Google sends Microsoft cease and desist letter

Google is pissed off that Microsoft made a YouTube app for Windows Phone, but excluded the advertising. Here is a section of Google’s letter:

“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,” says Google’s letter, addressed to Microsoft’s Todd Brix.

Actually Google, Microsoft has it right — this sounds like a great YouTube app.

  • Ilari Scheinin

    I wonder why Apple didn’t want to use Google’s mapping data anymore in their own iOS app.

    • Probably because they would have to pay for it?

      • caleb_land

        Pay for it by giving up data of their users most likely. Google will happily give you access to their services in exchange for your user data.

        It’s a fair trade, but Apple wanted control of their own services.

        • News Commenter

          Bullshit. Google Maps API for Business starts at $10000 a year.

          Poor speculation.

          • caleb_land

            Fine then, but with Apple it’s about about controlling their own services. The money probably wasn’t even a factor.

    • Techpm

      The answer is starting to appear in Google’s new maps. Google wants to put a lot of ads in there.

  • studuncan

    Microsoft isn’t actually blocking advertising, they just didn’t include it. Guess why. It’s not in the public API.

    If it’s not in the public API, how is Microsoft supposed to implement ads?

    • Td

      It’s amazing how many stories about this spat between Google/MS are missing this very simple fact.

      Microsoft would love it if Google made their own YouTube app for Windows Phone. Google refuses AND they don’t allow you to make a YouTube app that can “legally” access ad-driven videos without their permission. For whatever reason, Google has refused in the past to allow MS access to the ad API.

      Microsoft’s app is a calculated move to push Google’s hand in striking it down. Then Microsoft can turn around and say, “we’d love to include ads if you’d just let us” (which is exactly what their follow-up said yesterday). This app was all about skewing the negotiations in Microsoft’s favor.

      • Pretty stupid of them to include links to download content though meant for stream only. They are almost begging to be sued. Problem being so few people are using Windows Phone that the damages are likely to be limited and not worth pursuing at this stage.


    Google doesn’t like when someone else steals its IP without paying.

    API is not copyrightable according to Google for Java but you need a EULA to use youtube or Google will block you.

  • Microsoft may “have it right” but this clearly goes against how Google utilizes YouTube as a service. The decision was made many moons ago to support YouTube through ad revenue – just as they’ve done for all of their products. This is nothing new. Microsoft is knowingly attacking Google’s business model for YouTube in making the app. Without the ads you don’t have the service. And if you don’t have the service, Microsoft’s app becomes useless no matter how good it is. Are apps better with less ads? Yes. Thank you, Captain Obvious. But whether the Microsoft app for YouTube is better or worse, let’s be real about what’s going on here – Microsoft trying to start a pissing contest.

    • With their mobile market share it’s like a mosquito attacking an elephant.

  • Alex

    AppleTV’s bundled YouTube app doesn’t show ads either. How does its installed base and usage stats compare with Windows Phones?

    • albertkinng

      Wait for the next Apple TV update

    • Td

      I’d have to check again, but it used to be that Apple’s YouTube apps (iOS pre-6.0 and AppleTV) could not access all videos. Some of that was codec compatibility (YouTube had to reconvert every video to h.264), but the rest were videos that required ads to run before playing.

      The Vevo music videos, for example.

      It seems like MS’s app plays those videos even though it’s not capable of playing the Ad, which is against the TOS.

  • albertkinng

    If Apple quit trying what makes you think MS will win?

  • Lazy as hell

    How about I use your material copying. Obviously it not biggie that your sponsors do not get to be seen. Adblockers should be recomended on you site.

    In same Logic it should be Ok to sideload apps for free for iphone.

    I only have a few thoudens views in youtube but it away from me.

    Again juvenile

  • Doctorossi

    “for creators”…

    Google bleeds for the little guy.

  • “..sounds like a great YouTube app.” For whom, Jim? For users, maybe, but certainly not for partners. This is their bread and butter, and ads help them monetize it.

    Would 5by5 podcasts be “great” without sponsor ads, even though it would seriously compromise the hosts’ ability to produce them?

    • Well in all honesty the 5by5 podcasts couldn’t get much worse since losing the all stars: Gruber, Arment, Siracusa.

  • It isn’t great if you’re making money from your YouTube channel. They have to look out for their users and not just give away user content.

    • Fraydog

      Google could do a lot more to protect users by putting ads in the PUBLIC API’s. Blame is a two way street here. Google doesn’t want to do that because they can’t track user data if they simply put ads in the public API and let MS go about their merry way.

      • Putting ads in an API request means a developer could strip them out. Some of us devs would do it on our own or we’d get instructed by our superiors. It’d happen for sure.

        It isn’t all about user data. If it was, they wouldn’t have an API at all.

        The only way YT could handle this is with in-stream ads and that is some serious tech to get right across the many codecs they offer. If it is played through their player, they can easily sequence the playback like so: [preroll] [video] [postroll]. Without that, you get [video]; that’s where content creators lose.

        Kudos to YouTube for standing up for their content creators.

  • There are times I actually like it when Mommy and Daddy fight.