YouTube’s cease and desist letter over Microsoft Windows Phone app

YouTube’s director of global platform partnerships, Francisco Varela, has sent an angry letter to Microsoft over an app that strips out advertisements from videos on the popular social media site.

The cease and desist letter, appearing at Scribd, was addressed to Windows Phone apps and store general manager Todd Brix.

“It appears that the application: (1) allows users to download videos from YouTube? (2) prevents the display of advertisements in YouTube video playbacks? and (3) plays videos that our partners have restricted from playback on certain platforms (e.g., mobile devices with limited feature sets). These features directly harm our content creators and clearly violate our Terms of Service,” Varela writes.

“Content creators make money on YouTube by monetizing their content through advertising. Unfortunately, by blocking advertising and allowing downloads of videos, your application cuts off a valuable ongoing revenue source for creators, and causes harm to the thriving content ecosystem on YouTube.

“In addition, your application overrides specific decisions made by some content creators to keep their content from displaying on certain types of devices, which in many cases are due to exclusive distribution arrangements those content creators have with third parties.

“We request that you immediately withdraw this application from the Windows Phone Store and disable existing downloads of the application by Wednesday, May 22, 2013.”

Microsoft’s version of the YouTube app is the latest in a long series of battles between Microsoft and YouTube’s parent company, Google.

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