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App banned on Google Play- any ideas?

edited December 2014 in General Discussion
I just received the following email regarding an app of mine:

"REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement.

After a regular review, we have determined that your app downloads, monetizes, or otherwise accesses YouTube videos in violation of the YouTube Terms of Service orYouTube API Terms of Service. Accessing content, a product, or service in an unauthorized manner is a violation of the Developer Distribution Agreement, and is not allowed on Google Play.

This particular app has been disabled as a policy strike. If your developer account is still in good standing, you may revise and upload a policy compliant version of this application as a new package name.

This notification also serves as notice for remaining, unsuspended violations in your catalog, and you may avoid further app suspensions by immediately unpublishing any apps in violation of (but not limited to) the above policy. Once you have resolved any existing violations, you may republish the app(s) at will. Before publishing applications, please ensure your apps’ compliance with the Developer Distribution Agreement and Content Policy.

All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your account is terminated, payments will cease and Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales and/or the cost of any associated fees (such as chargebacks and transaction fees) from you.

If you feel we have made this determination in error, you can visit this Google Play Help Center article for additional information regarding this removal.

The Google Play Team"

The thing is, I used the Andromo YouTube activity which I believe to be fully compliant. I'm absolutely going to visit that article and see what I can do, but does anybody else have ideas about what I can do? That app was receiving a ton of downloads and was a good portion of my revenue from Andromo.



Comments

  • please  what app?

    any link?
  • simple mate, dont use yotube videos on your app. you are using other peoples and ofcourse Youtube content without permission.
  • and how it is when you only link on your own videos on youtube?
  • If it's your content, there is no problem. You should then contact Google Play to explain the situation. Don't just ignore the warning. The Andromo YouTube activity uses the YouTube app to display the video. It is done that way specifically to be compliant with AdMob and YouTube terms - no advertising is allowed on the same page as the video.
  • In addition to what Colin said, if all your app does is show YouTube videos, it's likely going to be flagged as well.
  • Thanks for the feedback. I filled out an appeal form and I'll see if it gets reinstated.
  • what kind of videos did you show on your app?
  • @nephih: Please keep us updated. Good luck with the appeal!
  • My appeal was denied. As far as I know from reading all the Terms of Use my app was compliant, but that doesn't seem to matter. Oh well, I'll just have to focus my efforts on other app stores instead.
  • Did you resolve your problem?
    I got same problem with my app and my appeal also was denied.
    I'm stuck, I don't know how to resolve this.
  • Hello,

    I've got the same problem, I havn't appealed yet. 
    My app is based on YouTube entirely, I link to some playlists on YouTube - What's wrong with that? How does it break Google Play TOS or YT API rules? 

    1) Sorry I don't get it, why am I not allowed linking to youtube?

    2) Should I appeal or leave it?

    3) @darryl Why does it likely to be flagged? 
  • edited July 2015
    Without seeing the app it's difficult to suggest what the reason might be, but sections 4.D and 5.B of the https://www.youtube.com/t/terms might be worth scrutinizing.

  • Maybe , dont make android app that same as the youtube app .. :-j
  • Free app i build here include youtube inside the app..Still in google play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.andromo.dev239662.app320615   image
  • my app still in google play because it is podcast app i think..the youtube inside my app now not working.. =))
    ..this is andromo problem ..
    :D
  • No much to tell. In the menu I've put "YouTube activities - Playlists" that's all. about 14 playlists activities.

    @Insanhamba,
    1) Old apps might work and won't get rejection - because they were before the updates.
    2) You need to add API code to the app for it to work look here.
  • @miky_vais Old apps won't show any items -- the old method of accessing the YouTube feeds no longer returns any results. The only way an old app will show anything is if it still has cached items from before YouTube changed.

    If your app was monetized in any way and only contained YouTube activities (didn't include any additional content), that may have something to do with the rejection. As I said, see 4.D and 5.B in the YouTube terms:
    from 4.D:
    ...the sale of advertising, sponsorships, or promotions on any page of an
    ad-enabled blog or website containing Content delivered via the Service,
    unless other material not obtained from YouTube appears on the same
    page and is of sufficient value to be the basis for such sales.

    from 5.B:
    ...You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display,
    sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes
    without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors
    of the Content.
    Some of that uses language aimed more at websites, but the general idea is that trying to package and re-monetize YouTube content without adding sufficient value in the form of additional content is outside their terms.


  • Hello @lorne we are facing same problem for one of our app which is as of now available in India only. 

    We are curating videos from youtube. We have not taken written permission from youtube or content owner. 

    We are not monetising anyhow as of now.

    However, there are various app who are indexing videos from youtube similarly like us.
    Links: 

    and the list goes on!
    Please help us with this sorting it out. As this is very important to us. Also how do we contact youtube for written approval?
  • edited August 2015
    Hey again, 

    Some new info to help all:

    To refresh your mind, I had the same thing. I've made an app that grab playlists from several users (some official channels some not).
    I didn't put any ADS on the app

    So I have appealed and got answer from google:

    "the application was in violation of section 12 under Prohibitions of the YouTube API Terms of Services:

    12. use the YouTube API intentionally to encourage or promote copyright infringement or the exploitation of copyright-infringing materials;

    During our review we found that many of videos that were linked were from unofficial channels. Prior to resubmission, please ensure that all of the content that may be infringing on the rights of third parties be removed. Please also thoroughly check your application to ensure that there are no other policy violations."

    So the problem was that I "promoted copyright infringement..." that is because I listed videos from "unofficial channels". 

    okay now next:
    I've made a new app, that contained only playlists and videos from official channels that have all the rights. 
    First time of submit was okay. After a while I've made some changes only in the information of the app, and then It was rejected! (the first submission stayed only the update was rejected).

    New things to learn:
    1) Apparently Google has auto checking system (clearly they don't check manually the apps...) and when the system sees too much (or almost only) listings of playlists of videos of YouTube in app it rejects it (probably as it considered to be an app that "infringing rights").
    2) You can be lucky and publish the app when there is a problem with the system (that what I think happened). then it will pass the auto checking system :)
    3) It doesn't matter that there are many apps that are on google play because they were before the updates of the system checker of Google. - or "because you don't put question marks on Google..."
    4) It's funny to see that Google can reject apps for "promoting copyrighted material" when all you do is to link to a video that is found already in YouTube - So they can say that it is copyrighted material and won't remove it from youtube? - because nobody flagged it or complained? - Funny... I thought that if I link to a YouTube video I don't need to check what is it because it's supposed to be Google responsibility.
    So unless someone is intentionally flag or complain about copyright infringement Google won't remove the videos from YouTube - and I can't link to it from an app...  Hypocrisy someone?
    5) Think twice before you appeal, cause I think that after you appeal Google will look more into your account. In my case after I appealed (and for nothing...) Google reviewed my two play account and sent me rejection for another app that is hosted on my second account! (coincidence? - I don't think so...).

    If I see my new app will be worth the risk, I'll appeal again so I'll put Ads on it... But I don't know if it will be accepted... 
  • @miky_vais: That's some useful info you posted, thanks for the share!
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