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Blender is testing PeerTube after YouTube blocks their videos worldwide (blender.org)
1473 points by daveid 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 426 comments



The comments here are more interesting than the article itself. Looks like the real issue was a UX snafu on YouTube's part that support had trouble resolving for too long. Let's hope YouTube does better in the future.

However, if you read the comments here, they paint a sinister portrait of YouTube that has nothing to do with Blender's issue. Some examples:

- ads are required for big channels (false)

- demonetization of content creators (unrelated)

- anti-trust based on search or social networking (unrelated)

- SketchUp is blocking YouTube videos (false)

We might as well change Hacker News from an article based format to a topic based format if everyone is just going to bring in their unrelated and false pet peeves to every discussion.


This is because this issue with Blender is just a cherry on top of a multitude of issues with YouTube that have crop up for the past few years. So the thread is about the impact of YouTube algorithms.

I have myself found it pretty hard to publish videos without ads on YouTube, even though I have a minuscule channel.

Their Content ID system is triggered for almost any background music I throw at it, including Royalty Free or CC-BY music. The insidious part is that the videos are not taken down, they just put ads on top of it while you try to refute the claim, even if you tick the "I do not want ads to appear" box. The problem in this instance is anyone can upload a piece of audio and claim copyright on it, and video are then automatically flagged.

There is an interesting support thread about paid-for, Royalty-free classical music, that shows how outrageous the system is: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/youtube/iMlPy...


the 'interesting support thread' is more than 8 years old...


And yet the problem remains. There are topics about fake claimants, false positives and wrongly blocked videos all over the place.


  ads are required for big channels (false) [...] everyone
  is just going to bring in their unrelated and false pet
  peeves to every discussion.
The article [1] has this direct quote from Youtube support:

  I’ve received an update from our experts stating that you
  need to enable ads for your video. Once you enable, your
  video will be available in the USA.
That's a direct quote from Youtube support about Blender's issue.

I feel your claim that this is a pet peeve that has nothing to do with Blender's issue is unfair.

[1] https://www.blender.org/media-exposure/youtube-blocks-blende...


That quote was incorrect. See their later updates. I agree support was misinformed, this is a real issue with YouTube.


I don't see an update saying the quote is incorrect, or that the problem has been resolved - the only update I see on the article says their videos "have been blocked worldwide without explanation"

Are you looking at a different article to me?


"Last night the Youtube Support team contacted Francesco Siddi by phone. As we understand it now it’s a mix of coincidences, bad UIs, wrong error messages, ignorant support desk staff and our non-standard decision to not monetize a popular Youtube channel."


"Woopsie, we totally just accidentally blocked all your videos and then demanded payment via monetization. Total goof after you posted our demand to the internet. Yup, just the fault of that support person whose name you don't remember."


> As we understand it now it’s ... and our non-standard decision to not monetize a popular Youtube channel.

You still seem to be wrong. Or am I missing something else?


The Blender videos are back up without monetization, therefore the statement "ads are required for big channels" is demonstrably false.


The statement "ads are required for big channels - well, not this one, but..." is false.

This is a more true statement: "ads are required for big channels. We've unfortunately trained our support staff to lie to blender - where we supposedly have an exemption. But you don't qualify, so ads are required for your channel, if big enough."


"non-standard" != "need to enable ads"


Only after months of Kafkaesque confusion and repeated inquiries were they able to obtain a deviation from what youtube is calling their standard.

Whether you want to call that an iron-clad rule or not, the face-value version of the article, and the general gist of the reactions from the comment section seem to be much closer to the truth than your portrayal of it as an "unrelated and false pet peeve."


> what youtube is calling their standard

Those seem to be the Blender team's words, not YouTube's.


>I’ve received an update from our experts stating that you need to enable ads for your video. Once you enable, your video will be available in the USA.

This is an actual quotation from Youtube support, unless you're suggesting that the Blender Foundation is lying. If what an employee of Youtube says about Youtube while representing Youtube can't be taken as evidence of Youtube policy, what can?


I read that to mean that support didn't know how to deal with the situation because it's rare, not that Youtube doesn't allow that situation.


People might be upset because it's emotionally painful to watch a property that was once a middle finger to "the man" become wholly co-opted. And to see channel after channel with interesting and unique content get disappeared due to misalignment with establishment priorities.

The cases which may not apply here, like requiring ads, are real issues that don't get the visibility that the victims deserve. So when a high visibility incident like this happens, people highlight the plight of those past (and current) victims even if not wholly applicable to this case.

Maybe you're right that using this platform to highlight the host of well-documented problems with the platform is "off-topic", but it's understandable and logical when you understand the bigger picture and community here.

That and the number of coincidental "mistakes" in this story requires serious suspension of disbelief. One wonders whether any of those mistakes would have been caught had the channel been lower profile.

dnomad 4 months ago [flagged]

This is a very common occurrence on HN where some minor incident involving Amazon/Elon Musk/Google/feminism or GDPR becomes an opportunity for all manner of commentators to gather and exult together in your standard Two Minutes Hate [1]. All of the issues that get brought up during this Hate either (a) have no basis in reality or (b) wholly irrelevant. And so we get another thread full of people complaining and hating about things which literally don't exist. (What's particularly humorous are all the elaborate conspiracy theories in this thread. At least nobody mentioned the Jews... yet.)

> People might be upset because it's emotionally painful to watch a property that was once a middle finger to "the man" become wholly co-opted.

Of course this is just more of the same. Calling YouTube -- a service that spends tens of millions of dollars a year spreading information, entertainment, and news around the world for free -- "co-opted" is beyond stupid. But it's just this sort of black-and-white, "good vs evil" thinking which rules.

> That and the number of coincidental "mistakes" in this story requires serious suspension of disbelief. One wonders whether any of those mistakes would have been caught had the channel been lower profile.

And there's the conspiracy. Baseless speculation without evidence, scare quotes, and a total failure to admit error when proven wrong.

I'm not sure what, if anything, can be done. There's a certain logic at work here that poisons thread after thread. I say logic and not ideology because it's really a style of thinking. It's a kind of general extremism-cum-conspiracy that has been well and truly normalized. The people that will rush in to rage about the latest news from Tesla or Google don't even understand how insane they sound.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Minutes_Hate


Why are people upset when a service that is run by a for-profit entity decides to change how it runs? No one is entitled to make money off of YouTube channels, even if you made a lot of money last week.

YouTube can change the rules whenever they want. If you don't like how they change it, support a different service instead. Continuing to patronize it as they implement changes you disagree with, and then kvetching online won't help.

GP's point that discussions frequently get derailed is spot on. Why even read the comments if you're just going to get a bunch of unrelated opinions on the topic.


> Why are people upset when a service that is run by a for-profit entity decides to change how it runs?

I don't know, maybe because it leads to destruction of valuable content, regardless of whether it is legally ok.

The notion that just because something is legal, it can't be upsetting is absurd. What about if the government decided to use eminent domain to acquire your land? It would be legal, but probably still upsetting.


Always expect for-profit organizations will take the most profitable path at your expense.

Your choice is to try to avoid having anything that will get in their way or set up your life to not rely on their services.

Recently Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and others are showing the dangers of for-profit data monopolies and are pushing many people to open federated alternatives like PeerTube, Mastodon, Riot.im etc. This is a much healthier and censorship resistant direction for the internet to take, IMO.

Keep right on being negligent and profit-seeking YouTube. The internet will be better off in the long term.


Your choice is to try to avoid having anything that will get in their way or set up your life to not rely on their services.

I'm not sure Anabaptism is really as clean a solution as you propose.


I'm not saying don't care because it's legal. I'm saying it's inevitable. How new are you all to living in a capitalist society? Stuff doesn't exist for your enjoyment, it exists for someone else's profit.


Which, again, does not mean you can't be upset about it. Just because someone happens to live in a certain type of society doesn't mean they have to agree with all the society does, in fact it is unhealthy if they do.

There are many things in life which are "inevitable", as you say, like war, death, you/friend of yours getting fired, but some of these things will probably make you upset nonetheless.


> Why even read the comments if you're just going to get a bunch of unrelated opinions on the topic.

Some of us may not appreciate this "expectation" of absolute topicality; comments are supposed to be a free-for-all. That's why we call them comments.


Blender were asked to sign a monetization agreement.

https://torrentfreak.com/youtubes-piracy-filter-blocks-mit-c...

    "Update 2: Blender’s Ton Roosendaal notes that YouTube wants the organization to sign a monetization agreement."


TFA has updates after this and this update turned out to be misinterpretation.


I am not seeing this update you are referring to, it looks like it stops after Update 2.


Not your article, the original article:

"Last night the Youtube Support team contacted Francesco Siddi by phone. As we understand it now it’s a mix of coincidences, bad UIs, wrong error messages, ignorant support desk staff and our non-standard decision to not monetize a popular Youtube channel."


I see it now (sorry the comment was confusing to me).

To your original comment, Yes, in this case it was a "UX snafu". In the future, how many of those will actually be fixed? Will YouTube look at other instances for smaller ones where there won't be a social media backlash? Or will it be business as usual until YouTube gets enough bas PR again to manually fix it again and still nothing gets fixed?

The reason that the comments in Hacker News are what they are is because of much deeper issues between YouTube and content creators. YouTube and Google have had many customer support issues in the past, it seems that YouTube has burned a lot of good will with a lot of content creators, and the only way to truly get to them is via "social media shaming".


They still have the option of not enabling ads (you have to chose whether ads are enabled): https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/72857?hl=en

I do wish people thought a bit more criticaly. Removing the ability to host videos ad free would be a gigantic change for YouTube, so people should be more skeptical.


@ariwilson you work at google. since we're on the topic of truth and the actions of your corporate sponsor.

but again i get it, you got some stock and you gotta protect that bottom line.

"We might as well change Hacker News from an article based format to a [corporate sponsor] based format if everyone is just going to . . . [support their company in] every discussion."


It's pretty common to discuss topics other than those specifically mentioned in a linked item on Hacker News. What do you mean by "change Hacker News from an article based format to a topic based format"? What actual change would be necessary? People have, pretty much forever, commented on lots of things of varying degrees of relatedness on everything submitted to HN.


Well, (I believe) the article that you read is not the article that was posted. The HN post is about the PeerTube test (and previous posts), at a time where the facts about this case was not available to anyone.


I agree @ariwilson, I don't know what needs to be done about this lack of critical thinking. Most discussions here and across the 'net' are filled with unintelligible chatter, so it's no wonder that people use this conversation to spread every misconception they've ever heard about YouTube.

The post is about an YouTube UX issue that caused Blender to choose another video platform, that YT didn't disallow the content as some people believe.

Wouldn't it help if Discussion boards had a logician magician who moderates posts? Someone who's sole purpose is to point out logical fallacies- like whether a post adds value to the conversation. Is it objective or opinionated? Is the post related to the discussion? If not, does the post expand upon the discussion in a way that's relevant or did the writer lack critical thinking? How?

My post is slightly off-topic considering the original, however, I'm relating to user @ariwilson about this discussion's lack of critical thinking and deductive reasoning, which is related.

I'm adding to the discussion similar to ariwilson but not adding new examples since ariwilson covered that. I'm not just complaining that people are "Stoopid and shouldn't be allowed to post of they're not helping everyone so we should ban them"! hehe- because that would be my ignorant opinion based on personal belief void of fact checking or research. Plus, banning people, places or things is never a good idea! Banning speech and freedom of thought are definitely terrible ideas! ;)

It's late a here and I'm rambling, sorry. But, you get the idea...a mod mage with a symbol map depicting the fallacys within each post in an easy-to-understand way. Wouldn't it be nice?


Demonetization of content creators and anti-trust are related if your intention is to protest the platform.


So this seems to have happened because Youtube wants The Blender Foundation to agree to have their videos monetized.

I'm not clear if they want that because of bogus copyright claims, EU legislation etc, or just because they favour making money over not making money?

Edit: Either way looking for alternatives seems like a good idea.


I made a video about this in January, before YouTube strongarmed Blender. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_ksbTTXHw8

I am pretty dismayed to be this right. I didn't think YT would be nearly this aggressive in service of the ideas I outlined.

Basically, they take a cut off that activity. In some cases they could take most of or all the money, which is a clear win for them, but even when they pay out they're earning revenue on the transaction. It's been their core business model, so the problems with advocating an adfree behavior become obvious.

I would add that this becomes more urgent if they're in crisis. Makes me wish I could get the master copies I'd uploaded back, but there's no chance of that.

Bottom line: shots fired. You must work with YouTube the way they want you to work with YouTube, or you'll get punished.


Eventually this is going to get them in trouble with the Sherman Antitrust Act.

From Wikipedia:

> "Innocent monopoly", or monopoly achieved solely by merit, is perfectly legal, but acts by a monopolist to artificially preserve that status, or nefarious dealings to create a monopoly, are not. The purpose of the Sherman Act is not to protect competitors from harm from legitimately successful businesses, nor to prevent businesses from gaining honest profits from consumers, but rather to preserve a competitive marketplace to protect consumers from abuses.

It's pretty clear that Google used their dominant position(s) in web search and web advertising to then dominate the user-generated video space. And now they're engaging in the type of abuse of customers that the Sherman Antitrust Act was designed to mitigate.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Antitrust_Act


> It's pretty clear that Google used their dominant position(s) in web search and web advertising to then dominate the user-generated video space.

That's not particularly clear to me. YouTube was already pretty huge when Google bought them in 2006: according to Wikipedia, the fifth most popular website, albeit of a far smaller Web. Google, meanwhile, had their own video-uploading service, Google Video, which launched three months before YouTube but was not nearly as successful. Sure, there's no doubt that YouTube has benefitted massively from Google's resources in the decade since, including their willingness to let it run without a profit. But based on that history, it seems far from inevitable that Google would be the one to dominate video.

It also doesn't seem like YouTube's growth is all that directly linked to Google Search's monopoly status, other than in that the latter powered Google's profits (but there are plenty of sources of money in the world). Google Search's video results have always shown videos from all websites rather than being YouTube-specific; who knows what they might have done if there had been more serious competition, but there wasn't, so they don't have that particular blood on their hands. You could argue that Google used its Search leverage to promote Web videos in general, as opposed to some other form of media, but I don't know what other form would be or why it would be preferable to video. (Perhaps live video? There might be another universe in which justin.tv was successful early on, rather than waiting most of a decade for the unexpected explosion of Twitch. But I think that given the state of Internet connections at the time, it made more sense for YouTube to happen first.)


The internet today vs 12 years ago seems heavily biased towards video content. Different landscape, where Facebook and Google/YouTube now account for a majority of all internet traffic. If YouTube manipulates people, they’ll lose support and maybe risk a lawsuit. I’m not very familiar with the specifics here, but YouTube is the dominant video platform. If Facebook cleaned up their design and embraced an open web with public links, they could probably destroy YouTube.


I fail to see how this behavior helps artificially preserve their status as a monopoly or constitutes a nefarious dealing to create a monopoly, and the fact that Blender is using this opportunity to switch to another provider is not going to reinforce your point about YouTube being a monopoly.


No you're right, this particular behavior doesn't help to preserve their monopoly. It's evidence that they already have one.

Companies who have to survive in a competitive marketplace don't typically go around driving away customers en masse. This is like something from 1990's Microsoft.


Having a monopoly isn't illegal. Using monopoly powers in certain ways is, and this isn't one of those ways.

And yes, companies who have to survive in a competitive marketplace drive away non-paying customers all the time. Because they're not paying, and so the slight chance of turning them into paying customers, or benefiting existing paying customers, is worth the loss.


In what sense is Blender a customer if they aren't monetizing their videos, though?


In the same sense an open source project is a customer of GitHub's. The exchange of money is not required for someone to be a customer of a service.


That's a user.


Customers pay money. Users provide data and marketing.


Well, strictly speaking, this is a legitimate dictionary definition that doesn't involve money:

> a person of a specified kind with whom one has to deal

[edit] Youtube has 3 kinds of customers (or users, if you wish): publishers, viewers and advertisers. It makes sense to separate them like that, but not based on a "pays/ does not pay" criterion. If PewDiePie is a customer, then most definitely Blender Foundation is a customer too.


If money is the criterion of being a customer then they are one by driving traffic to other monetized videos, via recommended feed, or via follow up searches, that would otherwise not happen.

Anyone having a YT channel will tell that ‘suggested video’ is a dominant traffic source so it’s not an edge case.

In sum, YT was already making money thanks to Blender videos.


They're moving to another provider. Do we have different definitions of monopoly? All this is evidence of is that YouTube are assholes.


Don't forget that Google owns the backbone that Youtube videos transit on for free. By leasing that dark fiber, they get peering agreements that effectively makes their ability to send bytes to the internet free. No one else has that ability.


Yes they do; you could buy it yourself if you wanted to. Nobody else having the scale or cash & willingness to do so is not the same thing as being unable to.


If I had a lever long enough, I could move the universe.


Right, but leasing dark fiber is quite common for many types of organization.


Google leases out dark fiber, not in, and in the process negotiates free peering agreements.


Sure, its clear to you and I. But we on HN aren't whom you have to convince.

Do you believe the US DOJ or more powerful states would go after Alphabet/google? That's the ones that count. I just can't see our current administration going that avenue.


Yeah I don't know. With this administration, anything is possible. There's lots of bad blood between silicon valley progressives and the Trump admin, too.


Silicon Valley progressives? Are you talking about RMS or something?

Are (American) liberals automatically progressive even if they collude to lower salaries, pay less taxes, and contribute to housing bubbles? Not to mention selling to the DoD and ICE.


Oh, yeah, that act worked really well for the salary collusion.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/24/apple-goo...

Alphabet/Google/Youtube will just pay the fine, as a cost of doing business.


No that will absolutely never happen, ever. Sorry to burst your bubble. It isn't even in the realm of possibility, spotting Bigfoot riding the lochness monster is more realistic.


Why? Honest question. You seem very certain, so you can probably explain?


Honestly no. It's incredibly obvious. There is no need for a detailed explanation of why Google will never face a 1930's antitrust lawsuit. It's simply not in the realm of reality. It was barely possible in the 90s.


There's more stuff like this happening these days. Saw this tweet yesterday:

https://twitter.com/AnneMunition/status/1008852515629105152

YouTube preventing Linus Tech Tips from advertising their non-YouTube videos/streams.

In other words, like you said:

> Bottom line: shots fired. You must work with YouTube the way they want you to work with YouTube, or you'll get punished.


I'm surprised why anyone is surprised by this or thinks it should be any other way. Google is running YouTube as a business and they're running it the way they believe will be the most profitable.

For some reason, people are still hanging onto a belief that Google cares about its users in ways other than to profit from them.

Of course, it could well be that people aren't surprised and are just highlighting the Google's behaviour towards certain channels.


It's not particularly surprising given how shitty youtube's behaviour has been towards its content creators lately. It's just a reminder that nobody should accept it.

Kind of like sometimes a president's behaviour isn't surprising, but still deserves to be highlighted and nobody should accept it.


A fair comment. The only way people can refuse to accept their behaviour is by not giving YouTube their business (by either visiting the site or submitting content) and who's going to do that? It's YouTube :-/ It's their way or the highway (or Vimeo)


I watched your video and you made some great points.

As an aside, I have to wonder if you've thought through your desire to serve your website over HTTP instead of over HTTPS.

You noted that you use ad blocking software because ad networks are a common route by which malware propagates. HTTP websites comprise another salient target for malware. If I am at a coffee shop with a compromised wifi router and I load your HTTP website, that compromised router can inject malware into your page and my browser will run it, just like it would have run malware served by an ad server. If your website were served over HTTPS, the router wouldn't have been able to do that.

I imagine you knew all of that, and you're right that HTTPS does have some problems, but trying to avoid those problems by opting for HTTP is exchanging those problems for (imho) much bigger problems.


It's simpler than that. I'm hosting websites on Hostgator, my income is that Patreon I mention in the video, and though I have a little knowledge on webmastering it's not much compared to what I make content for. I don't know how, and I'm seeing high prices for getting HTTPSed up, though I have a mental note that using Cloudflare might be a way to do it. That said, a service like that seems like it would cost a bunch of money too. I think I can't afford to use HTTPS, and I think this may be a feature not a bug to some people out there controlling things.

I could well be wrong. I'm hoping for the reasons you mention that some benevolent hacker people work out how to bring this to people for free and make it simple to do.


Sometimes HTTPS makes sense and sometimes HTTP makes sense. HTTPS everywhere NEVER makes sense.


It's 2018. Https absolutely makes sense in all circumstances... everywhere for everything. Http should not even be considered as an option.


Why?


It will break the decentralised Internet ?


Well, they picked the wrong org to gamble on strongarming in the case of Blender. Instead of getting them to monetize they've just compelled Blender to move platforms.


Blender serves as an optimal test case for other large non-profits with online video content that Google may push off YouTube (would love to see PyCon move their archives off as well).

Discovery and subscriptions will need to be solved, but that’s not insurmountable (ie RSS). CDNs can be plug and play in front of nginx (if P2P torrent isn't your cup of tea), backend storage can be whatever is cheapest.


If only things were so simple. This reminds me how not too long ago, how everyone was trying to make a clone of HN and Reddit within 24 hours in x programming language.

It's one thing make a service for few 100 users, it's a different beast to serve millions of users. In case of Online Videos, it is not only extremely difficult, it still remains very expensive. There is literally a handful of companies who can financially and technically pull it off at youtube-scale. After more than 10 years, youtube either makes very little profit or still not profitable.


I don't disagree. Consider that perhaps you can't serve videos online and expect it to be entirely free. Can you run your compute for free? No. Can you host your database for free? No. Why would serving videos be any different? (Let's ignore limited free tiers for this argument).

The more popular the content, the cheaper per unit it'll be to serve (based on bandwidth/transit costs and how they scale, and that you most likely can serve it out of RAM with Varnish, a very inexpensive CDN, or peer to peer), but there will still be a cost, and either the producer or the consumers of that content will need to pay for it.


Pure p2p networks scale by O(log n). This means if the popularity of your video scales with n then your infrastructure just scales with log(n). The idea is that leechers become seeders. So with every new layer of distribution the coverage increases exponentially.


Pure p2p networks can’t ensure a base level of quality service; you’ll always need your own infra to fall back on (which is as simple as a few dedicated servers or a CDN), but I agree p2p peers can offload some costs.


> There is literally a handful of companies who can financially and technically pull it off at youtube-scale.

Only a few companies that can do it centrally. Peer to Peer technology was doing it before youtube existed.


Youtube is anything but centralized, they literally pioneered distributed video content with their GGC nodes, with at least 10s of thousands of nodes all over the world. They may not be the first, but almost definitely the largest.

I don't understand why you are mentioning peer to peer technology? What does that have to do with anything? Youtube is not a cute side project where your viewing experience depending on how many peers your video has. Peertube depends on webtorrent, you literally have to host and seed every single video on your platform and duplicate it multiple times by others. Good luck doing it over petabyte scale. Google does something similar, but popular videos are hosted at users-end point on GGC nodes, distributed over 10,000s of servers all over the world.


> I don't understand why you are mentioning peer to peer technology? What does that have to do with anything?

The super-seeding / swarming approach developed for the BitTorrent protocol is quite interesting. One original seeder just needs to upload to a few leechers. Then this leechers become seeders themselfs and start to upload to a next layer of leechers and so on. This approach scales exponentially meaning you can cover the whole internet in just a few steps. Further more you can start uploading yourself even before you have completed receiving the file.

E.g. if every node just has 10 uploading connections then you just need 8 steps to cover 100 million = 10^8 peers. Remember the traffic on the original seeder (and every other node) is just 10 uploading connections.


That's great if your upload speed is unmetered and you're watching popular content.

I can give you a list of torrents that are dead and never coming back. Other than takedowns, there's some very old YouTube videos still around.


I really want a competitor to YouTube. But when it works, the experience as a user is Really Good (tm).

1. YouTube Red so I don't have to see ads

2. Queuing and casting from my phone to my TV.

3. Fast loading and buffer-free streaming (as long as your bandwidth is good enough). Note I'm in Australia - Mixer and Twitch often aren't smooth for me even though I'm on 100 megabit fibre. Sydney or Melbourne PoPs will beat Hong Kong and Singapore every time.

I watch Pycon and LCA videos on YouTube because it's easier than going anywhere else.


What will stop Google to buy the next big video platform, US and EU did not stop them buy YT or FB to buy Whats App, if a competitor would show up the only way it could survive would be to be bought by MS,FB or other large company, this could lead to bad products or bad customer/user relations since this big companies are not known for their good customer support or caring for the users experience.


Ideally it should be based on some open protocol like IPFS or Dat. I would be more than willing to become part of swarm with my % of colo transfer.


Other than unlikely damage to the total user critical mass effect, what does YouTube potentially lose from kicking blender out?


The blender foundation is more likely than other groups to make something different work. Once something else works, it can start to get traction.

This is unlike other content creators, who migh not have the technical skills to try a new platform, or might rely on youtube to get views.


Nothing. They gain by use of a chilling effect: most of the seemingly negative actions and expectations they're known for, tend to rebound in favor of their core business.

It's all meant to be Logan and Jake Paul and PewDiePie and whatever will drive low-quality mass views so long as the viewer quality isn't so low that they're losing advertisers. At a scale like this, it's just pure statistics.

This is not damage. This is benefit, in terms of getting other content creators in line. The message is clear.


While there are certainly benefits, I can't agree that YouTube loses nothing here. PeerTube is a potential competitor in an ecosystem that's currently functionally monopolistic, and even in a vacuum, having a nontrivial community move to that platform will immediately increase awareness and provide legitimacy.

Perhaps more importantly, the FOSS and tech communities are not a vacuum. Google and YouTube in particular have been getting increasing amounts of negative press recently, and this strongarming of Blender further drives home how far they have gone from the era of "Don't be evil." Additionally, the precedent of changing platforms rather than giving in to Google's pressure has now been set; While there will be no mass exodus, it is easier for entities to follow in Blender's footsteps than it would have been to set the lead, and we may hope that this move turns out well in order to further encourage others with similar inclinations.


I will be watching carefully for another group to make this switch, because the most important person in forming a crowd isn't the leader, it's the first follower.


I agree. Though, I am curious how much of a boon this will be for peertube, and in what way.


Funnily enough, PewDiePie is no longer on YouTube's good-side, and virtually all of his newly uploaded videos get demonetized by YouTube. He's no longer "advertiser-friendly"


Why am I hearing this about almost everyone I watch? Isn't that a lose-lose-lose for creators, YouTube and advertisers?


No. It's much like the music business: they need new PewDiePies, though it's cumbersome to create them. Once you're PewDiePie for a while, you have more resources and access to lawyers and managers, and you come around looking for a better deal.

From YouTube's point of view, that's bad, so they need a replacement. It's quantity of views they need, they don't actually have a stake in the success of any one creator.


Is it possibly because you're a nerd, and the internet is no longer for nerds? It's now a platform for mass consumerism, and what interests the masses, and is thus good for advertisers probably shares little overlap with your interests?


It is likely that PewDiePie has a negative enough image that YouTube believes that associating a given brand with his content will not generate ROI for the advertisers. By demonetizing these videos 1) the advertisers win because their ads are shown more frequently in "profitable" spots, 2) YouTube wins because they build trust with their advertisers, and 3) YouTube wins again because they don't have to pay out to the content creator for valueless ad spots.


PewDiePie viewers aren't profitable to advertisers?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PewDiePie#Controversial_videos...

I remember the headlines, but had to go to wikipedia to see why they abandoned ship.


He never really was, just people are paying attention now.


YouTube has little to no competition right now. By kicking blender out, they're forcing blender to promote an alternative to YouTube.


That is potentially the real story here, IMO. Ton has a track record of doing amazing things with impossibly small amounts of money. Given that his interests are in (video) content production, I'm not sure YouTube really thought through how this could play out...


Actually the timing (near EU upload filter laws) seems to indicate they didn't dare do this before, and fully realized this danger.


Not sure what the EU filter laws have to do with anything here?


They lose high quality content and have indirectly caused the promotion of a competitor. Also exposes their inability to answer basic questions, giving rise to questions from creators about their value and longevity on the Youtube platform.


It seems like Google is pretty conscious of their own PR, presumably actions like this alert Youtube employees that everything they do isn't in the best interest of humanity.


> It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

I doubt most of them care. Even if some engineers care, I really doubt that the product team does in a circumstance like this.


Google employees work for the worlds largest spyware company. They aren't worried about being ethical.


I agree with the first sentence but not the second.

I think a lot of employees are just not taking a step back to look at the sum of the parts they are helping to build, or maybe they have optimism/trust in their leaders to not fuck everyone over, and others might just draw their line further down the sand (e.g. no Pentagon contracts).

I imagine a brave few are also working to change it for the better from within. I'd definitely choose to work at Apple instead though, Google seems fundamentally creepy these days.


That's a pretty broad brush you're painting with. Maybe avoid sweeping generalities.


Visibility for a viable alternative?


You made a video about YouTube criticism and host it on YouTube? Either that's being optimistic about them, or the dominance is so large that it outweighs everything else...


...wouldn't that be a logical place to post your YouTube criticism? Do you think Martin Luther weakened his message by nailing his criticism of the church to the door of a church? Do you think picket lines are misguided for surrounding their targets when they could picket unrelated areas farther away?


It has become a pretty common complaint lately that people should only have their protests in places where the only people that will see them are the people that already agree with them.


Yeah it's almost like a lot of people really just want everyone to shutup and accept how things are.


Does this still have any relation to my post earlier in the tread, or is this some different topic you're talking about? Because it sounds as if you're saying that I'm arguing everyone should stop criticising YouTube.


Nailing your complaints about X to the door of X, does not support X. Uploading it to YouTube makes the network effect bigger because anyone who wants to hear what you want to say will have to go to the site. It works more like vouchers, where you get a discount (technically worse for the store because they get less money) but because you'll have to go to the store to redeem it, and you'll probably buy more, it's worth it.


Would Blender make money from Youtube Red subscribers if they did not have monetized videos? How does this affect the profitability of Youtube?


YouTube takes a cut of advertising profits, but gets no direct revenue from ad-free videos, I believe.


Thank you, very informative.

Here's an idea: if you want to drive home the point that you don't do it for the ad money, and if you want to force yourself not to depend on that money, you could give it all to FOSS foundations.

You could publish your YouTube check every month, as small as it may be, on your blog or website, alongside an equivalent donation to, say, the FSF, Mozilla, Wikimedia, Archive.org, Blender, EFF, or whatever foundation you like.

If you publicize it on YouTube and here, you may even start a movement of sorts.


> So this seems to have happened because Youtube wants The Blender Foundation to agree to have their videos monetized.

But that doesn't seem to make sense. There are lots of popular channels that don't have advertising and Blender's videos are popular but not that popular.

Their blogpost about it is here: https://www.blender.org/media-exposure/youtube-blocks-blende...

I haven't looked at the contract they posted, but they seem to have the same interpretation as you. Maybe it's just an updated contract that includes new rules if you monetize?

(that aside, the communication chain from google posted there is just atrocious. I wouldn't sign a 6 page contract based on those robo-emails either)


It seems bizarre, but there is a quote from Google's support literally saying:

  I’ve received an update from our experts stating that you
  need to enable ads for your video. Once you enable, your
  video will be available in the USA.
It's a pretty big change in policy, and a poorly announced one, but...


> There are lots of popular channels that don't have advertising and Blender's videos are popular but not that popular.

It makes sense if it's staged rollout. I'm assuming all unmonetized good actors (ie not stealing other people's content) will see this ultimatum eventually.


This appears to be the source for the above claim:

https://twitter.com/tonroosendaal/status/1009010581549060097

> Google sent a contract to Blender Foundation in which we have to accept monetizing our Youtube channel content.

and link to contract:

http://download.blender.org/institute/Contract%20between%20G...

The contract looks like a regular monetization contract, so the cause-effect relationship between blocking and monetization is not made clear.

Why would Google single out Blender for this? Unless they had copyright concerns and needed to revshare with copyright holders, or they want to go "freemium" and make all high-view/quality videos monetized.


It's pretty irritating. I'm a Red subscriber, so whatever bullshit Google has going on with their advertising monetization policy doesn't -- or, rather, shouldn't -- affect me. Yet the MIT OCW videos are blocked from my account the same as they are for everyone else.

Get your act together, Google. This is just stupid.



In other news, did anyone get a 'go ad free' pop-up on YouTube today, with 3 months free?

Seems there are some changes going on.


Did you see this after already taking the 3 months before? I subscribe to Red (now premium, grandfathered price) and they seem to give this popup to every user.


First time seen, in the UK, which is not the primary market.


> So this seems to have happened because YouTube wants The Blender Foundation to agree to have their videos monetized.

"Don't be evil."


Isn’t it convenient they don’t define any morality or worldview?


It's hard to define, but you can know it when you see it.


So Google is clearly violating their motto?


I can't believe this has been going on for three days. YouTube seems like it is actively sabotaging its independent content creator's channels. But in this case it's not just some random kid living with their parent's. MIT and Blender are both respectable orgs.


They've been pissing off their content creators for quiet a while now w/ completely arbitrary, machine-driven demonitization. Many of these creators are far beyond the "kid in a basement" category; they're celebs, have employees, and make $$$.

It's crazy and really sad how YouTube bloomed into this awesome, independent alternative to all the crap coming out of hollywood and cable TV, but now they've decided to kneecap the independents, promote the shit out of establishment stuff, and push actual, real-live cable really hard.

It feels like a hostile takeover.


A whole of that can be traced back to leadership change at YT. Since S.W. took over, the culture at YT has changed profoundly, and most of the blunders in the last few years (this is just one in a long series) can be traced back to the culture change she fostered.


insider knowledge or external observations? would be curious to hear more. this could be an interesting article, even.


I mean, that only happened because advertisers learned that the "independent" creators were all assholes. Like this started after advertisers started pulling out when PewDiePie didn't just apologize and admit he was wrong with the Nazi stunts. He threw a fit and advertisers realized that YouTube isn't really as good as they thought it was.


I honestly don't believe this. I think YouTube used this as an excuse to crack down on channels they didn't like, for whatever reason. (And also a lot of other channels, because the flagging is poorly done. I know some people who run a very popular skateboarding instruction channel, and they've had huge problems with demonitization. The content is utterly inoffensive.)

I think if all you were concerned about is advertisers, you'd just let them pick that as a criteria: "Would you like to advertise on channels flagged by our system as potentially offensive?"

Some would, some wouldn't. Problem solved, you don't piss off creators, you make more money.

(Maybe the counter-argument to that is advertisers wouldn't want to appear on any YouTube channel because some other YouTube channel had offensive content, as though all of YouTube were a tainted brand, but that is frankly laughable.)


+ 1 flagging is extremely poorly done. Have a friend with gaming channel and he showed me how it is easy to get video demonetised, just add "fetish", "cannibal", any religious phrase... The fun and insanely frustrating part is that you can reupload same video with same description, tags and titles second(or maybe more) times and it will be monetised if algorithm will think you are lucky... wtf. And you can't appeal if your video has less than 1k views for the last week. I know it's not much, but appeal process takes 1 week and usually most videos get majority of their views in that 1-st week, so it is easier to just reupload...

It's fine if new videos get flagged, you can reupload them, but youtube bots flag old videos and there is no notification whatsoever. Even their own "Video manager board" not showing them as demonitised, because they still get money from youtube red and considered as claimed, you have to enter "edit video" to see the notification. You just have to manually search them... And for gaming channels with 1-2k videos it's a pain.


Why would YouTube willingly run fewer ads? They were hardly profitable as it was, it doesn't make sense for them to "crack down" on channels all of a sudden by continuing to host them, but not running ads on them.

Not to mention part of the problem was YouTube not enforcing their content guidelines to begin with. Hate speech has always been against their content guidelines, they just never actually enforced it.


> "Would you like to advertise on channels flagged by our system as potentially offensive?"

They already do this. People need to stop being angry at things they know nothing about.


not sure what you are talking about. people getting their videos demonitized is a huge problem.


I'm pretty annoyed, I was planning on using a bunch of MITOCW video series to level up some on some computer science and information theory this summer and I hadn't even gotten through the first lecture of the first series on my list (6.001 with Sussman from 1986, classic and awesome) when this stopped me in my tracks.

I've been waiting patiently hoping it comes back, but at this point I feel like I'm going to have to use archive.org or download directly from them.

I was slowly warming up to the idea of paying for Red for commercial-less music and maybe checking out some other paid content, but this has been a bucket of cold water on that notion.


The 1986 6.001 videos are available here: https://archive.org/details/MIT_Structure_of_Computer_Progra...


You can download videos from MIT OCW website here : https://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm

You can not stream videos from the website though as streaming links are from youtube.


I'm in a similar spot - you can also stream the MP4s from archive.org as a workaround (they're usually linked on the lecture's OCW page.)


I know this has been posted before but youtube-dl is a godsend when it comes to archiving content. Considering how quickly youtube is taking down educational channels, it's prudent to create a backup just in case.


which other educational channels have youtube shut down?


Actually it’s much worse when they hit the random kid living with parents who might be relying on it and who won’t get through to support like orgs like MIT and Blender can.


Side note: PeerTube is part of the same federated network as Mastodon. You can follow Blender's PeerTube account from Mastodon by entering @blender@video.blender.org into the search bar and clicking follow on the result!


Yes and PeerTube https://joinpeertube.org/en/ is fundrising to be improved : https://www.kisskissbankbank.com/en/projects/peertube-a-free...

20 000 € goal: PeerTube v1, clean and simple

With your help, we can get PeerTube to its first stable release, its v1, planned for October, 2018. You will finance the development of:

  ○ Interface localization, to support multiple languages;
  ○ Video subtitles, to facilitate video accessibility for diverse audiences;
  ○ RSS feeds, to follow instances, users and channels through RSS protocol;
  ○ Video import from URL (YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, etc.) or torrent file;
  ○ Improved and advanced search feature;
  ○ Software stability (bug fixes) and scalability.

45 000 € stretch goal: PeerTube Deluxe v1

There are important features we dream of including into the v1. We hope you will contribute so far as to helping us finance:

  ○ Video redundancy (to share bandwidth between instances or as fallback if the original instance is down)
  ○ Subscriptions to users & channels throughout the federation (for users to subscribe to whatever they want regardless of their instance federation settings)

75 000 € stretch goal: let's pave the road to v2!

PeerTube isn't a quick and easy fix to data-centralization through video platforms. It's an alternative that will grow and emancipate internet users on the long run. At this point, your contributions will help us:

  ○ Finance the development of a webapp that will be available on Android and iOS app stores;
  ○ Contribute to the ActivityPub community. ActivityPub is the groundbreaking federation protocol that runs PeerTube's federation and also Mastodon's (a federated Twitter alternative);
  ○ Secure PeerTube's lead developer employment after the V1 release (oct. 2018);
  ○ Pave the road to V2, where our priority will be a plugin system to facilitate the development of personnalized features and displays.


What makes PeerTube superior to BitChute?


Is BitChute federated? I was able to follow's Blender's videos from a Mastodon account since PeerTube runs on the same network.


It's open-source and you can host your own instance, with your own content and rules whilst federating with other instances.


Thanks, that convinced me to give


This is why I'm hyped about the fedi. This is what it'll finally take to break our dependence on a centralized web. Essentially, the email model. I wish we followed this model earlier in the web 2.0 days.


Is there a list of various "federated" version of different social networks? Would be interested in a list if there was one.



Wow that really gives me more hope.

I know ISPs have a bad rep in the states but where I live in europe we still trust some of our ISPs. So I'd like to see a world where ISPs offer mastodon and peertube instances to off load privately hosted instances.

I'd be more likely to trust someone I'm already paying monthly for internet access to keep my social media data safe, than a "free" service.


I don't think it should be ISPs that should offer such services. I got bitten once back in the days when I had an AOL email address. Changing ISP then became a complete mess, and unlike changing mobile phone provider you can't port your email address to a different hosting company.

So I think whoever provides these services (Identity, email, Fediverse node) should be independent from the ISP, and allow you to use your own domain so that you can change provider one day


I know that is an obvious issue but the reason I even mention ISPs helping out is because video streaming requires a lot of bandwidth.

Micro blogging is something society can easily take over from big corporations because it's basically like e-mail, but even more optimized compared to those old days.

But video uploading and streaming is where bandwidth becomes a major factor, and bandwidth=money.


oh no, now I just have even more questions, what is mastodon?


A good replacement for Twitter. Where "good" means:

- Decentralised. Anyone can run their own instance, but instances are federated so everyone on any instance can see your toots (Mastodon's tweets). So if you're paranoid about privacy or hate Nazi bootboys, you can run your own instance with complete control.

- A nice progression of feeds from only people you follow; to all toots of your instance; to toots from all instances.

- Polite discourse, at least on the mastodon.social instance which I belong to. Different instances have different rules, so maybe there is one for Nazi bootboys.

- Open, so if you don't like the interface, you can make your own. The stock web interface is fine for me.

- No ads!

- Trump isn't on it.

If you enjoyed Twitter more in the past when real people tweeted about real things, Mastodon is definitely worth checking out.


Don't worry, either your Eternal September is coming, or it will never take off.

Unfortu steely I think there's no way around that at this point, as I suspect any growth curve that actually allows a group to keep a culture will never be growing fast enough for the vastajoriry of people to put up with for long enough for it to grow sizable enough. :/


Wow, I really butchered that last night while using my phone.


> Polite discourse

Everything is polite at first, until it gets big. This has been true of all social media platforms in history.


Very true, but the federated instances architecture means there will always be small instances. You can choose to migrate from an instance if it gets too big.


a killer metal band


I'm curious what YouTube's real numbers are for YouTube profitability. Are these channels at such high subscriber rates that they're cutting into YouTube's ability to sustain themselves?

They recently demonetized all of the Salad Fingers videos, causing David Firth to remove all those videos from YouTube and only allowing them to Patreon subscribers via Vimeo.

I hope this pushes towards more independent, distributed toob sites. YouTube is simply too big a monolith.


I think that the single search box with consistent UX is the killer feature. Subscription is too, in another way. Alternatives need to address these; I believe federated video services / toobs are the only way to aim for the first. Subscriptions should be replaced with RSS.


I stopped using the YouTube site long ago. I only subscribe via Feedly/RSS and watch the videos I want directly with 99% no ads even without an adblocker via the embeded video player.


You can also use a local podcatcher like gPodder to automatically download the videos.


Where do the creators you follow host their videos?


Not op, but op may be using the Youtube Subscription RSS feed. Go to https://www.youtube.com/subscription_manager and scroll to the bottom. You should see a section labeled "Export to RSS readers".


Oh wow, how have I never noticed that.

In fact there are individual channel feeds (https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=<>) and this is a wrapper around that. That's great!

I currently receive email notifications for subscriptions, but I've noticed I don't always get emails for all the uploads of some of those channels. A direct RSS feed should solve that problem too.


They're all still on YouTube, but I just subscribe to the YouTube rss feed. Also since they don't get ad revenue, I pay ~$15/month to assorted creators.


I am curious, too.

The blog post mentions 1M views [1]. At €1 per TB [2], and assuming a video of 100Mb which are roughly 1GB, you end up with 1000TB a €1000.

Even if Google just pays a fraction like $0.1 per TB, they still have to earn $100 somewhere else to break even.

[1]: https://www.blender.org/media-exposure/youtube-blocks-blende...

[2]: https://www.hetzner.com/cloud


> Even if Google just pays a fraction like $0.1 per TB, they still have to earn $100 somewhere else to break even.

1. The bad press generated is easily worth more than $100.

2. Youtube exercises the option recommend other videos. Blender gave them 1M opportunities to attract attention to other videos that are monetized.

3. Blender's videos were probably much larger than 100MB. I remember watching several that were over 30mins.


That's a very good question. Supposing YT is still unprofitable after all these years, isn't that evidence of dumping? In other words, evidence of Google/Alphabet illegally pushing in to take over this market?


There's a bunch of Salad Fingers videos on Youtube.


[flagged]


That’s what I feel every time I watch a video from one of the big names of YouTube. I guess I’m getting old.


From Google's point of view, the Blender Foundation are the bad guys. They host a very popular channel on their servers, using up a lot of bandwidth, storage, and resources, they don't pay a cent to the hosting provider, and on top of that, they actively try to prevent their content from paying up for itself. I don't see it as shocking that Google is forcing them to enable ads.

What I find surprising is that Google did not see this coming and thus A. never limited ad-free content to small channels in their ToS, and B. does not provide a paid hosting option.


Or doesn't at least C) clearly explain what the policy is. You want to require ads on channels over x views, make that your policy.

But these guys have priority support, and still go around for months with youtube without getting any answers, only to then have their whole channel killed without comment.

Why do so many tech companies have these Kafkaesque exception paths?


I concur. YouTube need to have a clear policy, explain it, give people a notice period, then implement it.

If they want everything to be monetised in order to fund the ongoing existence and development of YouTube that's entirely their choice, but they need to be very explicit about it.

Especially when they're wiping out entire channels with misleading error messages as a consequence of maybe possibly changing something that they haven't told their support people about.


> Why do so many tech companies have these Kafkaesque exception paths?

Support doesn't scale. Better that a million users have a terrible experience than one user takes up staff time getting their problem fixed.


> Support doesn't scale.

If you cannot (or don't want to) scale support, create the policies from beginning in a way that hardly needs any support. Just like you plan your database from beginning how it is supposed to scale.


I don't understand if you truly believe that or are trying to be sarcastic (poorly).


Either way it's a comment that adds nothing constructive to the discussion.


Those popular channels, is what drives customer acquisition and stickiness at YouTube. The costs associated to this are simply marketing costs, so I think it’s just greedy to charge your content providers to drive down the retention and acquisition costs.


The minute I can't just find everything on youtube though their entire model begins to go down the toilet. What's that going to cost them.


This is a totally fair point. But wouldn't it make more sense to either (a) continue to pay the hosting costs to stay known as the 'one true place' to find online videos, or (b) allow the Blender Foundation to pay to host their vidoes on YouTube if they want to stay ad-free?


Yeah, I totally agree. It's a very bad look for them to essentially disallow ad-free non-profits if they get popular enough. Given how small of a segment this is (the vast majority of massively popular channels monetize, after all), and the fact that they already have the infrastructure to support it, it should be a no-brainer for them to keep Blender on. The reputation cost is clearly worse than the actual loss in hosting costs here.

However, they're a big company, and it makes sense that they have a policy of "if your channel is big enough, you have to put ads on it to support hosting cost". Making policy exceptions in a big company like this is tricky, and it seems Blender just fell through the cracks.


If this is the case, they must be transparent about this and basically be able to tell it like it is.


This isn’t true at all. Publishers have the ability to choose which of their videos have ads in them: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/72857?hl=en https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/94522?hl=en

Given some of the very brand unsafe videos that show on YouTube, it is obviously in google’s best interest to not require ads for all videos.


So YouTube created an effective monopoly through social networking, and now is abusing that position.

Not surprising but disappointing. Hopefully people leave YouTube in droves and remind them that their position is not static.

First time hearing of PeerTube, but looks good so far.


YouTube has a monopoly partially because social networking aspects like search, recommended, etc.

However, another reason competitors haven't cropped up is because copyright law in the US and elsewhere highly favors publishers over hosters or creators. Publishers will sue the crap out of you the moment you get big enough to make a difference. If Google hadn't dumped money into YouTube, they'd probably have gone under years ago when Viacom and others sued them for copyright infringement.

We need copyright reform.


> now is abusing that position

Offering to host your videos for free and display ads along them hardly seems like "abusing that position"...


Blocking your videos and holding them hostage until you agree to a new contract would be abuse, yes.


Wait, are you suggesting that it should be forced to continue to distribute your videos for free (to you) even if you don't agree to their terms of service?


I would say that if you want to run a platform for communication and expression, you shouldn't run rampant across it like a bully. There's a limit to what any company should be able to get away with in their terms of service. Push far enough, and the customers will leave with a bad taste in their mouth.

You can start running a platform for free expression, then start bullying people into adherence to a monetization policy. You're within your rights. However, that's a stupid level of bait and switch, like billing yourself as a vegan restaurant, but telling everyone they can only eat burgers.


No, I'm suggesting that you can't change a contract (ToS) after it's been accepted without consideration.

Blender already had an account and videos hosted on Youtube. Blender did not change their videos. YouTube changed their rules - and is holding Blender's videos hostage until they accept NEW terms.

These aren't terms already part of Blender's contract - which is why Youtube is literally trying to force Blender to sign a new contract and refuses to execute their original ToS.


> No, I'm suggesting that you can't change a contract (ToS) after it's been accepted without consideration.

Of course you can, as long as that is specified in the contract.

> These aren't terms already part of Blender's contract - which is why Youtube is literally trying to force Blender to sign a new contract and refuses to execute their original ToS.

And that is allowed per the contract.


A contract in the US can't override tort law. Material change without consideration is de facto no go.

This is pretty standard torts 101. You can say whatever you want in a contract but that doesn't mean the clause is valid. Furthermore ToS fall under sticker contracts which have a different level of scrutiny especially in regards to material changes post facto.

YouTube knows this. This is why they are trying to get Blender to sign a new contract. If your claim above was correct, YouTube would of simply already monetized the channel and unblocked the videos.


There was no material consideration to begin with. If I agree to paint your house for free, and put it in writing, and then later decide not to (or decide not to unless you agree to some post-hoc rule), you have no tort against me -- there was no consideration to begin with.


But you can't agree to paint my house for free, decide you would rather be paid halfway through and then prevent me from entering my house until I pay you.

That's a bit of a clumsy analogy, but the issue here is the immediate blocking of content and then demanding of pay. If Youtube instead said "Hey, you have 90 days to remove your content or let us monetize it" that would be a bit different.


Your youtube channel is Google's property. Your content is yours. You can remove them anytime. But your YouTube channel is not your house!


As much as I’d like to buy into this interpretation, isn’t the fact that youtube is an ongoing developed and supported service that consideration?

As in, their consideration here is “we continue to, without any pricetag, host your videos for free on a website receiving ongoing updates and development, AND FURTHER allow you to continue to upload and store new content, despite either and both being complete deadweight cost for us?”

The consideration being the right to indefinitely add more to the platform and benefit from those updates


> If your claim above was correct, YouTube would of simply already monetized the channel and unblocked the videos.

No, they can't do that, but they can end the service until a new contract is signed. Which is exactly what happened.

The YT ToS does not create an obligation on YT's part to serve your videos.


> The YT ToS does not create an obligation on YT's part to serve your videos.

Correct. The issue here is that they blocked the videos (not plain removal) with no warning or stated limit, and then demanded monetization to unblock the videos, thus creating a duress situation.

If YouTube had a stated policy saying "Videos getting over 250k views must be monetized" or sent a 90 day warning the situation would be different.

Instead YouTube blocked the videos without warning and then demanded a new monetization contract to restore service. That reeks of a duress case.


It's a bit of a stretch to call it a contract I think. Terms of service may in fact be a contact, but IANAL, but calling it a contract might imply that there are things to be gained on both sides. If a contract is no longer providing value for one of the contractees then it is fair, and should be provisions for such, to renegotiate or terminate the contract.

I do agree that they are abusing their position, but I don't agree that they shouldn't be allowed to act the way they are acting. Are they being unreasonable? Maybe, but it's not my, or your, place to decide that.


> "Are they being unreasonable? Maybe, but it's not my, or your, place to decide that."

What a ridiculous statement. It's everybody's right and place to decide for themselves whether or not they think youtube is being reasonable.


Well, it's not my place because I don't put videos on Youtube and rarely if ever watch them. Sorry, I may have assumed too much. We also don't know all the details as to why they are doing this. We can only assume it is unreasonable. We shouldn't assume anything.


> Are they being unreasonable? Maybe, but it's not my, or your, place to decide that.

Whose is it then? This is playing out in public; the public is free to opine.

Some things that are free of legal consequences come with consequences in other realms, and that's perfectly okay.


For free?

YouTube gives Google _unparalleled_ access to what we like, how we think, what we want, ... It's the best profiling tool there is.

Let's not say "for free" when we are paying a price for it already.


Yes, for free. You can create an account and upload as many videos as you want without paying absolutely anything. Even more, without handing over any personal information.

But hey, feel free to upload your videos elsewhere.


You're giving them content they can monetize, so it's no wonder they will let you give it to them for free.


> You're giving them content they can monetize

Well, exactly, content they can monetize.


By uploading videos you normally provide personal information: info about the video, context and, most of the time, the video itself.

By accessing videos you normally provide personal information: ip address, playlists, access history, browser fingerprint, device id,...


I don't think Blender is providing any personal information in the video.

Not to mention that you can upload it from a burner account and device in a cafe.

Oh, and you always have to option, well, not to upload it.


> Offering to host your videos for free

For free? No. For your valuable data. You think youtube is worth over $100 billion because it's hosting your videos for free?

https://www.thestreet.com/investing/youtube-might-be-worth-o...


PeerTube is awesome and needs more visibility. Coincidentally, they're having a fundraiser right now to be able to ship a 1.0, so if you like the idea of a federated, decentralized YouTube alternative that can also talk to other ActivityPub software like Mastodon etc. consider donating[1].

1 - https://www.kisskissbankbank.com/en/projects/peertube-a-free...


And you should also consider contributing!

It’s Typescript on client and server.

https://github.com/Chocobozzz/PeerTube


4 days now (since the 15th at least) and nothing out of YT. I realize that the portion of their viewers interested in MIT OCW or Blender is small, compared to the portion interested in FNAF and dental surgery on characters from Frozen... but it's also probably the portion they want to piss off least as an internet company.

ed: see below comment from OscarCunningham


This will barely register as a blip for YouTube. They'll survive and be more profitable afterwards.


The hope for many, perhaps a vain one, is that negatively impacting technical organizations (open source projects or MIT's ability to host computer science course videos) will have a disproportionate effect on the developers of youtube who on average might care about about these sort of organizations more than others. It could hurt youtube developer morale and/or their ability to recruit.


More basically, I only see their ads because there are non-ad videos that draw me to the site and give me a reasonable average impression of the combination of content and ads I see. Remove non-ad videos from YouTube and you would need to cut ads down by 50% to retain viewers like me.. the lower split of sharing on all content and/or lower viewer numbers will further dustress people with ads enabled on their content.. pushing them further into a death spiral of low profitability, poor content and inadequate incentives for the commercial content they apparently want.


It seems to me that YouTube's business model is ad supported. They need to run ads to pay for infrastructure to support the service and make profit for themselves, since they are not charging the user. So a sufficiently large channel that does not permit ads will eat into their revenues.i.e. it becomes an expensive free rider. This, I guess, is the reason behind the decision. I suppose it makes sense. But I don't see why they don't offer a paid option to entities like Blender who don't want ads?


More to the point, why don't they go ahead and permit those of us who are paying them -- i.e., YouTube Red subscribers -- to view the blocked videos?


I suspect that that would not result in sufficient revenue to offset the costs of hosting Blender's videos.


And that would be my problem because...?

If they need to charge more, then they should charge more. YT Red is arguably too cheap.


But then you are paywalling access to videos of non-profit organisation. Meaning 1. Blender will have to use different platform to make them accessible to everyone anyway. 2. Youtube/Google are still making money on otherwise free content.

Don't get me wrong i think they should get money for hosting but they want much more than that. That is the reason why they don't have any hosting premium plans (like vimeo does). If they did Im sure Blender foundation would pay for hosting of their videos.

Also lets not forget the overall highly positive impact these Blender videos have for the platform. They bring in people from embedded videos and people continue watching more videos (most likely monetized ones). When youtube hosts videos from blender or MIT they also can claim (as they love to do) how big educational impact they have...


The argument against that idea is that YouTube freely offers the choice to monetise or not monetise any video, if popular videos being hosted without monetisation is an issue for them then it's their duty to make it clear that clicking that button might mean having your entire channel destroyed without warning or explanation.

Which is frankly ridiculous anyway, if they want to change the rules for unmonetised videos, they should actually change the rules, have a setting on the button that says "if the video becomes popular enough, YouTube reserves the right to run our own advertising against the video" and just run ads.


Actually YouTube has started a patronage "Sponsorship" system, where users pay $5 a month to support a channel (and get "perks").


Yes. But this puts the burden on blender's viewers. That may not result in sufficient revenue. (Generally charging the viewer is not a winning revenue generation strategy.) The creator may more resources to pay and definitely more incentive.


I've been sponsoring a channel for a few months now but still find that youtube runs ads on their videos. I guess the perks are for exclusive live chats and stuff. Still, it's better than not having a sponsorship system.



For those not familiar with this fundraising platform, it appears to be legit. I asked them about it last month: https://cybre.space/@Riley/100131447697085131


It is indeed, and is quite popular in France for nonprofit or social projects.


Blender is the epic example of free software slowly eventually eating the big proprietary guys' lunch. Volunteers spending countless hours writing software, because they were fed up with the very high pricing point of the alternatives (Maya, 3DS). Now hopefully they can kick off the eating of large internet incumbents like Youtube, maybe using some decentralized free video sharing like PeerTube. I love watching blender tutorials. I hope this creates more competition in this space (online video hosting).


Remember that Blender started as proprietary software created by a Dutch company. The software was close source from its inception until 2002 when the parent company went bankrupt and the creator started a crowdfunding campaign to buy and open the source from the holding company's liquidation sale.


Yes, and then it was able to start slowly taking over the world. I see the value of a proprietary cash-fueled kick start, but it wasn't the driving factor in blender's adoption, and other projects show it's clearly not necessary in the general case.


I'm just pointing out it was originally proprietary and that's where it built a reputation that made it worth opening and supporting. Software doesn't know if it's proprietarily licensed or not. Great ideas are only GPL. OSS is great, but it doesn't mean proprietary software is bad or evil.


Yeah I watched an interview. It was cool how he says most of the major modeller refactors, and other very important code contributions were donated by volunteers.


This is great news for PeerTube! Since Blender as an established community, I hope PeerTube will gain traction from it.


In at least a small way, it already has. I'd not heard of PeerTube prior to reading this submission, and now I'm interested.


For what it's worth peertube is running a crowdfunding campaign now if anyone is interested:

https://www.kisskissbankbank.com/en/projects/peertube-a-free...


Indeed! I've been intrigued enough to look into hosting an instance on a video-related domain I have knocking about


And that's already great!


Blender is actually my favorite example of a beautifully made, professional-level OSS tool. The way the interface renders, the way the interface is thought out -- it's truly a pleasure to use. Given the Python backend interface and graphics/game engine, I've considered using it for completely unrelated projects -- I could see it being used for video/display jockeying, or aerial survey flight control, for example.


It would be rather ironic if Blender was able to remove Youtube's dominance :-)


I really hope we will be looking back at this moment in 3 years or whatever as the beginning of something big. We are long overdue to "myspacifiy" some of the current regents of the web.

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