Last month, reports surfaced that Google has been sending cease-and-desist letter to sites that offer tools for capturing audio content on YouTube, claiming that these sites violate the video-sharing site’s Terms of Service.
Within the last few days, an online petition has emerged urging Google to allow these third-party services to record content from YouTube. It already has more than 225,000 signatures.
The petition’s basic argument is that downloading MP3 files from YouTube is not unlike recording media through a DVR or VCR. It notes that these older technologies, which are now pervasive, were initially resisted by big media companies in the same way that Google doesn’t want to allow recording services on its site now.
As GigaOm’s Janko Roettgers points out, video conversion and downloading tools for YouTube are not new, and neither are cease-and-desist letters from Google to companies offering these tools, but the petition could be worrying for Google, which is making a huge push to monetize YouTube.
This means the video-sharing giant has to be sure its video views are actually counted and that ads are delivered when people play clips. As Roettgers says, “both isn’t possible when users download YouTube clips through third-party services.”