News: Shortly after Viacom sued YouTube, I questioned in this post whether Viacom’s factual allegations in its complaint were way overblown, specifically those contending that YouTube’s business model is built on a “massive” amount of infringing files. Based on my own daily review of YouTube videos, that seemed untrue. Most of the files on YouTube appear to me to be user-created content or home videos. Viacom complained about 130,000 files — that number would comprise less than an even a small fraction of one percent of the several billion files on YouTube. And most of the most popular videos on YouTube are user-generated content.
This week, Vidmeter.com, an online site that tracks video sharing online, has issued a report substantiating some of my points and the relatively modest role that infringing files play on YouTube. From a 3-month study of the most-watched videos on YouTube (6,725 videos that were collectively viewed over 1 billion times), Vidmeter concludes: “In summary, we found that of the 6,725 most popular videos on YouTube, only 621 had been removed due to copyright requests. Views to the removed videos made up less than 6% of all recorded YouTube views.”
Specifically, Viacom’s removed files constituted only 2.37% of all views on YouTube during that time period.