Over the last few weeks users of the Boxee Box user have noticed a friendly message on the top of YouTube pages encouraging to try YouTube XL. Well last night reports started rolling in that YouTube videos were no longer working on the Boxee Box. Google blocked access to the PopCorn Hour devices in December because they were violating YouTube’s terms of service. The terms only allow licensed partners to display YouTube videos on TV devices. According to Google:
Since July of 2008, YouTube’s Terms of Service has restricted implementations for televisions based on our APIs. YouTube has been in active discussions with various developers on how best to implement YouTube on set top boxes and TVs. There are several companies, however, that have deployed solutions, like video scraping technology, to circumvent the rules and violate YouTube’s Terms of Service. Companies that have negotiated agreements to use our APIs, like TiVo, Sony, Panasonic and PS3 are not impacted.
Is Boxee the latest device to be blocked? We have reached out to Boxee and Google for comment. We’ll update the story as we know more.
Update: We have made contact with both Boxee and Google and they are both looking into what is going on. Neither has confirmed that there is blocking taking place, but they will let us know when they know more.
Update 2: According to Google, “blocking is not the right word (a la Hulu to Boxee). It looks like a bug and we’re working as quickly as we can to fix it.”
Update 3: Just heard from Google, they have identified the problem and will be pushing out a fix shortly. Looks like YouTube is safe on Boxee, at least for now.
Update 4: YouTube Tweeted
Update 5: And YouTube is back up on Boxee
It looks like Boxee has temporarily disabled the YouTube Leanback app.