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Apple’s copyright claims ripped down a fan’s archival WWDC YouTube channel

Apple’s copyright claims ripped down a fan’s archival WWDC YouTube channel


The channel, called Apple WWDC Videos, contained hundreds of videos showing past WWDC events.

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

After Apple issued several copyright claims, YouTube took down an archival channel containing hundreds of decades-old videos from past Apple Worldwide Developer Conferences (WWDC). Brendan Shanks, the owner of the Apple WWDC Videos channel, says his account’s been permanently disabled after receiving well over three copyright strikes — the maximum number of violations you can incur before YouTube removes your account.

In screenshots of emails shared by Shanks, Apple issued a number of takedown requests against his videos, some of which dated back to the early 2000s. Shanks says he still has all the original video files and descriptions, and is currently trying to get the content over to the Internet Archive. Apple didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment.

This isn’t the first time Apple has gone after archival content. When YouTube removed the EveryAppleVideo channel over copyright issues in 2016, product designer Sam Henri Gold made it his mission to preserve its videos. After first attempting to store them in an 80GB torrent file, and later trying to host the content on Google Drive, Gold eventually went on to create the unofficial Apple Archive in 2020.

The now-defunct website contained a massive trove of old Apple ads, WWDC sessions, internal training videos, and much more. Gold was quickly flooded with DMCA notices after the site’s launch, resulting in its content and the videos uploaded to Vimeo getting taken down. (You can still view an archived version of the website here.)

And yes, while this archived content is Apple’s intellectual property, the company doesn’t exactly do the best job of making its history readily available to fans. It seems like the closest thing we’ll get to an official archive related to the company is the small, but growing Steve Jobs Archive, which contains emails, videos, and voice clips highlighting snippets of Jobs’ life. The site was launched in September by Jobs’ friends and family — not by Apple.