Search giant Google is reportedly targeting websites that allow the user to convert YouTube videos into downloadable MP3 tracks, with one of the biggest examples already being blocked from accessing the video site.
Google often comes under fire for various copyright issues, although the ability to turn a music video from YouTube into an MP3 track has been around for some time, and is one of the most popular ways to get songs for free, particularly ones that are hard to find.
However, the Mountain View Company is now taking a hard stance on this type of thing, and has recently gone after YouTube-mp3.org, one of the biggest websites to offer a video to music conversion service. Legal action has been threatened, and Google says the site violates YouTube’s Terms of Service.
YouTube-mp3.org amasses around 1.3 million users every day, which equates to one heck of a lot of conversions and downloads. Separating or modifying the audio and video of any YouTube video is prohibited, so says YouTube’s Product Counsel.
The site’s owner fought back, explaining to Google what could happen if the site went down. Unfortunately for him and the millions that use his website, Google didn’t take too much notice. The site has now been blocked from accessing YouTube’s servers, with any attempted conversions resulting in the message “There is some Maintenance going on. All our Servers are in read-only mode. Please try again within the next hour” appearing.
There’s no doubt that Google is under considerable pressure from various companies, record labels and so on, so it’s understandable why it’s taking this course of action. It’ll certainly be interesting to see just how many sites get shut down as a result.