The Case of the Missing Windows YouTube Videos

The Case of the Missing Windows YouTube Videos

Late last evening, news about some Microsoft-related videos disappearing from YouTube spread slowly at first, but then caught fire. I believe the first evidence I saw was a post from Chris Pirillo stating that some of his uploaded videos had been removed. Word started spreading that Microsoft was issuing takedown orders for any video that referenced Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 in the title. Many thought Microsoft was taking undue aggressive action and couldn't figure out why.

Then, the case became more curious.

Scott Hanselman, a Microsoft employee, found that one of his own videos had been taken down, apparently due to copyright issues. Uh, what?

The takedown order was in error, or at least, partially. Microsoft (or whoever the company had hired to perform the evaluation) had identified specific YouTube videos where stolen product keys had been issued in the comments. The company was only attempting to protect its IP. The result was a big "Oops!"

For those that asked, Microsoft sent this statement:

While we are still investigating the recent YouTube takedown notices, it appears some of these videos were inadvertently targeted for removal because there were stolen product keys embedded in the comments section of the videos. Our intention was not to target legitimate YouTube content and we are sorry for the impact this has had. We have already taken steps to reinstate legitimate video content and are working towards a better solution to targeting stolen IP while respecting legitimate content.

Since the fiasco last night, Microsoft has worked to restore the videos, minus the illegal product keys.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.