> background playback, audio only mode
> You and your API Clients must not, and must not encourage, enable, or require others to:
> separate, isolate, or modify the audio or video components of any YouTube audiovisual content made available as part of, or in connection with, YouTube API Services.
> promote separately the audio or video components of any YouTube audiovisual content made available as part of, or in connection with, the YouTube API Services;
> create, include, or promote features that play content, including audio or video components, from a background player, meaning a player that is not displayed in the page, tab, or screen that the user is viewing;
The author blatantly violated YouTube's developer policies then complained that YouTube was upset? Why the victim complex? What did he expect? He's lucky they didn't choose to go down the lawsuit route instead.
This doesn't seem like an arbitrary policy either. If he's playing the video where the user can't see it, the user can't see ads. If the user can't see ads, the video creator doesn't get paid.
Well duh, but those policies only exist because YT is trying to sell those features.
> He's lucky they didn't choose to go down the lawsuit route instead.
Lucky? It's a toss-up whether policies like this are actually enforceable. Most likely all they'd be able to do is block the devs access.
I'll take this as my stance on this matter: a user or program should be allowed to do anything they choose with the bits they receive. They can alter, modify, ignore, strip, or save any part of it.
This app operates in the same area as ad blockers. Would you argue that uBlock should be taken down because YT wrote a policy demanding that browser software must not 'enable or encourage' the blocking of ads.
He consented to a contract, violated it and caused actual damages (loss of ad revenue, profiting from copyright infringement). Given that he displayed content in violation of the license he was given and made money from it, it could even be a criminal copyright infringement case.
> This app operates in the same area as ad blockers. Would you argue that uBlock should be taken down because YT wrote a policy demanding that browser software must not 'enable or encourage' the blocking of ads.
The uBlock developer doesn't profit and didn't agree to anything.
> I'll take this as my stance on this matter: a user or program should be allowed to do anything they choose with the bits they receive. They can alter, modify, ignore, strip, or save any part of it.
A stance like this is how you get DRM and ads baked into the video stream. Would you honestly prefer we get into an arms race with YouTube? With DRM the way it is today, I'm not sure that's a battle we can win. Head down this path and we'll have DRM and eye tracking to make _really_ sure we're watching ads before we play a video.
> The uBlock developer doesn't profit and didn't agree to anything.
So if the app was Free and FOSS would it be okay? Hopefully so since youtube-dl exists.
> A stance like this is how you get DRM and ads baked into the video stream. Would you honestly prefer we get into an arms race with YouTube?
Right, but in your alternate universe you are legally bound to view the ads and still have all the restrictions of DRM. It's really no different but without any possiblity of circumventing it. Nothing really changes.
The developer is displaying copyrighted content. YouTube doesn't own the copyright but it does hold a sublicensable license, which is how the developer could legitimately develop a YouTube app. By violating the developer agreement from YouTube, the developer is breaching any copyright license he may have had. By selling the app commercially, he's also potentially doing so criminally. There's also the CFAA which I forgot at the time.
> So if the app was Free and FOSS would it be okay? Hopefully so since youtube-dl exists.
If the app was free and didn't utilize the API, then yes, it'd be in the same space as youtube-dl.
> It's really no different but without any possiblity of circumventing it. Nothing really changes.
What changes is that as users, we're forced to let invasive technologies into our lives in order to consume content.
I'm sure this could be the case but I'm not convinced that their license to the content would be so specific as to require the delivery of the content video/audio together, or must be played in the foreground. Especially since it would require all of the content be relicensed every time they change their policies. And especially since YT themselves can ignore these rules.
Also, we all know that the CFAA is both bullshit and makes basically everything illegal. It has no place in any discussion like this.
> What changes is that as users, we're forced to let invasive technologies into our lives in order to consume content.
Sure, but you've just traded invasive technologies for invasive legal requirements. But your world is basically the case right now and we have DRM and plenty of ad blocking circumvention measures so I'm not convinced it would help.
The license a creator gives to YouTube might not require that YouTube delivers audio and video together (it clearly doesn't for YouTube Red) but the license YouTube gives developers definitely does, as pointed out above. Plus, if the video isn't played in the foreground, people don't see ads and creators don't get paid. If there isn't an explicit agreement preventing it, it'd certainly cause conflict if YouTube were found to be allowing it.
> Especially since it would require all of the content be relicensed every time they change their policies.
They've done it in the past, when they introduced YouTube Red for example: https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2015/01/23/youtube-removing...
> Sure, but you've just traded invasive technologies for invasive legal requirements.
Legal requirements are soft and barely enforceable on end users. I'll take those over technological solutions.
Oh, it is. Licensing is extremely complex, detailing the medium, format, geography, etc. that you can use it on. A license for video doesn't give you any right to stream audio, and vice-versa.
Content licensing agreements are insane, with a nearly-infinite number of restrictions.
Their music licenses absolutely definitely do, unless it's a paid subscription service.
The music labels do not want anyone to be able to build something that might be a free competitor to Spotify. So you may only implement listening to anything you want (as opposed to a random playlist such as Pandora or iTunes Radio) if the service is a paid subscription one, probably with a minimum price point similar to Spotify, or if it cannot play audio in the background with the screen off on mobile.
Licensing is a patchwork, so there's the odd exception missed, or from a VERY old deal, but that's essentially the market if you want to license music.
They own distribution rights. I haven't looked at the contract to see what that covers specifically, but typically it would not allow the same degree of rights as original ownership, though it would include more rights than normal end user purchases.
This can have some interesting loopholes which is how my aunt used to have a library of "screener" videos but that's another story...
> in your alternate universe you are legally bound [...]
Yes, you are legally bound to follow legal agreements. The repetitive wording should be a clue as to how iron clad that is, logically at least (even if hard to enforce).
Hey maybe you're the one in a million that uploads videos direct through webcam so they have that permission anyway - Would people really be ok with sitting there as their webcam light flickers on and off to make sure they're watching adverts? No, they would not. Literally any rival tube site could milk the heck out of that to start pulling people away from YouTube. I'd put money on seeing people vlogging on an adult tube site before we see eyeball tracking on YouTube.
Besides all that you could just unplug your webcam..
460p unless you meet the hardware and software requirements.
Eye tracking hardware and HDCP 4.0 display, and Windows 10 Securibility Update or MacOS Himalaya.
iOS 10 or Android Sherbet.
On MacOS and iOS that's Safari with iEye permissions granted for YouTube.com, or Chrome on MacOS with GoggleEye enabled.
On Windows, it's Edge with Windows Accessibility and Optics (WAaO), or Chrome with GoggleEye.
Android is Chrome with GoggleEye.
Or the official iOS, Android or Win 10 apps.
Coming 2019. Maybe.
That's a sinking ship. That's the sort of thing that allows Facebook into the world despite MySpace already existing. The sort of thing that allows Google to elbow its way into the #1 spot past the Altavistas, Hotbots and the Jeeves. A new site would come out of nowhere that doesn't have that restriction.
Netflix: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/23742 - 720p on Chrome and Firefox, 1080p on IE and Safari and 4K requires Microsoft Edge, a HDCP2.2 display, a 7th generation Intel Core CPU and Windows updates.
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=... - You can do 1080p on pretty much any browser but 4K requires a 2nd generation Amazon Fire TV and a HDCP2.2 display.
In the future these values will go up of course, but the difference between restricting HD users to SD and 4K users to HD is quite different.
That said, YouTube have foisted some odious crap (cough random unsubscibe cough Google+ cough Takedown bullshit cough) on creators and subscribers, and yet here we are. Still using YouTube.
The cost of starting and acquiring users for and running a viable YouTube alternative is just too damn high. Unless Amazon do it, it's not happening. Vimeo is an also-ran despite.
People would just upgrade their shit and/or fall in line, or suffer shitty quality.
Regardless of your position on whether the law is right or wrong, this is not true as a matter of law.
Depending on the pertinent applicable law, your ability to transform these bits may be restricted based on IP law or contract law.
See, I could get behind this argument if I could actually buy those features - but because I'm not in the US, I can't. YouTube Red has looked like the same speck on the horizon as it has for the past 3 years in the UK now, and as far as I know, absolutely nothing has been said about when it'll arrive here.
I would like nothing more than to pay for this functionality, after being given a trial of YouTube Music Key (back before it was called Red) well over 3 years ago at this point, I want reasonably priced access to Red original content, I want background and audio-only play on my phone. Hell, I might even use the download video feature, who knows? Well it's sure as hell not me, because I don't even have access to it.
If you sign a NDA with Coca-Cola, and they share their recipe with you via email, you're allowed to do "anything you choose" with it?
If you sign a partnership contract with Google, and they share their algorithms with you, you're allowed to do "anything you choose" with it?
Where's the line exactly of how far you can violate a contract simply because the property - intellectual and otherwise, can be represented as bits?
That's totally within their rights as a business, is it not?
That's the main question in my mind. The functionality could all be implemented without access to the developer API.
I think users have a legal right to use Ad blockers, but in this case it can't even be tested, because Apple decided to police their AppStore, against users interests.
I'm by no means anti-Apple. I prefer their ecosystem to Android, and feel it is less driven by advertising. But this feels like an anti-user move.
If I'm using YouTube without signing in, which contract is being breached?
The existence of YouTube facilitates breach of copyright doesn't it? I don't understand which copyright is being infringed by rendering without Ads.
I guess the "Apple takes a cut" bit is where their liability comes from. But... I'm not really clear that any law is being broken here...
I'm not sure how this is a breach of the CFAA, in particular given that scraping content (in light of recent LinkedIn case) seems to be fine. And there doesn't seem to be much of a case against adblockers in general.
The developer is using the YouTube API, which has terms which the developer agreed to. He is breaching those terms.
> If I'm using YouTube without signing in, which contract is being breached?
You're not breaching any terms. This isn't equivalent because the developer is using the API, which has terms he agreed to.
> I don't understand which copyright is being infringed by rendering without Ads.
The only license the developer has to display the copyrighted material uploaded to YouTube is the license YouTube grants him, which, per the API terms, requires him to show audio and video together. By violating the terms of his license, he's infringing on the content owners' copyrights.
However, it doesn't seem to be the central issue to me. The app could be rewritten to use the public (possibly undocumented) interface, that we all use on the web.
But it seems like issues would still exist then? Seems like Apple would still remove the app. Or is that not the case?
Not only that, the author also refused to release the app for free on Cydia:
> Some people might suggest that I re-release ProTube 2 on Cydia. Few people even have jailbroken devices anymore and only a fraction of my user base would be able to access Cydia. Purchases from the App Store also can't be carried over to Cydia so people would have to purchase the app again. And YouTube might still come after me.
If the author refuses to give it the app for free, why does he/she expects Google to do the same?
And it goes beyond that: none of the money the author makes by stealing traffic from YT goes to the creators. Zero. The author is defunding both the creators and YT while making money for him/herself.
If ProTube was free/oss, I could see some valid points behind it, but the creator is actually making money on that copyrighted content.
Seriously, why would anyone have any reasonable expectations of a different outcome?
Would this app be open-source and google would've shut it down - completely different story. But in this case it's just business, nothing personal. I don't get why OP is so angry.
Your argument is essentially the same one against Adblockers in general.
Although I wouldn't have bought it since the plain Youtube app is fine for me, it looks like he put a lot of work and soul into the app, and I feel for him. I also appreciate the level headedness of the statement, explaining the situation without much vitriol, although I'm surprised he doesn't mention anything about one of the issues Google likely had, which was ad-blocking (see edit below). Good luck to him on his next project.
Edit: It looks like the author of the app likely got in a lot of trouble with Google for not having ads when playing videos, on top of the other issues, a commenter below points out. I think it's a little disingenuous of the author to not put this in his statement as I'm sure Google wasn't happy about it (and probably said so in the emails) and it's likely another violation of the TOS (and I'm surprised they haven't pulled/didn't pull API access). What I said still stands, but he should be more direct about the issues that Google had.
Seems clear to me, this is a way of cheating Google out of their Red subscription fee or their standard ad revenue.
I'm really don't get the outpouring of sympathy here. He's essentially pirating their Red service and charging a fee for it.
I don't think they really need to use the developer API to implement any of the functionality used. And I don't understand why it's Apples job to police their ecosystem in Googles favor. Seems like an anti-user move on Apples part.
Or are people still just pretending they do. Without having even so much as the option of installing a third party application without going through the Apple App Store. Seems like stretching it, nobody can like that.
He should be able to sell the App standalone. There is no technical reason why not, it's a political one from Apple to artificially limit this functionality. They spent money making sure you couldn't do it.
It would be nice if I could install something on my own, e.g. side-load an app, but I haven't come across an app that I've seemingly needed that for. I think the fact that you can only go through the App Store also keeps things consistent for the consumer, so they don't wonder why they sometimes have to install it using iTunes, sometimes through the App Store. Of course there's also the economics of Apple's 30% cut of App Store app purchases.
If you turn off your malware features during review time, then it wont be caught. There is a good chance your malware behavior wouldn't be caught even if they were on.
After you've released the app, it's up to users to report the bad behavior to apple.
Also the OS is far more locked down than android and devices are frequently updated, which limits what malware can do.
And, you know, while I'd like to see Apple allow sideloading of signed apps (I think in the long run it's essential if they're serious about making iOS a general purpose computing platform), it's just a bit on the presumptuous side to assert that all iOS users must surely be chafing under the heavy heel of Apple's Evil Draconian Rule. The number of application classes that aren't allowed on the App Store is, in practice, pretty small--it's just that developers and other Hacker News fans are more likely to want/need apps that do run afoul of those restrictions. Even so, the amount of stuff I can do right now with apps installed from the Evil Draconian App Store™ would probably surprise you.
I doubt this is massively different under flag-ship Android devices though. Mobile phones currently suck in this regard.
This happens because they depended on the proprietary closed lock-in platform. They totally deserve it.
Avoid those platform which doesn't respect your freedom.
Meanwhile, on my desktop I use a downloader script that continues to work flawlessly for some of those usecases described in the article; it doesn't use the "official API", but mimics what a browser would do, so YouTube would have to stop working in the browser to stop that from working.
Quite worrisome that they've simply given up because people have so little control over their own devices on Apple's platform now.
(See the sibling comments.)
Here's my favorite part:
YouTube wants to sell its $10/month subscription service which offers many features that ProTube also offered for a lower one time price, so they started hunting down 3rd party YouTube apps on the App Store.
It's their service so they can charge whatever they want for it because they actually pay the bills to keep the service up and running. What's not okay is for you to sell an app to customers that, you clearly knew, violated YouTube's TOS and was subject to takedown at anytime.
But as a consumer, you can use the youtube-dl script (https://rg3.github.io/youtube-dl/) along with mpv (https://mpv.io/) to play YouTube videos as you wish. Example:
mpv --no-video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
mpv <pretty much any video / streaming site in existence>
It's pretty lame of YouTube to do, especially since I can't even buy the paid service if I wanted to (I live in Canada).
They don't have the license to do so. Streaming audio requires a different license than streaming video.
> However, by submitting Content to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and YouTube's (and its successors' and affiliates') business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.
"in any media formats and through any media channels" certainly covers audio only.
It's the users who are really getting screwed, probably many of them still don't know the difference between official app and an 3rd party app. The users are of grave risk under such conditions, where if a 3rd party app developer of a famous service decides to sell the app to someone; they could easily pish the unsuspecting user's login credentials.
In this case, the developer took the right call to bring down the app. I hope his future endeavours are just as successful without using 3rd party content.
I do hope the future holds something better for the consumer than YouTube
I know this is a question of values, of what is considered "just". But for me it would feel fair if all the 20k reviews of the nearby mall on Google maps would not be Google's property but belong to everyone, since many many people contributed to it out of goodwill.
Before ProTube, I only watched YouTube content when it was embedded in sites I was browsing. Hopefully the current version works long enough for me to figure out a replacement (either for the app or for YouTube itself.)
how is that dickish ?
They seem pretty gracious right now to have let the API key work for so long while it breaks half their TOS.
It's not a surprising outcome, but still unfortunate for both YouTube and consumers.
> Registrant Name: Jonas Gessner
> Registrant Street: Infinite Loop 1
> Registrant City: Cupertino
> Registrant Postal Code: 95014
> Registrant Country: US
> Registrant Phone: +14.089961010
I'd be happy with ads, I'd be happy with not being able to download videos, I just wanted to get videos from channels I'd subscribed to and multitask with iOS' native PiP and ProTube let me do that.
Anyone can sideload without mercy of Apple, uses infamous youtube-dl. Might try later tonight.
Would love author to open source his code or contribute to above mentioned project.
ProTube is nothing more than an alternative user agent that users are choosing to use to interact with the youtube.com service.
They should shut down the public youtube.com service if they don't want people to access it in ways that are reasonably fair use.
Would it have been okay if he didn't use the API but accessed the same functionality just like you can with a web browser?
The argument that people will have to buy it again to access it makes no sense, it doesn't matter.
Aren't we, as the public, entitled to access the data that we, the collective public, have contributed?
How many people that uploaded content want to prevent others from privately enjoying it?
2. A federal judge recently ruled that LinkedIn couldn't block a service that was scraping their service. That scraping costs LinkedIn some measurable amount of money, but I personally think that should be a burden they're required to bear.
If they don't want that burden, let them shut down the service and allow a new service or technology to replace it.
I thought it was possible for uploaded to turn off the monetization, and then ads won't be shown on that video.
There, I fixed that for you.
Everyone saying "this is why you don't build your business on someone else's X" yeah, we get that, but 3rd parties don't always have to do this.