Friday, May 23, 2008
Who's taking down all those YouTube videos? You've probably experienced it before: you click on a link to watch a video, but then you get an error message saying the video has been removed for copyright infringement. To answer the question of who's responsible for censoring YouTube videos, a group at MIT has created YouTomb.
YouTomb keeps track of the 200,000 most popular YouTube videos and checks to see if and why they are removed. The most common reason is for violating the terms of service, but copyright holders aren't far behind.
The top three YouTube video censors are: TV Tokyo Corporation, Viacom International, and, surprisingly, World Wrestling Entertainment. What's interesting is that many videos have been viewable for hundreds of days without being noticed, and one video has even stayed under the radar for over 2 years.