YouTube is under pressure to make copyrighted content it hosts impossible to download. Since YouTube is yielding to this pressure, I am worried for its future.
DMCA, RIAA, and Howllywood, basically, are responsible for that mess.
First off, let’s understand that YouTube is a social platform. Many artists, both professional and amateur, post their content onto YouTube for a range of purposes: advertorial, marketing, personal glorification, and even better communication are included. Nothing wrong with any of those.
However, once you accept that this is a social platform and still post your content, any demand to disable downloads is very irrational in my view. YouTube isn’t half the fun with its stance on downloading only the videos with download links – because hardly any videos have any download links.
Who doesn’t want to download their favorite YouTube videos? This fact presents an excellent for the copyrighted content producers to market their video products. It’s a shame that they do not have better sense than to ask YouTube to take down user-uploaded videos.
Content producers ought to leverage the YouTube opportunity much better. They ought to upload clips, trailers, teasers, and such content on their own initiative. Commercial interests make it quite necessary to make premier video content available.
Let your audiences be happy with a few free gifts, where’s the harm? Just position your gifts to arouse curiosity in the minds of your audience.
In the Your Use of Content section, YouTube TOS state:
“You shall not download any Content unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content. You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”
Wikipedia adds further to the woes under Content Accessibility:
“YouTube does not usually offer a download link for its videos, and intends for them to be viewed through its website interface … In February 2009, YouTube announced a test service, allowing some partners to offer video downloads for free or for a fee paid through Google Checkout.”
Only because immature content creators have absolutely no clues about how to exploit the immense YouTube user base – which is practically all Internet users in the world – they are making a complete hash of a splendid platform for video sharing and distribution.
Only the intervention of user-generated content by users who want people to download and otherwise share their videos can rescue YouTube from this tricky situation.