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Google goes after YouTube-ripping website

June 21, 2012|By Laura Huatala
  • Google has sent a cease and desist letter to YouTube-video ripper youtube-mp3.org.
Google has sent a cease and desist letter to YouTube-video ripper youtube-mp3.org. (YouTube-mp3.org )

Google is trying to rein in a German-based website that creates MP3s by ripping audio from YouTube videos.

Philip Matesanz, owner of youtube-mp3.org, said he received a cease and desist letter from Google on June 9 for his website. The website allows users to send in the link of a YouTube video and receive an MP3 copy of its audio. It’s an effective way to grab free song files.

This type of legal action isn’t new or unusual for the company, which alerts many websites and individuals when they’re in violation of YouTube’s terms of service. YouTube’s terms of service say in part, “Content is provided to you AS IS.”

But Matesanz, a 21-year-old student, insists his service is legal in Germany.

“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,” Matesanz, whose first language is German, said. “I got a reply [that] was not very nice.”

“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,” a YouTube spokesperson said.

Matesanz says his website, which is owned by a German version of an LLC, is now blocked from accessing YouTube.

News of the legal scuffle comes on the heels of a blog post by Emily White, an NPR intern, on the All Music Considered website about her ripped 11,000-song music collection. White said she represents a generation of people who don’t expect to pay for music.

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