Google is reportedly planning to shut down its new YouTube advertising business after a lengthy legal battle over a controversial copyright takedown policy.
The company is reportedly facing backlash from users and tech giants who say it is overstepping its bounds by requiring advertisers to pay for YouTube content, as well as from the copyright holders who say they should be compensated.
“The Google AdWords platform will be closed down effective January 21, 2017,” the company said in a blog post Monday, which included an image of Google’s ad-supported YouTube account that showed a banner with the word “Adsense” in red.
“We appreciate the feedback from the community.
But, we want to make it clear that we will continue to support AdSense.
We will continue delivering AdSense to users.
And, we will take steps to ensure that YouTube is always the default for our advertisers.”
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Ars.
The takedown notice came just days after a petition calling for Google to shut it down was launched by Google employees and its YouTube division.
The petition, which received over 1 million signatures, alleged that YouTube has been abusing its position as the world’s largest content platform to demand payment for copyrighted content.
In the petition, YouTube employees wrote that they believe Google is violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Digital Rights Management Act, and other anti-circumvention statutes by requiring Google to pay copyright holders.
Google denies the allegations and says it has always been clear that advertisers pay for the use of their videos and other online content on YouTube, and the company has never tried to circumvent the law.
The two companies’ legal fights were widely criticized by both sides, and there were accusations of favoritism in the court case.
“Google is a company that cares about the users.
It is a platform for us to offer our services.
We want our users to be able to enjoy their content and make their content work on Google’s platform,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in an interview last year.
Pichay also called the case a “very bad precedent for a platform that provides millions of users with an open platform to share their ideas and content with others.”
Google and YouTube had been discussing the possible closure of the AdSense business in July, but the deal was reportedly dead for months until last week.
“AdSense was one of the largest advertisers on YouTube’s platform.
We had an open relationship with them for many years, and it’s unfortunate that they have now come to this point,” YouTube said in its statement to Ars.
“This is a very sad day for us, for AdSense, and for YouTube.
It was the right decision at the time.”