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YouTube is a website that was created for sharing videos over the internet. In 2005 three former PayPal employees, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim created the website. The domain name was activated on 14 February 2005 and the website was developed over the following months. The first video “Me at the zoo” was uploaded on 23 April 2005 and can still be viewed.

In July 2006 YouTube announced that more than 65 000 videos were being uploaded and 100 million videos where being viewed each day. In 2006 YouTube was bought by Google for US $1.6 billion, allowing all Google users to log into YouTube using their existing Google credentials. It is estimated that in 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in the year 2000. Alexa ranks YouTube as the third most visited website on the Internet after Google and Facebook.

YouTube has been criticized for failing to ensure copyright protection. Videos are not screened before they are published, and the copyright owner should issue a complaint personally. Viacom, Mediaset, and the English Premier League have filed lawsuits against YouTube, claiming that it has done too little to prevent copyrighted infringement. YouTube has since introduced a system called Video ID, which checks uploaded videos against a database of copyrighted content with the aim of reducing violations.

Posted on 16 August 2011
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