“Free Download Manager” Removes YouTube Support After Google Complains * TorrentFreak


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“Free Download Manager” is an iconic download tool that has been around for almost two decades. In 2007, the software was one of the first apps to support YouTube downloads, but that’s over, for now. Following a complaint from YouTube parent Google, the feature was suddenly removed a few days ago.

With over a billion users, YouTube is the largest video portal on the Internet.

The service opens the door to a wealth of information and entertainment, including the latest and greatest music that can be streamed for free.

Thanks to YouTube, the music industry has generated billions of dollars in advertising revenue. While this looks good, YouTube also presents an indirect threat as third-party tools allow users to rip and download music for enjoyment outside of the streaming service.

Stream-ripping crackdown

Over the past few years, major music labels have taken legal action against several stream extraction services. YouTube-MP3 was shut down after a legal battle, and 2Conv and FLVto could suffer the same fate. In addition, rights holders actively attempt to remove these sites from Google search results.

YouTube doesn’t stand still, either. The company prohibits third-party services from downloading YouTube content and actively blocks the IP addresses of known violators. While YouTube itself has taken no legal action, the company shut down a YouTube ripper following a dispute over a WIPO domain name a few months ago.

Much of the app business for YouTube and its parent company Google takes place outside of the limelight. However, there is a lot going on behind the scenes, like a recent issue of “Free download manager(FDM) shows.

“Free Download Manager” pulls support from YouTube

FDM is a versatile download tool that has been around since 2004. The software can optimize browser downloads and has a built-in BitTorrent client. It was also one of the first tools to add support for YouTube downloads in 2007, but this feature was abruptly removed a few days ago.

There is no official announcement on the FDM website but, after reports started pouring in the forums, developer Alex confirmed that YouTube support was intentionally pulled.

“We’re sorry to say that YouTube downloads are not available at this time. We are discussing this issue with Google, ”writes Alex, adding that FDM has received a complaint from Google and the feature has been“ temporarily ”removed until the issue is resolved.

The question remains whether YouTube downloads will ever return to the tool, as YouTube makes it very clear that this is not allowed anywhere in the world. While this is technically possible, it seems unlikely that FDM will get the go-ahead from Google.

YouTube references also disappear

Moreover, FDM not only removed the YouTube download feature, it also removed the official YouTube referrals site. This includes the 2007 blog post titled “FDM 2.3 BETA 6,” where support for YouTube was officially announced.

fdm reference

The blog post itself remains live but the YouTube reference above is no longer present. And there’s more. FDM’s dedicated Youtube page now returns a 404 error. Like Ghacks Remarks, this page worked fine before.

TorrentFreak reached out to FDM to find out more about the nature of Google’s requests. A spokesperson informed us that the problem persists but did not add details regarding Google’s complaint, or whether FDM faces “potential” legal consequences.

Warnings from YouTube’s legal team aren’t new

Over the years, YouTube’s legal team has regularly contacted operators of stream extraction services with cease and desist notices. These warnings are usually not accompanied by concrete legal threats. Instead, they urge recipients to comply with YouTube’s terms of service and developer guidelines, which prohibit unauthorized downloads.

Example of Legal Warning (previously sent to another service)

youtube legal team

The warnings are accompanied by an ultimatum requiring operators to comply. This strategy can be very effective, as smaller sites are easily threatened and quickly throw in the towel, but others continue regardless.

We don’t know if FDM has received such a threat, but it’s clear that whatever the post is serious enough that the developers are removing the YouTube stream pulling feature. For the moment…

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