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back to article YouTube turns on dormant DRM, permits official downloads

From next month the YouTube mobile app will let users download videos and keep them for 48 hours of disconnected viewing before they disappear into the DRM'd ether. Users uploading videos can opt out, but in-stream adverts will also be cached and viewing figures will be uploaded once the device reconnects, so there seems little …

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm..... Good for watching cat videos on the commute....

But clearly not sufficient for taking cat videos on a business trip to bits of the world with poor internet connectivity.

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FAIL

Re: Hmmm..... Good for watching cat videos on the commute....

Or just my desk at home.

My ISP (Brighthouse of Central Florida) is so poor that YT videos stutter and pause horribly. I have to buy a VPN account to be able to see the preload bar advance at all.

Why don't I change to a different ISP? There isn't one except for AT&T and Dish, who are even worse. AT&T does have better technical services but their sales & business practices are so predatory that I dropped my landline with them. They used to call my answering machine up to 6 times a day every business day, and since I had a business relationship with them, I couldn't complain to the regulatory agencies.

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Bronze badge

Re: Hmmm..... Good for watching cat videos on the commute....

Wait, you need a VPN to be able to use your net? That... like... your ISP is not providing throughput on the link or something? I'm speechless. Does the VPN not have to go through their system? How on earth...

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Re: Hmmm..... Good for watching cat videos on the commute....

"Does the VPN not have to go through their system? How on earth..."

Most likely they throttle YouTube along with torrents and usenet access as a "waste" of the bandwidth that you might have imagined you paid for, but they have not throttled VPN yet (or have too much big business users to dare).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm..... Good for watching cat videos on the commute....

"

Wait, you need a VPN to be able to use your net? That... like... your ISP is not providing throughput on the link or something? I'm speechless. Does the VPN not have to go through their system? How on earth..."

Sounds like the ISP is blocking something - a VPN will certainly circumvent that, even though the connection still goes through the ISP. That's the beauty of encrypted tunnels.

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JBR

Re: Hmmm..... Good for watching cat videos on the commute....

More likely poor edge caching servers. There are a few ways of bypassing them to go to youtube direct. Look at ff plugins or iptables

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm..... Good for watching cat videos on the commute....

"They used to call my answering machine up to 6 times a day every business day"

That's easily fixed. Just ask who they want to speak to. Say I'll just get them. Leave phone on hold until they give up. Rinse and repeat as required in the satisfaction that it wastes far more of their time than yours...

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Horse, stable door

I already have this functionality via a nice APK downloaded from source forge that integrates into the youtube app via the share button, except I get nice non-DRM-wrapped files that I can keep indefinitely. I suppose kudos to google for giving me a mobile OS that's open enough to let me usurp their authority over youtube content at a time and a place to suit myself.

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Re: Horse, stable door

Same here, I tap the floppy disc icon during a video on this Pre 3 and it saves the .mp4 to my phone. It doesn't harm anyone's business interests, doesn't deprive Google or its partners of advertising revenue, it just means I can save videos at home on wi-fi and watch them while I'm out and about which I wouldn't do using mobile data.

Plus the Pre 3 doesn't show adverts - ever - but we won't tell Google abut that

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Devil

"It doesn't harm anyone's business interests"

Yeah right. Every time you watch these videos while being out and about makes you happy! And you are not paying anybody for this happiness.

Media corporations most certainly think that you should pay for this. They own the content, so they should be able to dictate exactly how and when you are allowed to watch it. If you want to watch it in any other way, there is a convenience fee for that.

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"And you are not paying anybody for this happiness."

I'm the commodity, pal. It's me who's for sale, not the videos. I don't have to pay YouTube a penny, ever.

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Social implications.

Let's just imagine, for a moment, that Youtube's engineers managed to invent a form of DRM that makes downloading and saving videos impossible.

Ok, now stop laughing. It's hypothetical.

Youtube is more than cats. It's news, now. The incident with Israel attacking a blockade-breaking supply ship was filmed by amateurs, and put on youtube. Incidents of police brutality and excessive force are likewise frequent appearances on youtube. When Anonymous declared war on the Church of Scientology, it was because a video revealing the church's stuck-up obnoxious smugness and ridiculous pseudoscientific nonsense was leaked onto youtube and swiftly DMCAed. Many of the ground news coming out of Syria is filmed on mobile phones, and uploaded to youtube, there to be harvested by the serious professional news channels.

Now what would happen were there a way to file a legal complaint and have a youtube video disappear... forever? If no-one could save a copy, that would be possible. No more 'don't taze me, bro!' - the police would have the video vanish before it could become widely seen. Anonymous couldn't have gotten upset, because none of them would have been able to see the video that first inspired the spat. The many videos of police turning traffic stops into demands for money to avoid being investigated for drugs offenses, disappeared. The excessive force used to quell protests in New York, with tear gas launched into crowds and police savagely beating people even as they try to depart, would go unseen.

Youtube has become such a giant of internet video, it's turned into a social engine - and that means youtube's policies affect far more than just their bottom line now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Social implications.

Or more likely, DRM will be a per-video option decided on by the uploader. The battered Syrian - or whomever - will have to remember to leave that box unticked when they submit their latest leak.

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Re: Social implications.

Uh, on what basis would the police (in the US, anyway) force videos taken by private citizens to be removed from YouTube, and can you reference an instance of something like this being attempted, much less achieved?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Social implications.

I don't know about the police, but videos taken on private property can be taken down at the request of the property owner, particularly if the owner is a business and/or the videographer was an employee. Privacy and/or trade secrets can be cited as the reason.

As for the police, perhaps a warrant could force YouTube to take down a video because it's evidence of criminal activity (something grossly obscene is illegal in that regard and would fit under this criterium).

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Re: Social implications.

In some US states, it's illegal to record a conversation without the consent of both parties. That's quite enough of an excuse for a police department to try to get pulled any videos showing their officers abusing their authority.

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Silver badge

Don't worry

Some enterprising programmer will come up with a fix for it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't worry

The current YouTube rippers simply sit in the video steam and dump it to an FLV/MP4, how does this latest thing stop that?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't worry

It does not stop it. It just makes it easier for you. In case you actually want to keep it for 48 hours, you don't even have to use a ripper.

Actually, if you are a bit careful, you can just keep the browser window open and keep replaying the same song. You don't actually need a connection to replay what you played already.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't worry

a certain Python script...?

Anon, because....

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Silver badge

Re: Don't worry

Nothing. That wasn't the point. Plus the downloaders don't work with protected streams. They have to pass through third-party DRM systems before YouTube can negotiate them. Getting THOSE downloaded is a lot more difficult.

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Bronze badge

"unless the copy protection proves massively insecure"

Until.

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Gold badge

I don't understand..

I don't understand, I've been able to d/l stuff off youtube forever now. Are they pretending they have useful DRM? (Being able to throw stuff on for offline viewing within the app -- including the ads and viewing report to let people get paid -- is nevertheless a good idea.)

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I'm just glad

I'm just glad that somebody is finally taking this Cat Video issue seriously.

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Thumb Down

"The business was built on copyright theft"

Yes, keep trotting out the Big Media Party Line...

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rvt

God, i hate youtube.

"This video doesn't play on this device...(user switches to mobile mode and) voila video plays.

The problem is that Google interpretation on how a mobile version of a site should work and look like is just terrible.

On the desktop version i cannot do full screen on a tablet, but i cannot play all video's. On the desktop version I can play the video, but full,screen doesn't work AAaAaAaAArch.

Why can't google get his shit together and make it work like how it used to work!!

End of rant

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Happy

"Next month? "

When I powered on my Android tablet yesterday, I got a notification that the youtube app was downloading videos I'd tagged 'Watch later'.

I was able to disable this in the apps settings.

Are you saying I'm getting this before others? I've never been an early adopter of anything!

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Bronze badge

Re: "Next month? "

Nope, that worked for quite a while now. On the other hand, switch off ALL connectivity on the tablet - make sure you're fully offline - then try watching the allegedly "offline" stuff. The thing is, it really does get downloaded to your device - youtube just won't play it without a connection first. And I have no idea how "retrievable" it is from the app's cache (wherever that may be on the device).

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Conditioning....

Well this should help condition the masses for paid for content as a temporary one shot entertainment that also goes poof after a prescribed time.

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