department of Justice publicly adviced to download content off YouTube.
- Press contact: email@example.com"
A detailed note by the site owner, Philip, follows the list of Clarifications on the website and reads -
To our users,
A few days ago we have received a cease and desist letter from Harris Cohen who is one of YouTube lawyers. Google is accusing us to threaten your safety and wanted us to close this service. If we wouldn't comply they threatened to sue us. Unfortunately Google has just blocked all of our servers from accessing YouTube so we had to disable all conversion functionality.
We refused to close this service and asked if would be possible to speak to an YouTube representative for finding a solution that would be in the interest of all our users. Since there are tens of millions of real people using this service we thought Google would be willing to have a quick chat. But the opposite was the case: There was no interest whatsoever for a simple call; they don't care about all these people that want to use such a service. 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. With the way they are interpreting and created their TOS everyone of those 200 million users is threatened to be sued by Google.
We never put any of our users at risk and have taken measures to protect them from all sorts of threats. Those measures did cost us a lot of money but we didn't care about that because we have never been profit-oriented but user-oriented.
To read the entire note, click here.
The TorrentFreak report further adds that as per Google's DoubleClick service, YouTube-MP3.org draws in some 1.3 million visitors each day - a number showing just how popular the service is among users.
Interestingly, a YouTube application for Google Chrome allows users to download a particular video in the MP3 format, as can be seen in the image below.
Google Chrome App
Sites like, YouTube-MP3.org, Music-Clips.net are aplenty on the Internet, and at the moment, it seem like Google's letter is part of the search giant's larger goal which is to put an end to all similar services online.
Do let us know your views in the comments section below.
Published Date: Jun 20, 2012 02:24 pm | Updated Date: Jun 20, 2012 02:24 pm