Like to get music or audio files from YouTube, apparently lots of people like to do it; enough that Google wants to start cracking down on it. With YouTube being an area to listen to music both legally (through sources like Vevo) and illegally, there are places (sites, programs, and even browser extensions) to download and convert the video to MP3s; and Google wants to put an end on those activity.

Google recently started sending letters to sites that convert YouTube videos to MP3s to cease operations from converting videos from YouTube to MP3s. Recently, on June 8, 2012, TorrentFreak obtained a letter that Google is threatening to take legal actions on the against the conversion website.

Although Google is sending letters to sites that convert YouTube videos to MP3s, Google is threatening to sue bigger sites, like YouTube-MP3.org (who pulls in some 1.3 million people every day), that converts YouTube videos to MP3s. The owner of the website YouTube-MP3.org, Philip, has said that the he has a week to comply and Google nor YouTube are open for negotiations. Philip said in a statement…

“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 creating their ToS every one of those 200 million users is threatened to be sued by Google.”

Although Google API allows developers to access many features, apparently downloading/extracting any sound directly violates YouTube’s Terms of Service agreement. In YouTube API Terms of Service, offering any kind of means that allows YouTube content to be downloaded is prohibited (as compared to being streamed). Also, extracting audio files from YouTube videos is also prohibited in the terms of service.

As with YouTube-MP3.org, Philip said that Google immediately blocked API calls some means of getting the information from YouTube through his site, crippling his site from working.

Although the most popular YouTube to MP3 site is unable to operate anymore, users that use the site (especially the younger generations) will move to another site and service that allows them to get their music. Another game of cat-and-mouse I suppose.

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