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<title>What's Wrong with YouTube
- GNU Project - Free Software Foundation</title>
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<h2>What's Wrong with YouTube</h2>

<p>Please
cite <a href="http://audio-video.gnu.org/">audio-video.gnu.org</a> as
the site for videos of my speeches — not YouTube.</p>

<p>There are two problems with YouTube as a place to post
videos or refer to videos.</p>

<ul>
<li>Normal use of YouTube involves use of nonfree software.

  <ul>
   <li>In the HTML5 mode, it involves running
   a <a href="/philosophy/javascript-trap.html">nonfree JavaScript
   program</a>.  For some videos, it also requires the nonfree Adobe
   DRM software that has been incorporated into proprietary browsers
   and Firefox, but not into the GNU browsers
   including <a href="/software/icecat">IceCat</a>.</li>

   <li>In the (deprecated) non-HTML5 mode, it involves use of Flash
   Player, which is nonfree.  It even tells users to install Flash Player.  (This
   mode was deprecated by YouTube as of January 2015.)</li>
   Player.</li>
  </ul>
</li>

<li>Without the nonfree software, you can't even see the YouTube
pages.  Nowadays, without running the nonfree JavaScript code,
the browser window appears blank.</li>

<li>YouTube tries to stop people from downloading copies.

 <p>The developers of youtube-dl need to keep changing it as the site
   changes.
   The mere <em>attempt</em> nonfree JavaScript code for some videos does not allow
   the browser to stop you from downloading save a
   file copy.  This is wrongdoing even if you a form of DRM.
</li>

<li>There is a free
program, <a href="https://www.npmjs.com/package/ytdl">ytdl</a>,
which can overcome it.</p></li> download the video for some YouTube pages, but there
is no complete free software solution for access in a browser.
</li>

</ul>

<!--
<p>The free software community has made progress in overcoming these
problems.  It is getting easier to access YouTube videos (except those
with DRM) without running nonfree software.  Indeed, the HTML5 Video
Everywhere add-on for Firefox (included in IceCat) takes care of this,
though it occasionally breaks temporarily when sites change their
undocumented APIs.</p>

<p>However, most users don't use such methods, so putting a video on
YouTube usually leads people to watch it by running nonfree
software.</p>
-->

<p>One thing about YouTube that is <em>not</em> a moral strike against
it is nonfree software on YouTube servers — if there is any.  We
as possible users of YouTube can't tell whether the servers run any
nonfree software, because that has no effect on us — therefore
it doesn't do wrong to us.</p>

<p>If there are any nonfree programs running on YouTube servers, they
mistreat Google by denying Google control of that aspect of its
computing.  We hope that Google will reclaim its freedom by ceasing to
use those nonfree programs, if any.  But those programs do not mistreat
the <em>users</em> of YouTube, so they are not a reason to refuse
to <em>use</em> that service.</p>

<hr/>

<p>Dailymotion and Vimeo have the same problem as YouTube's HTML5
option: viewing their videos in the normal way requires nonfree
JavaScript code.  If there is  Archive.org at least permits viewing most videos
without you're having to run any commercial video-hosting platform
that doesn't have this problem, please inform us.</p> nonfree software to see them.</p>

<hr/>

<p>To post a video without requiring nonfree software to view it,
you can place the video as an Ogg or WebM file on an ordinary web site.
If you are concerned there will be a lot of download traffic, you
can seed a torrent and suggest people download through that.</p>

<p>Another way to publish videos on the web using free software is
<a href="http://mediagoblin.org/">GNU MediaGoblin</a>.  Ideally
you will set up
<a href="http://docs.mediagoblin.org/">your own server</a>, or run
one for your family and friends, but you can also post on
<a href="https://wiki.mediagoblin.org/Live_instances">public
servers</a>.</p>

<p>Please
<a href="https://wiki.mediagoblin.org/HackingHowto">contribute to
GNU MediaGoblin</a> if you can.</p>

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<p class="unprintable">Updated:
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$Date: 2017/11/09 19:29:05 $
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