An online petition demanding YouTube to allow access for third party recording tools has topped 1.1 million signatures, and shows no signs of stopping.
The petition, created by 21-year-old Philip Matesanz, asks Google to "break their silence and participate in an open and fair discussion" regarding the practice of translating YouTube videos into MP3 files.
Matesanz is the creator of one of the most popular third-party recording sites, YouTube-MP3.org. Last month, Google targeted the site by threatening Matesanz with a lawsuit unless he voluntarily took down his conversion site.
To be perfectly clear what we're talking about here, this is exactly what YouTube-MP3.org does:
YouTube-mp3.org is the easiest online service for converting videos to mp3. You do not need an account, the only thing you need is a YouTube URL. We will start to convert the audiotrack of your videofile to mp3 as soon as you have submitted it and you will be able to download it.
A couple of weeks after the threat, Matesanz created the petition on Change.org. Within three days, it already has over 180,000 signatures. Here's some of it:
For decades people were allowed to take a private copy of a public broadcast. You could record the radio program with a cassette recorder or make a copy of your favorite movie by using a video recorder. All these techniques have been opposed heavily in its early years by the big media companies who didn't want the public to have such technology. They did describe such technology as criminal and as a threat to their business e.g. the 1980s campaign Home Taping Is Killing Music.
Several years later history is about to repeat: Google has teamed up with the RIAA to make the same claims against all sorts of online recording tools for their 21th century broadcasting service: YouTube ("Broadcast yourself"). Google is taking action against nearly every service that enables its users to create a private copy of a public YouTube broadcast while the RIAA is threatening news media like CNet for promoting such a software.
Now, after only existing for a few weeks, the petition has over 1.1 million signatures, with only about 400,000 needed to reach the next petition level.
“In the past, people have been able to record TV shows and CDs using home recording equipment,” Matesanz said. “Now, YouTube wants to block users doing the same from its site. I launched this petition to make the point that changing technology should not affect peoples’ rights as consumers.”
“I have been amazed at the response to my petition but surprised that the company has not responded. I would very much like to sit down with them and discuss this issue.”
As of right now, Matesanz's site is up and running smoothly.