YouTube has been testing a new way of combating copyright violations on the site – removing the audio, leaving the video. The result is a wasteland of music videos that are creepily silent.
For some time now the company has been fingerprinting audio tracks and notifying users of infringement when they find a copyrighted song (I received one of these in error, fought it and won). Until recently, the copyright holder was able to choose between having the whole file removed or making revenue off of ads placed on the content.
Based on Twitters, a lot of people think something is wrong with their computers. Someone (or more likely some committee) at YouTube made the decision that this was the best user experience possible when a song needed to be stripped from the site. That decision was a bad one.
Thankfully the music industry is always there to do something a little more stupid than they did before to entertain us all.
Thanks for the tip Aniq.
Update: YouTube’s blog post on the subject.