Philip Matesanz, a 21-year old student in Germany, recently received a cease-and-desist letter from Google after his website YouTube-mp3.org became popular for making it easy to extract downloadable mp3 files from any published YouTube video. His site isn’t all that unique as there are plenty of alternatives available, including fully legit commercial software. After getting the notice from Google, Matesanz chose to fight his case and was able to collect over 1.3 million signatures on the petition he posted to Change.org just last month. The petition broke a site record and got enough support to make it one of the five most-signed petitions on the website.
Does Philip have a case against Google? Google claims that what he is doing violates their terms of service but his lawyers are arguing that since their clients website does not use any API’s (application programming interface) from YouTube, it is not a violation. On top of that, they are claiming that what YouTube-mp3.org is doing is no different from what people have been doing for decades with other traditional broadcast… making legal private copies for personal use. Take VCR or DVD recorders as an example.
This case isn’t the first of its kind and it surely won’t be the last. Companies such as Google are facing pressure from the major media corporations to lock down their content and can afford top lawyers to go against this 21-year old student. Despite that fact, Philip Matesanz is prepared to print out and deliver by hand every single signed petition and isn’t ready to give up without a fight.
Venture Village recently interviewed Matesanz on their site, and the entire interview can be found in the source link below. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue and whether you believe sites like YouTube-mp3 should be shut down. Leave a comment to let us know.