Large Youtube to MP3 conversion website Youtube-MP3.org has been threatened with legal action, and seen its servers blocked from accessing YouTube because its MP3 extraction procedures convert YouTube videos into downloadable audio files, TorrentFreak reported.
In a letter dated June 8 sent to Youtube-MP3's owner "Philip" (no last name given) YouTube associate product counsel Harris Cohen said that YouTube's terms of service (ToS) prohibit any service that allows Youtube content to be download instead of streamed.
Cohen also highlghted that to "separate, isolate, or modify the audio or video components of any YouTube audiovisual content made available through the YouTube API" is also forbidden.
Cohen warned that a continuation of this service might well result in "legal consequences" for Youtube-MP3. They were told to stop its services immediately and comply with its demands within seven days.
It's surprising the website managed to stay under Google's radar this long, considering Google's own statistics show the site attracts 1.3 million daily visitors.
Philip, who seems to be based out of Germany, said that he sent a long-winded response to Cohen explaining how the website serves millions of users a day and asked for a phone conference with YouTube to discuss the matter further, according to TorrentFreak. YouTube didn't play nicely, and failed to respond. Instead, it simply blocked all of Youtube-MP3's servers from accessing Youtube, meaning that it now has no service to offer.
"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," Philip said in a statement on Youtube-MP3.org. "With the way they are interpreting and creating their ToS every one of those 200 million users is threatened to be sued by Google."
Google might be targeting other similar services as a result of its discovery of Youtube-MP3.org.