Nov 7, 2023 1 min read

Stream-ripper gets court order to identify who is behind rick-rolling Google takedown notices

Stream-ripper Y2Mate last week got a court order forcing Google to share information about who has been issuing copyright takedown notices against its website - it suspects a competitor has been issuing takedowns to negatively impact its Google ranking

Stream-ripper gets court order to identify who is behind rick-rolling Google takedown notices

The operator of stream-ripping sites Y2Mate and YTMP3 last week secured a court order granting it access to any information Google has about entities that have been issuing takedown notices against its services.

While it is usually copyright owners, such as record labels, who submit takedown notices against streaming-ripping services, in this instance the dispute is - it is assumed - between Y2Mate and YTMP3 and a rival stream-ripping operation.

In court papers filed earlier this year, the stream-ripper said that an entity called End Of YouTube Converter had issued a takedown notice against it accusing Y2Mate of facilitating the unlicensed ripping of Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.

It seems unlikely End Of YouTube Converter owns any of the rights associated with Astley's track and that it was listed in the takedown notice simply as a nod to the rick-rolling phenomenon.

The publicly available version of the notice had an email address, so Y2Mate sent a cease and desist letter. Two days later another takedown was filed against Y2Mate, but this time linking to Cee Lo Green’s ‘Fuck You’.

When takedown notices are submitted to Google against allegedly copyright infringing websites, it generally results in specific links being removed from the Google search database and websites being more generally downgraded in search results. So Y2Mate is keen to stop these rogue takedowns from being submitted.

In theory it can legally do so, because under copyright law only the copyright owner or their agent can submit a takedown, and the entity submitting these notices is neither. However, to take legal action Y2Mate needs to know who is behind the rick rolling fuck you takedowns.

Which is why it went to court seeking an order forcing Google to share all the information it has about who is submitting these notices, in addition to the basic information that is made public. It secured said order last week, giving it access to any names, addresses, phone numbers or Google account information the tech giant is sitting on.

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