TubeNinja Offers YouTube a Suggestion On Where to Stuff Its Cease-and-Desist Letter

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YouTube likes to send legal threats to stream-ripping sites. The latest recipient, TubeNinja, is calling their bluff.

YouTube has given TubeNinja an ultimatum: either they stop all of their illegal activity, or face legal action.  But TubeNinja, which is probably liable for both trademark and copyright violations, is offering suggestions on where YouTube’s lawyers can stuff their letter.  “It appears from your website and other marketing materials that TubeNinja is designed to allow users to download content from YouTube,” the email from the ‘YouTube Legal Team’ reads (as secured by Torrentfreak).

The letter gives TubeNinja seven days to comply.

YouTube is by far the biggest online video platform and the world’s largest music source, with over a billion users.  But, it hasn’t stopped them from being at the front-and-centre of complaints from rights holders over low royalty payments.   And, high levels of copyright infringed content on the platform, for which they blame YouTube for not doing enough to combat this issue.

Indeed, music videos are becoming increasingly downloaded from YouTube by external sites.  And research groups like MusicWatch are reporting alarming rises stream-based piracy.  So, to keep copyright holders happy, YouTube is taking action and threatening ‘bad actors’ with legal action.

YouTube’s first step has been to start contacting third-party sites and send them shut-down notices.

This is when TubeNinja got hit with a threat stating that a refusal to stop ”may result in legal consequences.”

Effectively, YouTube states that TubeNinja violates the company’s ToS — or terms of service.  That includes both the site and the API, which is prohibited.  But, despite fierce threats, the legal threat doesn’t seem to be having much effect on the owner of TubeNinja, who says that they ”find it hard to believe that there is any legal case at all,” considering other services like ”Savefrom, Keepvid, clipconverter etc have been around since 2008”.

This isn’t the first time YouTube has threatened legal action against download services, and that’s the problem here.  In 2012, YouTube started a battle with, but that site is still operating to this day.

So, does YouTube actually have a case?  Or, more importantly, do they care enough to pursue it?

YouTube can make all the threats they want.  But if there is no positive outcome, then there is absolutely no point in the threats, as they simply serve no purpose.  The owner of TubeNinja does not at all seem worried about the threats and have openly doubted that any case exists.

So, if YouTube knows that there is no case, is this just a way to show content owners and copyright holders that they are fighting for their rights?  The news most certainly comes at a convenient time.  Google-owned YouTube has been under fire from all angles regarding its flawed Content ID system.

Maybe these threats will have teeth in them.  But so far, they haven’t.

9 Responses

  1. tile

    a time that Google-owned YouTube has been under fire from all angles regarding its flawed Content ID system that simply doesn’t work effectively with a notoriously ineffective dispute process.

    yeah considering everyone hates it. not for the reasons the industry cites though.

  2. Anonymous

    The advertising must go on!
    It’s all good as long media is converted to advertising teenage fat by Google meet grinder.

  3. Anonymous

    Pirates vs. pirates.

    Now, that’s gonna be fun! 🙂

  4. Anonymous

    “The owner of TubeNinja does not at all seem worried about the threats”

    The he’s seriously misguided.

  5. Versus

    Well, is there a legitimate case? It certainly seems that way to me…

  6. Johnny


    This is good stuff. I am wondering if you or your staff have written or would be willing to write about YouTube’s blatant disregard for their own TOS when it comes to paid promotion and click farms. Recently one of my clients released her debut video. Prior to that we were able to generate 300,000 views (w/o any paid promo), 3500 subscribers, and a solid engagement rate ranging from 2%-5%. We released the video and purchased YouTube promotion. Our views began to skyrocket and the engagement rate was astoundingly poor (.002%). In the search parameters we specified “Country Music Fans”. The analytical data clearly showed 98% of the views coming from Vietnam, Mexico, Pakistan, Turkey, and some Eastern European country.

    Again, we PAID for this crap via YouTube.

    How is this not illegal?

    It’s my understanding (please correct me if I’m wrong) that YouTube has enforced their TOS with Major Labels and indie artists ripping down entire channels for using 3rd party promo companies that sell BS views via click farms.

    I feel like if I were to buy Advil at a super discount from a shady home spun back alley distributor and received placebos, shame on me. However, if I went DIRECTLY to Advil, paid full price, expecting to get Ibuprofen and received placebos, that would be completely illegal, am I wrong?

    We revisited the parameters and added EXACTLY what countries we wanted and didn’t want, that seemed to help. However, I don’t think anyone could convince me that there were 70,000 country music fans in those 3rd world countries. Especially considering the dismal engagement numbers.

    Have y’all written about this? If so, can I have a link?

    If not…ya wanna?


  7. poy

    geez youtube just cut the music crap tell the labels and the indies you don’t want anything to do with them and stop music uploads all together. more trouble than it’s worth and obvious they want your blood like they do everyone else. you’re dealing with people who want royalties every time a ringtone goes off in public *ASCAP* or girl scouts singing fucking happy birthday.*also ASCAP*