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YouTube Windows Phone 8 app to be “immediately withdrawn” says Google

Google has written a letter to Microsoft demanding a Windows Phone 8 YouTube app is “immediately withdrawn” from the Windows Phone Store.

The Microsoft developed Windows Phone 8 YouTube app violates the YouTube Terms of Service, so Google has demanded it is removed from the Windows Phone Store and all existing downloaded versions suspended by May 22.

Francisco Varela, Director for Global Platform Partnerships at YouTube, writes directly to Todd Brix, General Manager for Microsoft’s Windows Phone Apps and Store, asking him to remove the offending app. As the letter details, the YouTube app for Windows Phone 8 removes adverts and allows users to download YouTube videos directly from within the app.

“We recently became aware of a Microsoft-authored YouTube application for Windows Phone 8,” writes Varela. “It appears that the applications: (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,” he added Varela. “We request that you immediately withdraw this application from the Windows Phone Store and disable existing downloads of the applications by Wednesday, May 22, 2013.”

Varela goes on to say Google was “surprised and disappointed that Microsoft chose to launch [such] an application”, especially as it “deliberately” deprives YouTube video creator of their earnings.

“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 cause harm to the thriving content ecosystem on YouTube.”

Windows Phone 8 users have access to a “fully-functional” HTML5 YouTube application through the web browser, as Varela highlights in the letter.

A statement issued by Microsoft in response to the letter says the company “look forward to solving this matter together for our mutual customers.”

Next, read our Windows Phone 8 tips and tricks.


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