When YouTube videos get taken down, YouTomb is watching. The new site, the brainchild of a group of MIT students, tracks every video removed from YouTube, along with who requested its removal. YouTomb doesn’t archive the videos—“We’re not interested in bootlegged videos of Naruto,” says co-creator Dean Jansen—it’s interested solely in watching for fair use abuses.
In its efforts to please copyright holders and stave off lawsuits, YouTube has sometimes hit controversy by removing parodies or remixes thanks to dubious copyright complaints. “We aren't trying to be antagonistic at all,” says Jansen. “We understand YouTube has a business to run. But at the same time, we’re not sure where it ends.”