If you visited YouTube in the past 24 hours, you probably felt that you landed on the wrong site. More like TV, and less cluttered, this is the new YouTube, or, at least, Google’s declared intention behind the redesign. The site is so clean, and clutter-free… it’s almost boring. But a good boring.
The redesign will help users subscribe and watch channels on YouTube with ease, a move that should convey casual lurkers into diehard users. The redesign also enables users to bring their own subscription-filled YouTube Guide across the online version of the site, but also across all other devices (game consoles, smart mobile devices, tablets and television).
Another important feature is that every time you visit YouTube on any device, you will see the latest videos from the channels to which you subscribe. As you watch a movie, your playlists are at the right of the video and you can browse through while you watch. Subscribe button, social actions and video information are all combined directly below the player – the focus is now on the video. Overall… a better user experience.
Redesign Doesn’t Solve the Main Problem
The FBI shut down a number of BitTorrent sites in the past, for criminal copyright infringement. While YouTube is not a BitTorrent site, the amount of copyrighted material is beyond control. Google seems to care more about keeping cool and trendy, than about taking proactive steps to fix the problem. On one side, they hammer website owners for duplicate content and copyright infringement, while on the other side they keep their own content above the laws they impose on others.
In August, this year, Google rolled out the Pirate Penalty, with the purpose to penalize sites repeatedly accused of copyright infringement:
“Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results.”
YouTube is the target of many DMCA requests, and removes content all the time. However, as a Google product, YouTube remains above the Pirate Penalty.
You will not find YouTube on the Google Transparency Report site showing domains threatened by the Pirate Penalty, but you will find a few torrent sites like torrenthound.com, torrentz.eu, extratorrent.com, sumotorrent.com and so on.
Some Google and YouTube fans will argue that Google has the right to protect its own sites. It does, but then, if YouTube is guilty of distributing copyrighted material without permission, and gets away with it, then Google shouldn’t take any action against sites guilty of the same sin.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of copyrighted movies available free of charge on YouTube, including Hollywood blockbusters, foreign movies, series and cult classics. All uploaded by YouTube users, random people from different countries, and not by their copyright holders. And while we welcome the change – YouTube does look much better, and is more functional, redesigned, we hope to see a positive change concerning the content too.