Popular Stream-Ripping Site Declines To Play Whac-A-Mole With YouTube
from the fine-you-win dept
We have been talking these past few weeks about a strange game of whac-a-mole currently being played between YouTube and a whole bunch of stream-ripping websites. While stream-ripping sites have been targeted by the music industry specifically for some time now, despite a wide range of non-infringing uses of such technology, it was only recently that YouTube decided to participate in all of this by blocking access to its platform for many of these sites. Built around claims of ToS violations, it’s fairly clear that YouTube’s actual goal in all of this is to appear to be attempting to bow to the music industry’s wishes. Despite the blocks, many of these sites have managed to route around the blockade, thus the game of whac-a-mole.
But not all such sites have taken this stance. Onlinevideoconverter.com, which initially routed around the block, has since announced that it is voluntarily leaving the hide-and-seek game and will simply stop converting YouTube videos itself.
However, the team behind the site isn’t planning to keep up this fight. People who access the stream-ripper today will notice that YouTube downloads have stopped working again. A site representative informs TorrentFreak that this is intentional.
“In view of YouTube’s latest stance, we’ve decided to disable the conversion of all YouTube videos on our service,” OVC says.
The stream-ripping site notes that the decision was taken voluntarily and not after it was contacted directly by rightsholders or YouTube. OVC simply believes that it’s the best direction to take and it stresses that other downloading and conversion tools remain available.
While other sites are still keeping up with the game, the exit of OVC is significant, as it is certainly one of the most popular stream-ripping sites on the internet. This may, of course, have been part of YouTube’s overall plan. While its initial strike wasn’t particularly effective, perhaps it actually was if seen as something of a warning shot. Google and YouTube have a ton of legal and influential weight to throw around, after all, and taking this initial action was bound to be enough to spook some sites.
Which is a shame, actually. The fact remains that these sites have legitimate uses. I’ve used them in the past for publicly available lectures and educational material from technology manufacturers that have no reason to view an audio rip as problematic. And, again, what about the artists out there who actually embrace what the internet can offer and want their work made as widely available as possible?
They don’t matter in this fight, apparently. And that’s a reality the music industry, and apparently now YouTube, can’t seem to recognize.