YouTube Under Pressure

YouTube is suffering heavily under it’s popularity. Recent changes have made many users turn against this video-sharing service which no longer allows clips that are longer than 10 minutes, thus forcing creative artists to edit and cut up their own homemade movies into shorter parts. This damages the project as a whole, and makes it very hard to experience a project as it was meant to be experienced. Many users I used to know on YouTube have seen their enitre video archive been deleted without any warning. Others have just lost their interest and stopped uploading clips. The disclaimers have become omnipresent and very precise to cover YouTube against uploaded copyrighted material from television broadcasts to sitcoms.

I myself have been warned two times already to remove all copyrighted material, which resulted in hours and hours of browsing and deleting hundreds of clips of which I might assume they could possibly violate any rights whatsoever. Three times is a strike and then it’s bye-bye YouTube for me too. Contrary to some other users, I’ve received warning notes from YouTube, probably because of my somewhat longer presence on the site and the rather large archive I collected. I signed up in July last year, when the service was still very new and at one time had over 500 clips in my archive of which I removed over 200, leaving nothing but commercials, some 3D animations and some urban skills movies.

I’ve always been very reasonable, removing clips whenever somebody made a notice or plainly asked, because it apparently violated copyrights. Very weird, because all the clips I ever uploaded are spread all over the internet, and most of them appear on many other sites (and are online already for quite some time). I assumed they were ‘common goods’ and could be shared. I saw YouTube as a service I could use to cut back on my email load, whith all this forwarding of funny or remarkable clips I get from ex-colleagues and friends. Using YouTube, I could upload it once and then send the link instead of the clip, which saved me a lot of time and bandwith.

Nobody knows why YouTube made this U-Turn all of the sudden. Perhaps it is due to it’s huge popularity, but then what should happen to sites like,,,, etc ? You could argue that those sites are no user platform, but that doesn’t take away the fact they host and provide copyrighted content. Contrary to YouTube, these sites always offer a download link, which YouTube doesn’t do.

I’m not quite sure where this is heading to. YouTube has taken the lead in the fight against copyright violation (on their own servers that is, because they host all the content) compared to other sites that offer clips or content, but YouTube shot itself in the foot by limiting the size of the uploads in time (it used to be 100 mb max, which was acceptable). A lot of people still upload ‘illegal’ content because those clips simply aren’t longer than 10 minutes. Other legal content like the South Park episodes (of which the creators explicitly stated are free to share) can no longer be uploaded and shared in one part, which handicaps you when you want to see a new episode.

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