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Google green-lights extension which clearly violates its own policies

When Google opened the doors to its Chrome Extensions Gallery the other day, there were some interesting questions to be answered: Would ad blockers be allowed? What about YouTube downloaders? They're some of the most popular Firefox add-ons, but it looked as though Google wasn't about to let them in to its own Gallery.

In their program policies for the Extensions Gallery, Google states "We don't allow products or services that violate third party terms of service, or products or services that enable the unauthorized download of streaming content or media."

One has to wonder what they were thinking when they approved the YouTube Downloader extension. In addition to breaching the developer terms of service, it's also in violation of the YouTube TOS:
Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only and may not be downloaded, copied, modified, produced, reproduced, distributed, transmitted, broadcast, displayed, sold, licensed, translated, published, performed or otherwise exploited for any other purposes whatsoever without the prior written consent of the respective owners.

Further along, it states:
Accessing User Videos for any purpose or in any manner other than Streaming is expressly prohibited.
Now, unless YouTube Downloader has some massive archive of written letters from the clip uploaders themselves, I think it's pretty clear that this extension does things Google claims it isn't going to tolerate.

It will be interesting to see what the next step is -- I wouldn't be at all surprised if the extension gets pulled in the very near future. If they want to keep major content providers happy, they don't have a choice: they must pull it now. Google can't afford to appear permissive when it comes to violating content-protection provisions. It would seem like a crazy move while hardly a day goes by without news of Google courting yet another big deal with a large-scale media publisher.

update: the extension's page now displays an error. It would appear as though the banhammer has fallen.

Tags: chrome, downloader, extensions, gallery, google, tos, violation, youtube

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