Friday, February 27, 2009

Youtube will no longer let you download videos with third party applications

Youtube just introduced a new feature: Youtube entertainers will now be able to offer their videos for download at a small price. The ones we've seen were 99 cents. This is great news to a lot of people who always wanted to keep a copy for themselves. But a lot of people out there were using third party services such as Keepvid,,,, VideoDownloader,,, and to download videos from Youtube for free.

Well this is now a thing of the past. Youtube has just disabled downloading videos, even for those using those sneaky programs and plugins. Try using Keepvid to download your favorite Youtube video. It won't work. You'll save a file that's completely empty. If you want to download a Youtube video you'll have to find one that has a download link.

So is this a good decision or not? Well it's obviously good for people who want to protect and control their own content, which most producers of content do. But there are a lot of others out there who want their videos to be distributed around, like activists trying to get the word out about a particular cause. Or people working together collaborating, sharing their videos, and editing them. Also, if someone is trying to illustrate a point, it's helpful sometimes to display several small clips to support their argument. Youtube is full of news and commentary clips. We understand that people who work hard to create content shouldn't have it stolen, but there are a lot of good legitimate reasons for people wanting their own copy.

With Youtube's new feature of offering the video to download, I've only seen examples where it's being sold. Will Youtube also allow people to have their videos available to download for free? We hope so, and if not, we hope they're seriously considering it.

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