Not Me Tube

By Shamus
on Apr 3, 2006
Filed under:
Anime

While googling about for intros (opening / title credits) on Anime series for another post, I stumbled on YouTube.com. Strange site. As far as I can tell: You upload movies. Then other people download them. All for free. Lots of it is funny skits or lame oops-I-fell-down-the-steps type of stuff, but they also have quite a bit of copyrighted stuff. Like, full episodes of Haibane Renmei. What the heck?

I must be missing something here. Why hasn’t this site been sued into oblivion? Moreover, how do you make money letting people use your site as a big file-sharing depot? The bandwidth for video-on-demand for millions of users is not cheap, and you can’t hope to pay for it with banner ads. They don’t even force you to create an account to see the videos. Google was able to direct-link me to their videos, bypassing various ads and possible chances at information aggregation.

I keep looking around the site to find out what they are up to. I keep expecting to see some sort of fine print that shows me what their particular angle is. I don’t see one. Very strange.

As an aside: For crying out loud, don’t watch these shows like this! Even if you don’t care about copyrights or the original artists, you’d be cheating yourself if you watched these shows in this small window with low quality sound. This isn’t crappy cut & paste American animation, and some of the series have stunning visuals. You really will be missing a lot on the small screen. In particular, you’d have to really hate yourself to watch Haibane Renmei like this.

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20525 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.

From the Archives:

  1. Brian says:

    You has recently limited video uploads to 10 minutes in length, which they hope will cut down on copyright violations. They also seem to respond quickly to cease-and-desist letters.

    As for revenue? They have said. basically, “we are working on it.” I interpret that as “we are working on getting acquired, so that the new owners can deal with that ‘turn a profit’ nonsense while we drink daquiris on a tropical beach.”

  2. Shamus says:

    the new owners can deal with that ‘turn a profit’ nonsense while we drink daquiris on a tropical beach.

    Ah! I KNEW they had an angle!

  3. Pete Zaitcev says:

    I do not think that resolution is all that vital, unless you really care for things like little Maya reflecting in Sakaki’s eyes in Azumanga eyecatches. Details like that cannot even be seen at most fansubs, you have to have a DVD. Haibane Renmei in particular uses low-budget animation and rides the story quality. In other words, you can watch it in 320×200 and be deeply moved.

  4. Pixy Misa says:

    Actually, the fansubs that have been coming out since about 2003 have been amazingly good. If there was a serious market for subs they probably would have been shut down by now.

    But YouTube sucks mightily.

    Even if their business plan sounds a lot like mine…

  5. GrubLord says:

    In other news, YouTube and Google are one and the same, nowadays. And Google has computer power/money to spare.

    ‘Sides, Google seems to live off giving away stuff for free. Their moneymaking schemes are the depth of insidiousness.

    Soon, their robots will work out that your Anti-spam word is always “d20″… and then their destructive rampage shall begin!

  6. Obfuscato says:

    And it just came to pass – Japanese media companies are shaking their spears over copyright issues. Where were those guys, waiting for somebody with deeper pockets to come along?

    Low-res, yes. Copyright violation all over the place. Loads of lame stuff. But where else would I find a dark, dark, dark and ultimately disturbing melding of Icon & The Black Rose’s version of “Running up That Hill” with Fatal Frame 2?

  7. Evan says:

    whats so bad about youtube? i use it alot, it’s my second biggest form of seeing anime. it is also an easy way for peapole with good videos to get them out there real fast. i have seen really crappy things on youtube, and really good things (http://youtube.com/watch?v=cL-mR79GErU). besides we all know how google gets money, by stealing the souls of newborns and selling them to the devil.

  8. God of Awesome says:

    I use Youtube for AMV which take clips from anime and then put them to music or Abridged series which take an anime shorten in, and redub with hillarious results.

  9. yoshi927 says:

    Well, Youtube is good for playing music on the computer. But you’re just cheating yourself if you stream anime on it. The one advantage is that, since it’s split into parts, you can take a break any time a part is over and know exactly where you are. But that’s just not worth it.

  10. “I stumbled on YouTube.com. Strange site. As far as I can tell: You upload movies. Then other people download them.”

    That’s kind of funny to read two years later, after everyone is aware of YouTube, since it has become household name. It is now one of those things that sort of defines our generation … like iPods. *shudder*

  11. Ted says:

    Agreed. I thought Youtube was older than that, though.

  12. dyrnwyn says:

    yea me too seems like it’s been around since the beginning of time or something I guess your brain just tells you it can’t possibly have ever not been there

  13. SatansBestBuddy says:

    So YouTube’s been on the crackdown, banning people by the hundreds for uploading music you can’t steal and wouldn’t want to cause it’s low quality and anime’s you can’t read the subtitles to cause it’s too blurry.

    I, personally, find it funny that YouTube is so huge, yet every single other video streaming site I’ve ever found is better in every way you can think of.

  14. Simon says:

    4 Years later and they’re now finally on the verge of breaking even with the thing…

  15. mixmastermind says:

    “While googling about for intros (opening / title credits) on Anime series for another post, I stumbled on YouTube.com.”

    I can’t even describe what it feels like to read this, 5 years later. It’s kind of like there’s a world that existed before Youtube, but I can only barely understand what it was like.

  16. anaphysik says:

    Wow, Shamus, what a sellout you are. Telling us how dagfernangled this thar youtube contraption was before eventually becoming part of the best youtube series ever (for certain definitions of ‘best,’ ‘ever,’ and ‘series’).

    How DARE you! *takes off glove* *slaps*

    ;D

  17. TonyKebell says:

    Well, this just reads as weird, I mean I got my 1st computer in ’07, I’ve never seen the internet pre-youtube. Damn, it sure did escalate quickly didn’t it?

  18. Walter says:

    Man, reading this 6.9 years later sure is weird. So is reading the comments saying “Man, reading this 2/3/5 years later sure is weird” however many years later. See you in 2 years, internet!

  19. 4th Dimension says:

    Paaaast maaaan . . . These past us sure were shortsighted. How could they stand not having youtube I mean it’s like a basic human right maaan.

    :D

    • 4th Dimension says:

      Really 4th Dimension? This is you from 3 years in the future and that joke is still not funny. Shape up your things man or in 3 years you are going to be pissed at yourself from 3 years ago.

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