YouTube Cracks Down on Data Scrapers - The UpStream

YouTube Cracks Down on Data Scrapers

posted Saturday Jun 23, 2012 by Scott Ertz

YouTube Cracks Down on Data Scrapers

YouTube has gone on a new crackdown kick, going after a German website that converts YouTube videos to MP3. This site is a very effective way for people to steal music in high quality, without having to be watched by RIAA on a torrent site. Both Google, who owns YouTube, and the content owners, are concerned about this easy pirating process, which is significantly harder to trace than those using torrents. Combine all of that with a recent NPR blog post by an intern who claims to be part of a generation that doesn't believe they should pay for music.

So, YouTube sent a cease and desist letter to Philip Matesanz, owner of, claiming Terms of Service violations. Part of their ToS says, "Content is provided to you AS IS." This means that you cannot change the content from that provided through the service; essentially claiming the entire concept of the service is against ToS.

Matesanz, a 21-year-old student, believes this is incorrect. Hit the break to read his statement and YouTube's response.

Matesanz said,

I tried to explain to {YouTube counsel} Harris Cohen how this market works and that I don't intend to create any harm to YouTube users or YouTube itself. I got a reply {that} was not very nice.

Obviously, the country of origin does not change the policies that you agree to when you, or any system you create, interacts with YouTube. YouTube released a statement in response to these claims,

We have always taken violations of our Terms of Service seriously, and will continue to enforce these Terms of Service against sites that violate them.

Google has, of course, blocked the website from accessing YouTube, but my guess is that this is not the end of this story. A simple rebrand and a new domain will get this site back up and running, and YouTube needs to be prepared to defend their already waning popularity with content producers.


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