Following a recent U.S. federal court's decision to seize more domain names and social media accounts owned by DVDFab, a Blu-ray and DVD ripping tool, Google appears to have taken further action against the company.
Users trying to download the DVDFab software this week using Google's Chrome browser were met with some unexpected warnings. Chrome first warns users that DVDFab's download mirrors may contain "harmful programs", and then even if users proceeded with the download (against Google's advice), the download itself is blocked by Chrome. The block refers to the file as "malicious" and warns users that it could harm their browsing experience.
This isn't the first time Google's Chrome has controversially blocked software that rights-holders considers to be a nuisance. Last July, Chrome blocked the uTorrent client for an unspecified amount of time.
Google recently added more warnings to downloads that it considers "malicious", adding not just malware programs to their blacklist, but also programs that contains toolbars or additional software offers. DVDFab's recent block, at first glance, appears to be related to this new feature.
However, the Google owned VirusTotal, a web service that scans files for malicious content using dozens of well respected anti-malware scanners, says that the latest DVDFab download is completely safe and free from malware or adware, suggesting that Google's block may have other intentions.
The download is unaffected for users of IE and Firefox.
A message on DVDFab's official download page suggests that Chrome's block is a "false positive" and that the company is trying to rectify the situation.
"Recently, we found certain versions of Google Chrome were occasionally reporting that our website contains some harmful programs. We believe this is a false positive alert. We're trying to find out the reason and get this fixed as soon as possible. Please switch into IE or Firefox, or just simply go ahead. Our website is 100% safe," the message on the DVDFab website reads.
Update 29 March: Google Chrome's block of DVDFab appears to have come to an end, with the download servers and files unblocked in the browser.