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In context: Google has pulled the plug on Discord music bot Groovy Bot. Groovy Bot channels music onto Discord servers from sources including YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud, and others. It allows Discord users to listen to the same music at the same time.
Google has pulled the plug on Discord music app Groovy Bot. Groovy Bot channels music onto Discord servers from sources including YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud, and others. It allows Discord users to listen to the same music at the same time.
The Groovy Bot app has become fairly popular, having been installed on more the 16 million Discord servers with an estimated 250 million users. Of course, it's likely its widespread use prompted Google-owned YouTube to issue a cease and desist letter.
Nik Ammerlaan, the creator and owner of Groovy Bot, notified users this month that he was shutting down the service on August 30. In his announcement, Ammerlaan did not mention being forced to scuttle the bot. It sounded more like he had grown tired of maintaining the app.
"It's with a heavy heart today that I announce Groovy is shutting down," the notice reads. "The team has been mulling over this decision for a while now, and, unfortunately, there's no path forward that includes Groovy."
However, in an interview with The Verge, Ammerlaan said that YouTube did send him a C&D letter but was unsure why it didn't come sooner. The app has been around for five years.
"I'm not sure why they decided to send [a cease and desist] now," Ammerlaan told The Verge. "They probably just didn't know about it, to be honest. [I knew it would come.] It was just a matter of seeing when it would happen."
Google confirmed it sent out the legal request claiming that Ammerlaan misused its APIs and violated its terms of service.
"We notified Groovy about violations of our Terms of Service, including modifying the service and using it for commercial purposes," a YouTube spokesperson said.
It is unclear why Groovy was singled out, though. Groovy Bot is not the only music app on Discord that streams tunes from YouTube. A similar bot called Rythm is even more widely used than Groovy. Rythm resides on 20 million Discord servers with more than 560 million listeners, yet it has not received a takedown notice.
Discord officially stands by the legal warning, telling The Verge, "We take the rights of others seriously and require developers who create bots for Discord to do the same. If a bot running on Discord violates someone else's rights, that third party or Discord may take action."
Image credit: Screenshot by The Verge