Coffeehouse Thread

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Google doesn't allow Microsoft to use YouTube's API in Windows Phone

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  • fanbaby

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_on_the_issues/archive/2013/01/02/still-seeking-resolution-to-search-competition-issues.aspx

     

     

    Here's my comment:

     

    Yeah, like I would listen to someone who sues for patents in Linux (!) and takes money from andoroid manufacturers for using patents like "add a phone number to the contacts by long-pressing it".

    Microsoft = patent troll!  It's a shame, it used to be tech company with some jewels like COM (CORBA done right), AJAX (thank IE 5.5, and the web outlook team for that), dotnet (java done right and agile-ly, think were it would have been today if it was TRULY open. think dotneters and weep).

    Most, if not all, presenters on youtube and vimeo about programming, web, startups, nodejs, nosql DBs, what not, USE MACS. Most users of tech-related sites like arstechnica, USE CHROME. Startups pretty much settled on POSIX. Show me sites on the alexa 100 using Windows servers.

    Now, please don't replay if it's along the lines "Microsoft is doing it legally" or "defending it's IP". That's BS. No true developer who likes programming and computers would say that.

    Microsoft, leave the high-tech world alone. Compete with technology, not patents.

  • evildictait​or

    Your comment below for those that don't want to trawl for it:

    Yeah, like I would listen to someone who sues for patents in Linux (!) and takes money from andoroid manufacturers for using patents like "add a phone number to the contacts by long-pressing it".

    Microsoft = patent troll! It's a shame, it used to be tech company with some jewels like COM (CORBA done right), AJAX (thank IE 5.5, and the web outlook team for that), dotnet (java done right and agile-ly, think were it would have been today if it was TRULY open. think dotneters and weep).

    Most, if not all, presenters on youtube and vimeo about programming, web, startups, nodejs, nosql DBs, what not, USE MACS. Most users of tech-related sites like arstechnica, USE CHROME. Startups pretty much settled on POSIX. Show me sites on the alexa 100 using Windows servers.

    Now, please don't replay if it's along the lines "Microsoft is doing it legally" or "defending it's IP". That's BS. No true developer who likes programming and computers would say that.

    Microsoft, leave the high-tech world alone. Compete with technology, not patents.

  • Dr Herbie

    @fanbaby: "What's sauce for the Goose is sauce for the Gander".

    If MS are sued for anti-competitive actions, then so should everyone else who acts anti-competitively.  Imagine you peed on your neighbour's lawn and they sued you, then the neighbour on the other side peed on your lawn; wouldn't you think it would be unfair for them to get away with it if you didn't?

    Herbie

     

    EDIT: My argument above is purely based on personal morals, but we mustn't forget that MS is a publicly owned company, so they have to do everything they legally can to ensure a level market with their competitors (and if they do something illegal, they deserve to be sued).

     

    EDIT, EDIT:  I'm not saying I don't see the irony, but suggesting that MS cannot morally make this argument is stretching credulity.

  • Bas

    I always laugh when people use the "Only TRUE [subgroup] would do [X]" argument. It's like they're still in high school.

  • Minh

    How does this blocking of API work? I honestly want to know without reading that long post.

    if (CODE_SIGNATURE == GOOGLE) PerformShuperShecretAPI(); // ?

    and you think this argument would fly in court?

    "Your honor, we did this provably illegal blocking of API because they sued us in the past for patent infringement?"

    No, me neither.

  • evildictait​or

    , fanbaby wrote

    Show me sites on the alexa 100 using Windows servers.

    For fun, in alexa100 the following use IIS:

    www.live.com
    msn.com
    microsoft.com
    conduit.com
    go.com

    The following use Apache:

    youtube.com
    wikipedia.org
    linkedin.org
    ebay.com
    mail.ru
    apple.com
    fc2.com
    ask.com
    craigslist.com
    bbc.co.uk
    odnoklassniki.ru
    avg.com
    mywebsearch.com
    rakuten.co.jp
    adobe.com
    alibaba.com
    wigetmedia.com
    netflix.com
    livedoor.com
    huffingtonpost.com
    uol.com.br
    360.cn

    The following use nginx:

    yandex.ru
    wordpress.com
    163.com
    vk.com
    tumblr.com
    pinterest.com
    xhamster.com
    soso.com
    xvideos.com
    pornhub.com
    cnn.com
    redtube.com
    sogou.com
    about.com
    imgur.com

    The following use other servers, are using load-balancer, bespoke webserver or security settings that obscure the server header:

    facebook.com
    google.com
    yahoo.com
    baidu.com
    amazon.com
    qq.com
    twitter.com
    taobao.com
    blogspot.com
    sina.com.cn
    bing.com
    babylon.com
    weibo.com
    googleusercontent.com
    paypal.com
    hao123.com
    blogger.com
    tmall.com
    livejasmin.com
    flikr.com
    aol.com
    youku.com
    t.co
    ifeng
    thepiratebay.se
    alipay.com
    dailymotion.com
    stackoverflow.com
    360buy.com
    adcash.com

    Based entirely off the "Server" header from requesting the "http://www." form of the server and following all redirects.

    Omitted from the results are duplicates in alexa that are effectively localisations of other sites in list list (e.g. amazon.co.uk is not included because amazon.com is, similarly for google.de and bing.co.uk, ebay.jp etc).

    Warning: Before doing this yourself - not all of those URLs are safe for work!

  • davewill

    I don't understand.  The blog post states that Microsoft is asking Google for permission to use the API for searching categories.  Isn't that particular call available to anyone who signs up for a Google developer account?

    This looks like the specific API for category https://developers.google.com/youtube/2.0/developers_guide_protocol_category_keyword_browsing

    Why is Microsoft having to do anything other than fill out the same form to get a developer account that everyone else fills out?

  • dentaku

    http://www.wpcentral.com/youtube-access-and-windows-phone-microsoft-throws-down-gauntlet

    explains the whole Google stopping MS make a good Youtube app situation quite well

  • davewill

    @dentaku: The wpcentral article seems to state that the APIs are changing such that the Microsoft youtube app breaks.  Isn't that the risk involved in using any 3rd party's API?  Is there something stated in the google developer agreement that says they will maintain backward compatibility for x years?

    I'm not a Google hater or Microsoft lover.  It just seems illogical to not anticipate a 3rd party changing APIs and have a means already in place to send out an update in hours to adjust to the change.  I'm still missing something here.

  • Ray7

    Interesting.

    Here's the problem:

    Google would like to keep the APIs to itself because it can use the better YouTube/Maps/Whatever experience to sell more Android phones and harvest more personal information for their marketing partners. They have no reason to hand over any part of their service that will make Windows Phone better.

    The reason they allow Apple access to the APIs is simple: although Android has a far greater market share in terms of phones sold, iOS accounts for nearly 74% of the profits generated in the mobile market. The fact is, iOS users are more valuable to Google's marketing partners, which is why the company did such a rapid about face on their mapping app (remember they didn't want to give Apple access to turn-by-turn or voice commands) when Apple released their own mapping application. Google is even bragging that their iOS version of Google Maps is better than their Android version. 

    MS is in a tricky position; their small marketshare in the mobile space means they have no leverage. But they do have one big bargaining chip: the patents they're using to extract money from the Android OEMs.

     

     

  • evildictait​or

    My understanding of it is that Google are exercising item 8 in their terms of service:

    Usage and Quotas. YouTube may, in its sole discretion, set a quota of operations on Your YouTube API usage. You shall not attempt to circumvent automated use-quota restrictions.

    Now, since the total number of people using Windows Phone's YouTube API key is pretty large, a restriction on this effectively disables the app.

    Unfortunately Microsoft isn't able to get around this legally because of other restrictions in the terms:

    Prohibitions

    Your API Client will not, and You will not encourage or create functionality for Your users or other third parties to:

    ...misrepresent your identity when registering for use of the YouTube API, use the developer credentials licensed to a different individual or entity, or mask Your usage of the YouTube API

     

    A consequence of these two rules is that Google can (and presumably has chosen to, if Microsoft are to be believed) block Microsoft's YouTube app from properly working, and although other developers on other platforms are not affected, and Microsoft would be able to technically work around the restrictions (e.g. by registering lots of API keys), doing so would be in violation of the terms and conditions of the YouTube player - and hence would put Microsoft in a bad legal position if they released their "working" YouTube player.

     

    It does seem to me that companies should provide the same service to all users of any given API. If Microsoft started playing tit-for-tat by doing shenanigans like saying "HeapAlloc returns NULL always if the process is called 'chrome.exe'" the world would be a worse place.

    Other than when a court order instructs you otherwise, you shouldn't have any logic anywhere in your app that treats some customers as different to other ones.

  • Minh

    , evildictait​or wrote

    My understanding of it is that Google are exercising item 8 in their terms of service:

    Usage and Quotas. YouTube may, in its sole discretion, set a quota of operations on Your YouTube API usage. You shall not attempt to circumvent automated use-quota restrictions.

    ...

    It does seem to me that companies should provide the same service to all users of any given API. If Microsoft started playing tit-for-tat by doing shenanigans like saying "HeapAlloc returns NULL always if the process is called 'chrome.exe'" the world would be a worse place.

    I see... restriction via the API key.

    The US does have anti-competitive laws that would prevent Google from offering Apple 1 deal and not MS the same. The only way Google is getting away w/ it right now is that the new YouTube app is Google's, not Apple. Google can just say, we haven't made the investment in making our own YouTube app for WP8 because there's so FEW users lol

    And in NO way would degrading the OS for Chrome.exe be legal

  • brian.​shapiro

    , Dr Herbie wrote

    @fanbaby: "What's sauce for the Goose is sauce for the Gander".

    If MS are sued for anti-competitive actions, then so should everyone else who acts anti-competitively.  Imagine you peed on your neighbour's lawn and they sued you, then the neighbour on the other side peed on your lawn; wouldn't you think it would be unfair for them to get away with it if you didn't?

    Herbie

     

    EDIT: My argument above is purely based on personal morals, but we mustn't forget that MS is a publicly owned company, so they have to do everything they legally can to ensure a level market with their competitors (and if they do something illegal, they deserve to be sued).

     

    EDIT, EDIT:  I'm not saying I don't see the irony, but suggesting that MS cannot morally make this argument is stretching credulity.

    Microsoft may or may not have to do that as a public company, but I hope that isn't anyone's personal moral code. Its the opposite of morals, because it shows a lack of integrity. Integrity means you don't do something just because everyone else is doing it.

    The #1 reason people act immorally is because they use this excuse, and then other people see them doing it and use that excuse, and then everyone is doing it and using that excuse. Meanwhile people imagine they're better than everyone else because they're only doing it because others are, while they imagine others aren't. That's what goes on in politics all the time. "Lets run smears against our opponent, because if we don't, they'll run them against us. Lets make deals with lobbyists, because that's what our opponent will do"

    Personally, I don't buy the argument that companies can't legally act in a more ethical manner, either. Maintaining a good reputation is a good way to keep market-share.

  • evildictait​or

    , Minh wrote

    And in NO way would degrading the OS for Chrome.exe be legal

    That's my point. Google shouldn't decide to return different results through one API key because the guy on the other side is Microsoft any more than Microsoft should return different results through their APIs because the guy on the other side is Google.

    Google needs to stop playing shenanigans.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    Reminds me of the days of "IM interoperability"... From politics to patents it seems like all people know how to do today is fight for their power and profits.

    And yes this is a pretty $hitty move by Google.

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • evildictait​or
  • davewill

    @evildictaitor: That adds clarity.  Sounds like the API isn't useful for any 3rd party use beyond sole individual use.  Yet there are other apps out there that are used by more than their author.  Seems like anyone could use the API up to the level of usage allowed to any other party and when cut-off take it to court, and have a good chance to either have the API made non-public or allowed equal usage.

  • magicalclick

    MS is not the only one sues Google for these illegal trust business practices. Many smaller companies are victims too. They are just too small to make enough noises. Until Google gets punished by the law, I don't think they would ever realize what they are doing is unfair.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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