Last week, Microsoft announced the availability of the updated YouTube app for Windows Phone 8, which featured a complete redesign as well as the ability to skip ads and download videos. We all knew it was only a matter of time for Google to catch wind of this.
Today, Google issued Microsoft a ‘cease and desist’ letter, urging Microsoft to remove the YouTube app from the Windows Phone Store. Currently, the app is available for the Windows Phone 8 platform. Google want’s Microsoft to “immediately withdraw this application from the Windows Phone Store and disable existing downloads of the application by Wednesday, May 22, 2013.”
Google was reportedly surprised by Microsoft’s YouTube app and had nothing to do with the creation of said app. The YouTube app clearly violates the terms and conditions that were set by Google, which clearly state that one may not “modify, replace, interfere with or block advertisements placed by YouTube in the YouTube Data, YouTube audiovisual content, or the YouTube player.”
“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,” Google’s letter to Microsoft stated.
The letter to Microsoft also adds that the YouTube app uses YouTube’s protected trademarks “in ways that likely confuse consumers as to the source of the application and whether it is affiliated with or approved by YouTube.”
The app was nice while it lasted. Let’s see if Microsoft responds to this letter and takes down the app from the Windows Phone Store.
Update: Microsoft has responded to the letter, stating, “We’d be more than happy to include advertising but need Google to provide us access to the necessary APIs.” Microsoft is looking “forward to solving this matter together” to benefit consumers.