In the face of threats from the RIAA, SOPA, etc., Google has always assumed the role of Great Protector of Internet Freedoms. Unless it has to do with its own product, of course. The search giant is finally cracking down on YouTube conversion sites, such as the ones that spit out an mp3 download link after users input a YouTube URL.
First on the hit list is YouTube-MP3.org, which averages about 1.3 million users daily. In order to function as it does, it may use YouTube’s API, and according to cease-and-desist correspondences sent to the site, it’s in clear violation of the Terms of Services attached to the API. Not only is any service that allows YT content to be downloaded forbidden, but one that also “[separates, isolates, or modifies] the audio or video components” is prohibited, as well. However, according to YouTube-MP3.org, it doesn’t even use YouTube’s API. Regardless, Google has blocked the site from accessing YouTube’s servers entirely.
It’s unclear as to whether the likes of the RIAA are forcing Google’s hand, but the initiative is spreading as Music-Clips.net has also received letters from Google.
[via Torrent Freak]