YouTube Starts Cracking Down on Video and MP3 Downloader Sites

Google isn't taking it lying down anymore and is threatening to sue

Google seems to be cracking down on sites offering YouTube to MP3 conversions. With so much music on YouTube, it's the fastest way of listening to a track, legally or illegally uploaded.

And with so many people, especially the younger generations, listening to music almost exclusively on YouTube, it's the first place they look for to get "offline" music.

There are plenty of browser extensions, desktop applications and websites offering to rip YouTube videos and provide either the full video or just the audio track in a downloadable format.

But Google is taking it no more, it started sending notices to sites offering these services telling them to, well, quit it, only using more legal jargon. Google is threatening to sue like it did with one of the biggest such sites, who pulls in some 1.3 million people every day.

Sites and apps that offer "ripping" services rely on the YouTube API that is offered for free to developers. But the API does come with terms of use. As you might expect, the agreement forbids developers from extracting parts of the video or enabling users to download them directly.

What's interesting is that Google first threatened to sue the site, if it did not stop offering the download services, but only later pulled the plug on the API account. Normally, that's how Google would deal with developers that abuse the API.

But it may not have been enough, either for Google or the record labels always finding new ways to freak out over piracy. is not the only such site to receive legal threats, TorrentFreak found, in fact, most big ones are being targed with more to come.

No matter where you stand on piracy and increasingly stringent copyright regime, it's hard to fault Google over this. The matter is very different from it just providing search results pointing to sites that may host infringing content or that may themselves point to infringing content since the content is hosted by YouTube itself.

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