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  • YouTube has held to the standard that they're not liable for user-supplied content, and because they do promptly remove clips when a copyright infringement notice is received, the courts have agreed with them. Viacom's lawsuit for over a billion dollars against YouTube was tossed out because of the DMCA safe-harbor provisions that exempt a website from being liable for infringement caused by content supplied by users as long as it promptly removes it when a copyright holder complains. YouTube, however, has made some changes including obtaining a compulsory licensenote  from ASCAP which covers all ASCAP-licensed music that appear in any clip posted on YouTube.

General Tropes:

  • Adored by the Network: News Outlets and TV Show Hosts almost perpetually dominate the top spots of the trending page, with maybe the occasional movie/game trailer. As Coffee Break's analysis of the trending tab shows, this is far more prevalent in the U.S.
  • Banned in China:
    • Sometimes, a video is only allowed to be viewed in certain countries for copyright concerns. The uploader is able to view it just fine however.
    • The site itself has been banned temporarily by various countries for various reasons. This includes Brazil, Turkey, Germany, Libya, Thailand, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan among others.
    • China, Iran and North Korea have all blocked the site permanently since 2009, 2012 and 2016 respectively.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Jawed Karim was not pleased with Google+'s integration into YouTube, asking why he needed a Google+ account to comment and bemoaning the fact that he wouldn't be able to comment on the site anymore since he didn't want an account.
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    • Jawed, much like most of the community, was angered and shocked at the removal of YouTube dislikes. He changed the description of "Me at the zoo" (YouTube's first ever video) to a "Reason You Suck" Speech, saying that the removal contradicts common sense, stops viewers from identifying bad content and that there is a reason, just not a good one.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • If you've ever wondered why copyright trolls and false copyright claims are so rampant, look no further than this behind-closed-doors and still-undisclosed deal YouTube struck with Universal Media Group back in 2009. The letter quoted in the article even states that UMG (and judging by the above copyright troll epidemic, presumably every other content creator on the site) has the power to take down a video for reasons other than copyright infringement. Here’s an excerpt from it:
      "As you know, UMG's rights in this regard are not limited to copyright infringement, as set forth more completely in the March 31, 2009 Video License Agreement for UGC Video Service Providers, including without limitation Paragraphs 1(b) and 1(g) thereof."
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    • In the early years of The New '10s, Google made it mandatory for all YouTubers to get an account with their Google+ social network in an effort to integrate the two services together - a move that many people understandably called "forced". Eventually, Google got the point from all the complaining, removed the Google+ requirement, and even started the process of shutting down the service for good. Unfortunately, around October 2018, that latter point caused a number of services to simply break on YouTube, including a number of important content creator tools. Markiplier shows this problem here, where many of the pages simply lead to a 404 Not Found after Loads and Loads of Loading. On the subscriber side, video notifications were simply broken - they'd either come too late, not at all, or get notifications from decade-old videos and/or people they weren't even subscribed to. He and many other big content creators speculate that because Google+ was so deeply integrated into YouTube, it's now problematic to simply erase it from the site, since a number of YouTube features were dependent on it.
  • Fan Community Nicknames: Users who have an account and upload videos are commonly referred to as "YouTubers" or "Content Creators".
  • Fandom Nod: 2012's April Fools' Day joke, The YouTube Collection is full of these. This includes "first" comments, a majority of videos being Minecraft related, and telling the viewers to not forget to leave a green thumbs up or a red thumbs down.
  • Follow the Leader: After the success of Netflix's Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, the site announced in Early 2019 that it was making a move into interactive programming as well.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • When coming across something you like, it's generally a good idea to download a permanent copy of it. Deletion of videos is a common occurrence mainly fueled by copyright holders and YouTube has probably the most rabid copyright enforcement on the Internet, to the aggravation of users. Indeed, following some links on This Very Wiki may result in seeing a message that the video (or the poster's account) has been deleted for infringing copyright. This has been exploited by "Content ID trolls": people who falsely report a user's video(s) to get them pulled and their accounts banned.
    • Movies and TV shows that otherwise would be completely forgotten or unlikely to ever be re-released to the public will occasionally make it on the site and, barring the uploads getting removed by the rights' holders, become their unofficial new home. However, this was a lot more common in the early days, as it's now become less and less rare for rights' holders to take action unless they have no plans to re-release them on home video or streaming, in which case they're just content with the free publicity or may even be compelled to make an official re-release.note 
    • There are also dozens of bootlegs... er, slime tutorials of Broadway musicals or plays, both those still running and those long past. They usually have Suspiciously Specific Denial names like "Definitely not Hamilton" or inside jokes about the show's content Eggs! the musical. Copyright claims here appear to be less common, especially since relatively few people are able to see live Broadway performances or official proshots.
  • Lying Creator: The website is notorious for the administration lying to make themselves look better. For example, in their officially endorsed copyright video with Glove and Boots, the site's legal director, Fred Lohmann, claims that people will be punished for filling false copyright claims on the site, when in fact they are never actively punished by the site.
  • Missing Episode: Any video that's removed for copyright or straight up deleted by the uploader.
  • Money, Dear Boy:
    • A common complaint among creators is that many of the rule changes since 2016 seem to exist solely to please advertisers and bring the site more money while making it harder for channels to get noticed and monetized.
    • This was the reason YouTube Premium and YouTube Originals were created. It was an attempt to drive users into getting a YouTube Premium subscription and make the site more money. The subscriptions haven't done much for them, making less than 1% of the site's revenue.
    • According to the site's moderators, YouTube is purposely more lenient towards its biggest stars in terms of breaking the rules (namedropping the infamous Suicide Forest controversy and the Steven Crowder incident in particular) because they bring the site the most money.
    • A smaller one, but making a video that exceeds ten minutes allows the user to place more ads on it. This sometimes results in content creators decreasing the quality of their videos by waffling on about things irrelevant to the subject or dragging on a single joke repeatedly, usually resulting in the video being ten minutes and one second long.
  • Newbie Boom: The shutdown of Vine in 2017 brought many former Viners like the Paul Brothers to the platform, along with their fanbases.
  • Rereleased for Free:
    • Any VHS rip, DVD rip, or album that's lucky enough to not be taken down for copyright.
    • Companies such as WildBrain and Nelvana have put entire shows from their libraries up for free on their channels. Though, a select few are only viewable in certain countries because of distribution rights.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers:
    • Videos being taken down by companies for supposedly infringing copyright has become a frustrating core part of YouTube since The New '10s, especially for anything taken down through the site's ContentID and copyright systems. This is to the point that a huge chunk of the New Media's "Screwed By The Lawyers" page is comprised of various instances of this happening.
    • The site has come under heavy fire from the community for removing videos the instant they receive an infringement claim without investigating whether the video is Fair Use or not. Unfortunately, YouTube, and "Content Service Providers" in general, are required by law to pull without investigation as soon as they receive proper notice, or else they themselves can be sued by the companies too.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • Over the years, YouTube has shown more and more favoritism and preference to partner channels, or channels that have a significant amount of subscribers or viewer activity. For example: are you just an average joe posting videos of things you find interesting or amusing? Well, good luck generating traffic on your videos, because they won't even show up in the search results, regardless of what tags/keywords you put on them. Want to access certain features and perks? You'll need a ton of subscribers and a lot of people watching your videos all the time, otherwise, those features will be locked. In other words, if you're not a partner channel or a regular channel that generates a lot of activity, good luck trying to get any kind of notice, because YouTube has pretty much swept you under the rug.
    • For channels that are partnered, YouTube has made it much harder for videos to get monetized. Late 2013 saw the site updating their ContentID copyright identification system, making it more difficult to monetize videos. As ContentID was already considered "judge, jury & executioner" by critics before the change, this led to some partners threatening to move to other video sharing sites. YouTube's stricter enforcement of their acceptable content policies following the Adpocalypse has only exacerbated this issue.
  • What Could Have Been: The site was originally a video version of a website called Hot or Not, where users uploaded pictures of themselves and other users would decide whether or not the user is hot or not. However, the creators found this too limited, and later made it a general video site.
  • Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things:
    • The founders reportedly said in several interviews that they sold the website off because of hordes of teenagers (the aforementioned users) uploading copyrighted material on it instead of making their own videos and ignoring its rules, thus destroying their dream for a youtube.
    • The official reason why the Video Replies feature was removed back in 2013 was because of "low engagement" (people weren't clicking on them). However, it's arguable that the real reason for their removal was the "reply girls" phenomenon, which — as the name would imply — consisted of almost Always Female users having their cleavage on display in the thumbnail and the actual content having next to no relation with the video they replied to. The phenomenon also indirectly impacted channels with shorter videos as Google changed their monetization algorithm to favor videos that retained their audience (essentially boiling down to "which videos are longer") rather than how many views they got.
    • Many of the rule changes concerning what can and can't be uploaded on the site have come into place because of users actively pushing things too far. One notable example was when Bird Box challenge videos began rising in prominence in 2019, leading to YouTube banning dangerous pranks and challenge videos from the site.
  • The Wiki Rule: Wikitubia: The YouTube Wiki.