Back in June of 2016 as we were developing the newest version of Song Surgeon, we began to tell our customers that we would be discontinuing the downloading modules in all of our major products due to concerns over liability and how that would impact our business.
In the past, Google among others, have sued to block some products that perform downloading functions. However, it’s important to remember that many uses of copyrighted material are considered legal under the fair use doctrine to U.S. copyright law. The fair use doctrine makes exceptions for non-infringing purposes like news reporting, research, education — or just for laughs. Consider YouTube’s first big legal copyright challenge, a 2007 video of a baby dancing to the Prince song “Let’s Go Crazy”. Universal Music Group, the copyright holder of that hit song, sued the baby’s mom for copyright violation. A judge ruled in favor of the mom and the baby, citing fair use.
Two things happened back in 2016 that concerned us. One is that Google terminated one of our Adwords account for Video Surgeon citing the downloading module as the cause. A few months later Google has sent a cease and desist letter to a company that sells a YouTube Downloader application, similar to what we provide in Video Surgeon and Song Surgeon.
Then as recently as last year (2019) Youtube banned one of our training videos on an older version of Song Surgeon that contained a discussion of the use of the YouTube downloading module. Subsequent to this we removed all videos from our YouTube accounts that referenced downloading and moved our entire video library for Download Surgeon from Youtube to Vimeo.
Because of these developments we made a business decision to remove the downloading (Sniffer) modules from Song Surgeon Version 5 and Video Surgeon Version 3.
Older versions of both Song Surgeon and Video Surgeon will not be affected by this decision and they will continue to contain the downloading modules. However, like all older versions of our products, when a newer version has been released, it will no longer be updated. Accordingly if this downloading module ceases to function at some point in the future we will not provide support for it or fix it.
We know that many customers use and like the downloading modules. To meet this need we have done two things. 1) We have consolidated the downloading module found in our other products into a single product called Download Surgeon; plus we have added additional capabilities. This will allow customers who want these downloading features to be able to access them, while at the same time, limiting our business exposure and shielding our main products, like Video Surgeon and Song Surgeon, from any adverse affects. 2.) We have built and maintain an online YouTube Downloading module which is also hosted on the Download Surgeon site. You can sign up for a free account and try this service with 5 free downloads. After that it can be purchased on a subscription basis. It can be found here: https://downloadsurgeon.com/online/download/
If we were to receive a cease and desist letter we could shut down the Download Surgeon site and survive. However, if we continued to have the downloading modules in Video Surgeon (and Song Surgeon) and had to shut down these sites, our business would cease. Consequently the new version of Video Surgeon (Version 3) will NOT have any downloading modules in it.
Thanks for your understanding.