Nathan Weinberg who writes the Inside Google blog has a blog entry entitled Screw YouTube where he writes

Miel’s quit YouTube. Considering he introduced me to the service, which I began to love, contribute to, and trumpet as the next great success story, you’d think I’d be surprised. Not even a little.

See, I got kicked off YouTube over two months ago. The reason? Contributing to the success of their service. I uploaded a good number of videos to YouTube, almost none of which I owned the copyright to, all of which I got from other sources on the internet. My first video, the “banned” Xbox 360 ad, was for a time the second most watched video on YouTube, with close to two million viewings.

On February 24, I received two emails, detailing how a video I had posted, a Saturday Night Live sketch in which President Bush asks a Santa Dick Cheney for an Xbox 360, had been rejected due to a third party notification of infringement.

Anyway, I’m done with YouTube, almost. It is clear they have no interest in preserving a digital archive of video content for the future, and that I cannot rely on them for posterity...I do have one thing left to do: Ruin YouTube. Since it is so easy to get someone kicked from YouTube, I am going to launch an assault on the service...Every day, I will destroy at least one account. I will only target those with copyright infringing content. When I am done, the only popular videos on YouTube will be those with zero commercial value. We will see how well the service does without the Daily Show and South Park entire episodes that are its real bread and butter.

I am extremely surprised at such a vindictive and destructive response by Nathan Weinberg to what I see as a reasonable act on the part of YouTube. From my perspective, YouTube is a video sharing service which is likely to make a bunch of money [via ads] serving content that doesn't belong to them. Even if it wasn't illegal I personally think this is unethical. YouTube shouldn't be making money off of TV shows like Daily Show and South Park instead of the creators and/or owners of the copyright on these shows. I find it commendable that the folks at YouTube are trying to make sure they don't become a leech on the system and instead are a way to provide an avenue for long tail content which you cannot find via traditional broadcast media. Of course, this is just common sense on the part of the YouTube folks since they want to avoid the same mistakes made by Napster.

On the flip side I can't help but remember Danah Boyd's excellent paper, Friendster lost steam. Is MySpace just a fad? which argues that one of the reasons that Friendster lost steam is that it failed to recognize and bow down to the wishes of core members of its user base. This lead to alienation and outright hostility from users who were once major users and proponents of the service. Reading Nathan Weinberg's post, I wonder of YouTube is going down the same path. 


Wednesday, May 3, 2006 1:37:27 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
On the one hand YouTube are to be commended for not leeching copyright content, on the other, someone who is going to call out copyright infringing content to them is destructive. I'm not arguing the motive or the means, but the end result appears to be the same.
Thursday, May 4, 2006 2:18:46 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
YouTube says they're not about copyright infringement. Nathan thinks this is just doubletalk. In labor relations what he's doing is called "work to rule".

The port workers in Seattle did this a while back. The port said safety rules were important. The workers called bulls**t on this by actually following the safety rules. The port's throughput went way down, thus demonstrating that the real business model of the port was to not follow safety rules.

Of course the reason for the doubletalk in both cases is to be legitimate enough to survive legally, while enabling enough illegal behavior to survive economically. It's the American way. :)
Anonymous Coward
Friday, May 12, 2006 12:08:34 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
There's got to be a happy medium somewhere. While I agree that YouTube should not make money off of Southpark, I don't want to go to Comedy Central to watch Southpark and then to Showtime to watch X and CBS to watch Y, let alone pay 99 cents to watch a few random shows on iTunes. YouTube is great because it's aggregates all of the content in one place and it's free. If the cable companies were smart, they'd offer the same service and kick some ad money back to the providers, or hurry up and follow ABC's lead and offer shows for free on iTunes.

I don't have cable and the only way I see Jon Stewart is on YouTube. I tried to watch it on the Comedy Central Motherlode on Windows Media Center but it always made my machine choke.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006 5:52:39 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I had a 15second clip from Conan O'Brien and YouTube didn't warn me, didnt remove it they just killed my account. All 27 non-copyrighted vidoes. Now they want even reply to my email about the issue. Not only that but I have tired to make a new account but ever video I uploaded (using different email address) come up rejected time it's uploaded? I deleted my cookies and it still happens. Are they keep track of IPs? Anyway, I now say SCREW YOU YOUTUBE! It is one thing to pull a copyrighted video but to delete the account and then non ever reply to my email! come on guys!
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