YouTube Poops (often called YTPs or Poops for short) are a type of video mashup made by editing pre-existing media sources for the purposes of confusion, shock, humor, and/or entertainment.
In a typical YouTube Poop video, visual or auditory effects are often used to further alter the underlying work. Some of these videos convey a story, while others follow a non-linear narrative or contain no storyline at all. Alternatively, it may be an existing video repeated in a loop, slowed down or remixed. In many cases, they will utilize a bizarre sequence of elements that can, depending on the viewer, entertain or disorientate. Associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University Michael Wesch has defined YouTube Poop as "absurdist remixes that ape and mock the lowest technical and aesthetic standards of remix culture to comment on remix culture itself."
According to the website Know Your Meme, notable trends in YouTube Poops include:
- "Ear Rapes", which maximize volume and distort sound primarily to annoy viewers.
- "Stutter Loops", which loop short pieces of video to call attention to or emphasize something.
- "Word Trims/Sentence Mixes", which cut out or rearrange parts of speech, often to create new sentences or even profanity.
- The adjusting of vocal pitch to create the illusion of singing, particularly in YouTube Poop Music Videos (YTPMVs).
Media sources can include television shows, movies, cartoons, commercials or video games. YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture notes that low-budget television shows such as The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, as well as cutscenes from video games for the Philips CD-i, are frequently used as sources, but as stated on the YouChewPoop website:
- "The fact of the matter is that many poopers can still use CD-i footage to great effect, but it has largely become a tired and old source in an environment in which the fresh and creative is highly treasured."
YouTube Poop is derivative in the sense that the work of one artist (or pooper) is frequently used as the underlying work for another video. Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, referred to this behavior as an example of "call & response" within a remix culture.
In 2004, Matt Mulligan, under the name SuperYoshi, uploaded an edit of the Adventures of Super Mario Bros 3 to the website Sheezyart. It was not until November 2006 that the video was uploaded to YouTube with the title "I'D SAY HE'S HOT ON OUR TAIL". Mulligan, along with Andrew Hartford (Yaminomalex) and a small group of YouTube users, began editing and uploading "weird random videos for the sake of confusing people," with the purpose of making a mockery of the website.[unreliable source?] Australian college student Tom Johns subsequently created the website The Trailer Mash to host such videos, and describes an appropriate video "made with appropriated footage and collage editing techniques for the purpose of annoying or entertaining".
Copyright and fair use
Author Trajce Cvetkovski notes that despite Viacom filing a copyright infringement lawsuit with YouTube in 2007, YouTube Poop such as "The Sky Had A Weegee", the word "Weegee" in this case referring to a comical and satirical caricature and Internet meme of video game character Luigi, had been viewed 4.5 million times by October 2011, and was still available to view in 2012.
- "YouTube Poop: Memes and Community". Yale University, Law and Technology. November 3, 2012.
- Van Damme, Tommy (November 8, 2013). "Slow TV: Youtube doet het op zijn manier". De Morgen (in Dutch). Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- Electronic Frontier Foundation. "In the matter of exemption to prohibition on circumvention of copyright protection systems for access control technologies".
- Burns, Kelli S. (2009). Celeb 2.0: How Social Media Foster Our Fascination with Popular Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 80. ISBN 9780313356889.
- Burgess, Jean; Green, Joshua (2013). YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture. John Wiley & Sons. p. 131. ISBN 9780745658896.
- Lessig, Lawrence. "REMIX at Computer History Museum".
- Mazur, A.J. (January 20, 2011). "Q&A with YouChewPoop".
- Cvetkovski, Trajce (2013). Copyright and Popular Media: Liberal Villains and Technological Change. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 175. ISBN 9781137172372.
- Youchew forum
- Youchew interview with Conrad Slater
- YouTube Poop on tvtropes
- Article on 2012 DCMA exemption ruling
- Thesis paper on YouTube Poop