Bruce Houghton: Why Didn’t Google Shut Down YouTube-MP3 Sooner?

By many measures, YouTube streamripping became the #1 source of music piracy, widening the riff between the music industry and the online giant. But the shuttering of #1 ripper YouTube-MP3 came only after legal action from some injured parties – the major record labels. 

YouTube and parent Google were also severely harmed by the streamripping site, and chose not to take action. Not only was the YouTube brand used in the url and title of a site that enabled illegal downloads, YouTube-MP3 threatened the integrity of the core YouTube product.

But Google did nothing. In fact, YouTube-MP3 ranked high in Google searches for streamripping until very recently.

The extra traffic driven by ripping is insignificant to YouTube. But many within Google and it’s core tech audience believe in an open and free internet; and that ethos is baked into all things Google.

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