What's Wrong with YouTube
There are two reasons why YouTube is a bad choice for where to post videos or refer to videos.
- Normal use of YouTube involves use of nonfree software.
- In the default (non-HTML5) mode, it involves use of Flash Player. It even tells users to install Flash Player.
There are ways to access YouTube without running that nonfree software. Users who are in the know can avoid that problem. For instance, you can access the non-HTML5 videos with Gnash, and you can get any of them with youtube-dl.
However, most users don't use these methods, so putting a video on YouTube directs them towards nonfree software. To avoid that, post the video as an Ogg or Webm file on an ordinary web site.
- YouTube tries to stop people from downloading copies.
There are ways to download from YouTube, such as youtube-dl, but the attempt to stop people from downloading a file is morally wrong even if it can be defeated.
One thing about YouTube that is not a moral strike against it is nonfree software on YouTube servers — if there is any. We as outsiders can't tell, because it wouldn't affect us, which is why it is not an injustice towards us.
If there are any nonfree programs running on YouTube servers, they mistreat Google by denying Google control of that part of its computing. We hope that Google will reclaim its freedom by ceasing to use those nonfree programs, if there are any. But they do not mistreat the users of that service, so they are not a reason to refuse to use YouTube.
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