Posts Tagged ‘ audio ’

YouTube audio ripping site to fight Google, claims service is legal

Google has not had the easiest of times getting publishers on board for all the content being posted on YouTube by its users. As well as setting up a copyright infringement detection system, Google also allows publishers to place and earn revenue from adverts next to videos that contain content they own–regardless of who uploaded it.

With the publisher relationships seemingly under control, YouTube now faces another problem that can’t be solved easily. The problem is one of content rippers–websites and browser plug-ins that make it quite simple for someone to download individual videos or just their audio.

One such service is hosted at YouTube-mp3.org and allows users to rip the audio from YouTube videos. Google has got its lawyers on the case and issued the site owner, 21-year-old student Philip Matesanz, with a cease and desist letter for breaking YouTube’s Terms of Service. But Matesanz is refusing to co-operate, stating the law is on his side.

YouTube-mp3.org is on Google’s radar because it is so popular. Traffic to the ripping site is thought to be around 1.3 million hits a day. That’s a serious amount of audio ripping from YouTube’s servers, and it’s sure to have more than a few publishers upset.

Google has blocked the site from accessing YouTube, but Matesanz has consulted with his own lawyers and decided to fight. It seems converters and recorders are protected by German federal law allowing users to create private copies of media such as that offered by YouTube. He also claims no Terms of Service violations have occurred due to the way in which his site rips the audio.

As well as deciding to fight, Matesanz started a petition in an attempt to get converters and recorders allowed on YouTube. At the time of writing it has received 345,183 of a required 500,000 signatures. As one of the commenters on the petition points out, it’s ridiculous you can be classed as a criminal for copying something available to you 24 hours a day on YouTube.

It’s very unlikely the petition will change anything to do with YouTube’s policies. It also seems unlikely Google will back down with its legal threats against Matesanz. But as he rightly points out, anyone and everyone can rip content from YouTube, and if his lawyers are correct, they have a legal right to do so in Germany at least.

Read more at TechWeek Europe

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