One of the worst kept secrets about YouTube is that it’s just teeming with full length movies, and I’m not talking about the ones that Google wants you to pay for. They’re not all that hard to come by despite the fact that uploaders presumably don’t want them getting yanked immediately, but those movies are there if you know where to look.
Thanks to a new (well, new to me anyway) web app, finding them just got a whole lot easier. Say hello to Pegleg, a simple, smart, and terribly handsome way to dig up those flicks on YouTube.
The concept is simple enough — Pegleg’s front page shows off all the films that users have already found, and those looking for something specific can either drill down by certain criteria or punch in the name of a movie they’d like to see. If the flick in question has already been added to the Pegleg collection you can watch it immediately. In the extremely likely event that the movie you’ve been jonesing for isn’t there yet, Pegleg will display a list of YouTube videos it thinks could be what you’re after, along with a little notification showing you how sure it’s actually a full-length movie based on the clip’s running time.
Right now Pegleg plays home to nearly 900 YouTube movie links that users have added to the system, with some of them naturally worth more of your time than others. It’s a remarkably polished project especially considering that Pegleg’s creator, Toronto-based developer Mina Mikhail, was mainly looking for a way to get better acquainted with developing in Meteor. Still, as neat as the project is, it’s very possible that by shining a light on all of these films lurking on YouTube Mikhail is actually making them (and potentially event Pegleg itself) a more prominent target for copyright takedowns. Over the past few days alone some 20 links were removed from Pegleg because the films they pointed to were removed by YouTube.
As far as Mikhail is concerned though, that’s just the nature of the beast. Takedowns can and will happen, but he finds it unlikely that these sorts of film uploads will ever completely disappear from YouTube. As some films are unceremoniously yanked from YouTube, others will certainly be uploaded in their place, and the ceaseless dance between copyright holders and YouTube-savvy film buffs continues on. Mikhail doesn’t intend for Pegleg to go dark anytime soon unless something truly dramatic happens, but let’s face it — people are going to upload and share these movies on YouTube no matter what ultimately happens to Pegleg.
“I’m not aiming to subvert the rights of content owners,” Mikhail notes in a blog post. “Pegleg is simply a response to the actual, current behaviours of friends and film-lovers around the world.”