Google Threatens to Shut Down YouTube-to-MP3 Conversion Sites

Google Threatens to Shut Down YouTube-to-MP3 Conversion Sites
As music fans know, YouTube hosts a massive amount of music on its servers, from official videos and singles, to fan-uploaded album tracks and covers. Some websites help users to pirate these songs, however, by converting the audio from video clips hosted on the Google-owned site into downloadable MP3s, but now Google is targeting these sites with threats of possible legal action.

As TorrentFreak [via Billboard] reports, Google has sent conversion website YouTube-MP3.org a letter demanding the site to shut down its service. According to Google's own stats, YouTube-MP3.org receives a massive 1.3 million visitors a day. The website Music-Clips.net reportedly received a similar letter, and other services may have been contacted as well.

According to YouTube's terms of service, it is illegal to download any of the website's content. YouTube's lawyer Harris Cohen said that disobeying these rules may bring about "legal consequences." For now, Google has blocked all of YouTube-MP3's servers from accessing any of its YouTube files.

YouTube-MP3 owner Philip responded by posting a letter of his own, calling on users to complain to Google and accusing the company of attempting to criminalize millions of people. He compared his own service to using a cassette or video recorder.

This isn't the first time that such websites have come under fire. TorrentFreak notes that a group of record labels sued the video downloading service TubeFire last year.