Years have passed since Google was an idealistic upstart that vowed to do no evil. Now it’s an immense public company with diverse interests to protect. And that’s what it was doing when it threatened to sue websites that enable users to download audio tracks from YouTube videos.
Lawyers representing Google recently sent a threatening letter to youtube-mp3.org and music-clips.net, two of many sites that allow visitors to freely download audio files lifted from YouTube videos. These activities violate YouTube’s terms of service, the letter claimed. In response, Google blocked the sites’ access to YouTube.