Yandex demands removal of “illegal” music downloader * TorrentFreak
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Russian search giant Yandex has ordered US-based Github to remove a tool for downloading MP3s from its music streaming service. Yandex, which has 60% of the local search market and has made deals with Universal, Sony and Warner to offer a Spotify-like platform, says the music downloader is illegal.
Yandex is a Russian internet company that operates the country’s most popular search engine, controlling over 60% of the market.
Using the free music that could be found through its search results, Yandex in 2009 introduced its first music player. A year later, the company spear Yandex.Music, a new service providing improved legal access to approximately 800,000 tracks in the company’s catalog.
In 2014 and after years of development, Yandex relaunched a revamped music platform with new features including a Spotify-like recommendation engine and licensing agreements with Universal, EMI, Warner, and Sony, among others. Today, the service offers more than 20 million tracks, all available for streaming at music.yandex.ru.
Although the service can be achieved using a suitable VPN, Yandex Music is technically only available to users in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Additionally, the service’s license terms only allow streaming.
Of course, some don’t like being so restricted and this has led to the development of third-party apps designed to offer full MP3 downloads.
In addition to various browser extensions, one of the most popular is Yandex Music Downloader. Hosted on Github, the goals of the program are simple – to provide fast music downloads from Yandex while organizing everything from ID3 tags to cover images and playlists.
Unfortunately for its fan base, the software has now caught the attention of the Yandex legal team.
“I am legal counsel for Yandex LLC, a Russian Internet company. We learned that your service hosts the program code “Yandex.Music downloader”… which allows users to download content (music tracks) from the Yandex.Music service… ”, reads a complaint from Yandex to Github .
“Yandex.Music Service is the largest music service in Russia that provides users with access to licensed music. The music that [is] placed on the Yandex.Music service is under license from its rights holders, in particular: Sony Music, The Orchard, Universal Music, Warner Music and others ”, continues the lawyer.
As a result, users trying to get the app are now greeted with the following screen.
Although the withdrawals may temporarily affect the distribution of the tools, Yandex’s efforts are unlikely to affect the unauthorized downloading of MP3s from its service. A quick Google search reveals many alternative tools that deliver high quality MP3s on tap.