The Angry Video Game Nerd’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles review was removed from YouTube on May 20, 2008 at 8:27AM EST due to a “terms of service violation” after being on the site for 690 days and receiving 2.7 million views. Asahi Corp. called for this “crazy ass Japanese game show” clip to be taken down 8 hours earlier after 633 days and 1.7 million views.


In a litigious online world, where precedents are obscure if not completely unestablished, “fair use” is an obtuse phrase, and issuing DMCA takedown notices consumes the lives of first year associates at entertainment law firms, it’s good to have a record of the type of info above, the who, when, and why of videos removed from one of the largest video-sharing sites on the web.

And that’s what YouTomb provides. A product designed by MIT Free Cultue that “continually monitors the most popular videos on YouTube for copyright-related takedowns. Any information available in the metadata is retained, including who issued the complaint and how long the video was up before takedown. The goal of the project is to identify how YouTube recognizes potential copyright violations as well as to aggregate mistakes made by the algorithm.”

Said algorithm was deployed in 2007 at the behest of ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, etc. to automagically remove copyright-protected video, but it’s far from perfect. This industry needs a watchdog. Congrats to MIT for getting the ball rolling.

Good find by Techcrunch.

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