Thoughts about the whole Google-Youtube Crackdown on Downloader sites

Friend of mine clued me into the fact Youtube (or is it Google. Don't really know how much autonomy Youtube has really) is starting to go after sites that let users copy a video URL, hit a button, and get an MP3.

I have seen comments to the effect that this is hypocritical on Google's part due to
their mass scanning of copyrighted material (books.) Me personally? I can kinda see the argument, but I think it's rubbish. I could be wrong here because it all hinges on motive and intent, however Google's mass book scanning seems to be both aimed at preservation and search-ability. The rip-video-to-mp3 thing is more 'I want music to cart around.' Vastly different end-goals in mind.

You can't even use the excuse 'I want to try before I buy' either because the actual video with the music you want is still up. Even if this move makes you curse Youtube's existence and want alternatives those exist too. Look at Grooveshark. Excellent streaming music site. I have no idea how they haven't been sued into the ground but it actually provides a better overall experience if your aim is pure listening.

Devil's advocate time here. Let's say you find a lecture you want to grab, or a house mix, your kid playing something you want to have on your ipod, or whatever that isn't some trash-forty song. What're your options?

Dirpy's still around. Youtube-to-MP3 is probably going to get hit hard but it's still up as of the time of this righting. Even if those come down there's still programs that you can put on your own machine that'll do the ripping work for you.

We want to keep Google
from becoming This.
Even though I find the arguing and outright whining aggravating I'm honestly glad that it's there. Google is large. It is powerful. If it wanted to it could, instead of merely sending out Cease And Desist letters, shut youtube down, start taking down Every video and implement a sort of white list. It'd be expensive as hel and it'd cut the incoming video uploads down to a trickle and in the process deny a shedload of actual interesting content either because it's a let's play, remix, happens to have a music clip in the background, or any of a thousand other things that the MAFIAA has wanted them to screen for over the years.

Because Google is powerful and huge we have to keep an eye on them. Remind them loudly and often what we do and don't like. They are on our side as near as I can tell. It is our jobs to make sure they never lose touch of where they should stand.

In the short-term though I want people to just sit down, calm down, and realize this isn't the end of the world. We have plenty of options for sampling. The fact Youtube isn't suing first and not bothering with questions is encouraging. Even if you have to have some mix or obscure song you can't get some other way there are going to be options.

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