Google is finally taking steps to actively pursue the more obvious sources of copyright infringement that outside websites have committed by way of the company’s video streaming service YouTube, recently taking aim at YouTube-MP3.org with threats of legal action.
Google is accusing YouTube-MP3 of taking advantage of the application programming interface (API) available to YouTube users, which offers various means of using YouTube content and features in other websites, in order to download said content and make it available to other users on a non-streaming basis. Google asserts that this is in violation of user policy as well as copyright law.
On the other side of the aisle, YouTube-MP3 is countering by assuring Google that they have used the API features for nothing other than obtaining the video title and length of a specific video, both actions entirely permissible within the YouTube terms of service. Any recording of the stream is done with exterior software, which the organization likens to the use of a recording device to create a copy of something viewed on your television.
Google has long asserted that YouTube is exempt from liability for the actions and, specifically, copyright infringement of its users, making this move a significant indication that they are willing to protect the IP rights of posters and copyright holders to some degree in areas which can be easily managed, such as informing sites such as YouTube-MP3 that they are in violation of terms of service. No legal action has been taken as of yet, although following this case may prove to be worthwhile as the situation develops.