March 5, 2024


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YouTube Orders Shutdown of Groovy Discord Music Bot

Google is shutting down Discord’s popular Groovy music bot, claiming the software runs afoul of subsidiary YouTube’s terms of service.

Discord invites people to communicate via audio, video, text, and memes across communities (chat rooms) known as “servers”—more than 16 million of which have installed Groovy Bot.

A sort of music aggregate service, Groovy lets users gather for online listening parties, playing music from major services like YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud, Deezer, Apple Music, and Tidal. There’s a catch, though. Since most of those platforms don’t allow direct audio playback, Groovy inputs metadata into YouTube to find the closest equivalent to your intended track.

That process, however, doesn’t sit well with Google, which ordered a cease and desist of Groovy Bot, giving creators seven days to close up shop. “We notified Groovy about violations of our Terms of Service, including modifying the service and using it for commercial purposes,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge, adding that its APIs are for developers who comply with its terms.

“It’s with a heavy heart today that I announce Groovy is shutting down,” founder Nik Ammerlaan wrote in an announcement. “The team has been mulling over this decision for a while now and, unfortunately, there’s no path forward that includes Groovy.” The bot will end service on Aug. 30.

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There is no word on the fate of similar Discord music bots, including Rythm, Octave, Hydra, and Chip. “We take the rights of others seriously and require developers who create bots for Discord to do the same,” a Discord spokesperson told The Verge. “If a bot running on Discord violates someone else’s rights, that third party or Discord may take action.”

Google, YouTube, and Discord did not immediately respond to PCMag’s requests for comment.

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