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Google Demands Microsoft Pull YouTube App For WP8 716

Posted by samzenpus
from the or-else dept.
First time accepted submitter exomondo writes "Google has given Microsoft until May 22nd to pull their Windows Phone 8 YouTube app from the marketplace and disable it on customer devices. It not only includes a built-in ad blocker but also allows users to download videos and doesn't impose device-specific streaming restrictions outlined in the YouTube Terms Of Service. A Microsoft spokesperson said in part: 'YouTube is consistently one of the top apps downloaded by smartphone users on all platforms, but Google has refused to work with us to develop an app on par with other platforms. Since we updated the YouTube app to ensure our mutual customers a similar YouTube experience, ratings and feedback have been overwhelmingly positive. We'd be more than happy to include advertising but need Google to provide us access to the necessary APIs. In light of Larry Page's comments today calling for more interoperability and less negativity, we look forward to solving this matter together for our mutual customers.'"
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Google Demands Microsoft Pull YouTube App For WP8

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  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:10AM (#43739471) Homepage Journal

    I predict Microsoft will lose, and lose hard.

    They don't have an inherent right to access youtube. It's not in the constitution.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Are they looking to paint themselves as the biggest dicks in the room again? If so, success. Microsoft: we can't invent anything, but no one out-assholes our assholes.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:43AM (#43739713)

        Normally I'd agree, but in this case it really seems like Microsoft is trying to meet the needs of their customers and Google is not cooperating with them in an attempt to squeeze them out of market share. I'm all for sticking it to M$, but when it hurts the consumer ultimately that really makes Google no better than they are.

        • by stiggle (649614) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:01AM (#43739861)

          Their customers can use the YouTube website - same as everyone else who doesn't have a pre-built app installed or for their platform. Just because you can hack YouTube's website and write a wrapper around your hacks to provide the content doesn't mean its legit.

          Isn't accessing web content through means other than the published API or intended URL a hacking offense with prison time after conviction?

          • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:47AM (#43740305)

            They are using the API, the API doesn't provide ads. Google say's they won't make an app. So Microsoft uses the API to make one. So Google comes back and says that apps built using their API don't meet the required terms of service.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 16, 2013 @09:34AM (#43740829)

              The API comes with terms of service. Saying it's OK to ignore them is like saying A DDOS attack is perfectly fine since it too uses the API.
              I think what Microsoft done is no less then an exploit. And unlike some script kiddie, this is for money.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:20AM (#43739537)

      MS:Your Honor, we created the App in good faith using the API's available, since those API's do not allow us to add the functions Google is requesting we can not add those features until they make available API's capable of doing so. We are happy to add those features as soon as the API is available we would also willingly remove the app if Google provided a feature complete replacement.
      Judge: Why aren't the required API's available?
      Google: Ummmm....
      Judge: Case dismissed

      • by dingen (958134) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:29AM (#43739609)

        The point is that Microsofts application isn't using publicly available API's, they are abusing YouTube and violating their terms. Just because Google doesn't provide API's to allow you to make something that meets their conditions doesn't mean you may violate those conditions. It simply means Google doesn't want to present YouTube through anything but their own applications.

      • by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:30AM (#43739631) Journal

        Google: our terms of service clearly state that storing downloads for any other purpose than buffering is not permitted.
        Judge: (to MS) So you ignored the terms of service in building your application?
        MS: Well, yes, but we just wanted a good user experience
        Judge: And my grand-daughter wants a pony. I find you in violation of the TOS, your app must be pulled until you can show it complies.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:36AM (#43739663) Homepage Journal

          Judge: And my grand-daughter wants a pony. I find you in violation of the TOS, your app must be pulled until you can show it complies.

          You forgot to add, "...and may God have mercy on your souls."

      • by firex726 (1188453)

        Not quite, it takes extra work to add features such as being able to locally download the videos.

      • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @09:14AM (#43740601)

        Pretty sure the requirement to follow the ToS comes before any obligation on the part of Google to provide an API. "Having APIs available" isnt an inherent right, either.

      • by dnaumov (453672)

        Judge: Why aren't the required API's available?
        Google: Ummmm....

        More like:

        Judge: Why aren't the required API's available?
        Google: Ummmm....because we don't have to provide them to anybody?

    • by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:22AM (#43739553) Homepage

      We'd be more than happy to include advertising but need Google to provide us access to the necessary APIs

      I don't get this. As I understand it, the only thing they need to include advertising is... "nothing".
      Just remove the ad blocker and the ads will be back. The ads are there by default.
      Similar with the downloading; you don't need access to the API's in order to prevent you from adding a download option in your app.

      Although both features would be highly appreciated, the reasons MS provides are a bit odd.

    • Normally, I'd line up behind the MS bashing, but I think in this case google is super annoying regarding API access. Why doesn't MS have the tools necessary to make a youtube app that works according to the terms and conditions? Failing that, why hasn't google provided one? Just to shaft microsoft on both counts I suspect. And that's kindof annoying. Are they afraid of a little compeition for android? I don't personally feel like WP8 is anything to worry about... but if so, why do they appear so worri
    • by 7x7 (665946)
      I don't think MS intends to win. I think this is nothing more than "How to get Google's attention".
    • by Big Hairy Ian (1155547) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:13AM (#43739955)
      Did Microsoft reply to a totally different statement from google?
    • by v1 (525388)

      "So we wanted to take content from Google and strip off the revenue-generating part of it and pass it off to our customers, but Google wouldn't roll over on our demands. So we're just going to take it anyway. Oh what's this? It looks like Google is going to sue us for violating the TOS that they refused to change just for us. Well, maybe now they'll be willing to roll over and play by our rules!"

      Idiots. Don't you know you can't be a bully and get away with it unless you're bigger than the other guy?

  • If this it what will take Microsoft to get more traction in the mobile market, so be it.

    A Youtube client that blocks ads and allows downloads, what else could we ask for??

    Who's being evil now???

    • by Threni (635302) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:28AM (#43739599)

      Your implication is that Google is being evil because they're preventing Microsoft from taking market share from Google by using Google's services. It's hard to imagine a more one-sided and asinine analysis.

      I think Microsoft are just upset they're screwgled because nobody wants Windows 8 or Windows phones and everyone knows it.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:43AM (#43739717) Homepage Journal

        Your implication is that Google is being evil because they're preventing Microsoft from taking market share from Google by using Google's services. It's hard to imagine a more one-sided and asinine analysis.

        Well, wait a minute now. If it was some bunch of open source geeks making an app that download's YouTube videos and strips the advertisements, and Google came down as hard, I think we'd hear squeals of outrage and demands for Google not to be "evil".

        But because it's Microsoft, fuck them, right?

        Now, I can understand this sentiment completely, but let's not pretend that this same "one-sided and asinine analysis" has not been used by everybody on every side of these issues.

        At the bottom, this is why having a company control the ecosystem for any platform is a very bad idea. Because we want little companies trying to make things more useful by breaking big companies' models. That's how progress works. The notion that we have to create some protected reserve where the biggest companies can enjoy guaranteed success forever without having to face any competition is really what's asinine.

        • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:45AM (#43739733) Homepage Journal

          Well, wait a minute now. If it was some bunch of open source geeks making an app that download's YouTube videos and strips the advertisements, and Google came down as hard, I think we'd hear squeals of outrage and demands for Google not to be "evil".

          But because it's Microsoft, fuck them, right?

          The nature of the difference is in the purpose or intent of the work, which in this case is to permit violation of Google's AUP for Microsoft's profit (no one will take them seriously without Youtube access.) Specifically, Microsoft has willfully taken these actions for financial gain.

        • Little companies, yes. Microsoft, no. Their entire history revolved around screwing everyone and everything they could get their hands on, from individual (and little) companies, right up to international standards bodies.

          If Google is also preventing Apple, Blackberry, et al, from accessing youtube, then that would be a problem. As far as I know, they're not. They're only refusing Microsoft. Microsoft has yet to do anything that shows they have truely changed their ways (and probably never will as long

        • by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Thursday May 16, 2013 @09:36AM (#43740867)

          But because it's Microsoft, fuck them, right?

          If Google modified the Chrome browser to strip out ads on/from Microsoft owned properties, Microsoft would have a fit. Anti-trust complaints in multiple jurisdiction, legal threats, political lobbying, chair throwing, the works.

          So yes, fuck them.

    • by durrr (1316311)

      One that doesn't prevent listening to music clips on mobile devices.

      Oh...

    • If this it what will take Microsoft to get more traction in the mobile market, so be it.

      A Youtube client that blocks ads and allows downloads, what else could we ask for??

      Who's being evil now???

      Evilness doesn't really come into it... Microsoft has written software that uses a third party service in a way that that third party's T&Cs disallow. You're free to avoid services on the grounds that you don't like their T&Cs, but you don't get to just ignore the T&Cs, especially when you're operating commercially.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      So I'm breaking their TOS hard... AdBlockPlus takes care of the ads, and a youtube downloader whose name I forgot gives me direct download links for the videos. Oh well. I'm not Microsoft so not likely that Google will sue me.

    • by jader3rd (2222716) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @09:13AM (#43740599)

      Who's being evil now???

      The company that's providing a way to view ad supported content, ad free, is being evil.

  • Sounds familiar... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Controlio (78666) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:12AM (#43739493)

    Wow. So Microsoft is mad because someone else won't give them details on a closed API?

    What a difference a decade makes. How's it feel, Microsoft?

  • Wait... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:12AM (#43739497) Journal

    So Microsoft appears to have made the perfect youtube client? Sonofabitch. When I had limited mobile data, I dreamed for a simple youtube client that could cache several videos for off-line or repeated watching. Of course, Apple won't build a client like - they would rather you not even know youtube existed so you would just buy iTunes everything.

    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by amaurea (2900163) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:37AM (#43739665) Homepage

      Well said!

      This is similar to making a DVD player without region locks - it makes the player much more useful for its actual users, but pisses off the movie distributers because they want to control how the DVDs are used. In this case, Microsoft has created a youtube player that is better for the user in two important ways (no ads, which the user doesn't want to see, and the ability to store the video for later). This is something I would have expected the open source world to provide; I'm amazed to see a company like Microsoft do it. But I'm sure the programmers responsible for making this user-friendly (in the right sense of the word, not the "ooh shiny" sense) program will soon be punished for his obstinacy.

      The ability to block advertisements and download movies is provided by web browser addons, so people championing Google in its fight against this windows phone program would also have to come out against those addons. I hope that isn't as prevalent a view here as it seems from most of the comments so far.

      • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by rroman (2627559) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:21AM (#43740029)
        Yes, it is similar but not the same. When you buy dvd, you own it and should be able to do anything with it, because you paid for it. When it comes to youtube, you didn't pay anything, but the bandwidth and the servers Google uses aren't for free. They need to be able to generate revenue somehow.

        Unfortunately, the ads on youtube are so annoying and so disturbing, I had to install adblock and I'm not very happy about it. I feel like I should pay Google somehow back for using youtube, but when advertisement banner pops up over subtitles and I'm not able to read them, or 15 seconds intro delays me from watching 1 minute video I can not withstand it anymore.
  • Hypocrites (Score:5, Insightful)

    by trimpnick (1362187) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:14AM (#43739511)
    Microsoft strongarms phone manufacturers on unknown patent claims that android supposedly infringes but when they infringe ToS from Google and are told to change or remove the app, they say it's just Google not wanting to play ball. Good job Microsoft...
  • Pot, meet Kettle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZarathustraDK (1291688) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:15AM (#43739513)
    If only they'd apply the same open-minded fervor to stuff like .docx, directx and a million other things under their wings...
  • WebOS/iTunes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Howitzer86 (964585) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:16AM (#43739517)

    I wonder if this will become a humorous on-going issue like it was with WebOS and iTunes. I suppose it depends on how far Google is willing to go to keep YouTube API closed off from Windows Phone users. A change here, and updated app chasing it... Perhaps concluding in a long drawn out lawsuit?

    I know it can't be helpful for establishing goodwill between the companies. MS may be able to get away with it, but if they hadn't tickled the dragon's tail, maybe we'd eventually see some more genuine Google apps on the platform.

    • I have a feeling that you'll see more genuine Google apps on the platform, when the platform has a market share worth developing against.

      Google isn't a charity - they aren't going to spend the time developing an app for all 20 users of Windows Phone when the web pages also work.

      (Yes, I'm being a bit snarky with that last line, but the concept still stands)

  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:27AM (#43739593) Homepage Journal

    Doesn't Google get it? Microsoft is ABOVE all rules and standards.

    What a joke. If Google wasn't living up to a Microsoft EULA the whining from Redmond would be unbearable where I am at from Indiana.

    While there is cross-corporation wank going on here it does seem that Microsoft arrogance is coming out here again.

  • by JustNiz (692889) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:05AM (#43739897)

    Most of the posts here are making arguments and suggesting actions that were exactly the same as the ones that generated loud complaints on Slashdot when it was about Microsoft using proprietary crap to lock out Linux/Open Source.

    I don't like Microsoft at all, but supporting Google acting more like them is no answer either.

  • by schwit1 (797399) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:15AM (#43739973)

    Microsoft is violating Google's terms of service, which according to the DOJ is a felony covered under the CFAA.

    If it was applicable to Aaron Swartz ...

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