So yeah, I'm a Youtube user. I go round looking for free cartoons and other bits of TV other have uploaded to watch, might add to favourites, and probably give a comment on occasion.
Of course, Youtube are heavily backed up by third parties such as Viacom, so they are rampant on the removal of copyrighted material almost as soon as it's uploaded. I myself have uploaded copyrighted material many months ago, but for a number of completely different reasons I wish I hadn't!
It all started back in March when I first joined, and after a while I just uploaded a bunch of random crap. It was only when I got a copy of Rayman: The Animated series on DVD from a French seller on Ebay in April last year when I decided to upload all four episodes. Much later I was asked to upload several Count Duckula episodes by a friend, and that's where the troubles started.
In July 2006 11 videos containing Duckula episode parts were flagged. From then on I decided not to upload anything to Youtube again, but that didn't stop the subscribers coming in. As of now I have 57 subscribers, some of which are rather empty in everything. I'm guessing all they expect of me is more Duckula episodes, or perhaps more Rayman content. Either way, I'm not uploading them there. Disabling comments and bulletins won't be enough.
I keep getting asked to send episodes to people I don't even know through email - and they don't get to me just from Youtube, they come from MSN Messenger as well. It just takes too much of my time to upload the same file over and over again to different people via Yousendit. Plus I'm not on the best connection out there, so my upload rate is crap to no end.
Of course I'm a bittorrent user, but I occasionally use that for series I might not be able to get on DVD anywhere, such as Animals of Farthing Wood and Harry Hill's TV Burp. When I do get DVDs, say of Count Duckula, I'm most likely to replace the downloaded episodes with the legit ones that I can rip from them. That doesn't mean I fully support piracy though.
What I don't support is the sale of copied CDs and DVDs, which in the long run may ruin the CD and DVD playing systems they're run on. But then so can legits, but not as badly. I think this is because they make the system work much harder than legit ones - I should know because I used to play pirated games on my Dreamcast an awful lot in the past few years, and in the long run they wore my console out and I had to get a new one, so I'm no longer playing pirates on it.
Shame I said that, because I once had to buy a set of burned DVDs of the Detectives on eBay for my dad. Thankfully they were of good quality for TV rips, but that's not always the case. Most of the junk they sell on ebay could be of really poor quality and are not worth buying, even if it's that one series you loved so dearly. With downloads however if they're not up to your standards, all you need to do is press Shift and Delete.
Piracy is such a hard issue for me to talk about. So let's just say that if I was asked to say if I supported it, my answer would be yes and no. I can't wait for CD and DVD recycling banks to come locally...
Back to Youtube, well I've been thinking for a long time about whether to close my account or not. I think I will anytime soon now.