YouTube Poop (often called YTP for short) is a type of absurdist video mashup, created by editing pre-existing media sources for the purposes of humor, entertainment, shock, and/or confusion, and often contain mature content. YouTube Poop videos are traditionally uploaded to the video-sharing website YouTube, but are also posted to other media sharing sites such as the YouChew forum.
In a typical YouTube Poop video, visual and auditory effects are used to alter the underlying work. These videos may convey a story, while others follow a non-linear narrative or contain no storyline at all. Alternatively, a YouTube Poop may consist solely of an existing video repeated in a slowed or remixed loop. In many cases, YouTube Poops utilize a bizarre sequence of elements that may, depending on the viewer, entertain, confuse or irritate. 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".
Media sources of YouTube Poop may include television shows, movies, cartoons, commercials, video games and other videos obtained from YouTube or elsewhere. There is no generally accepted limitation as to what kind of source material may be used.
YouTube Poop is often 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.
Copyright and fair use
Due to the use of copyright materials and the manner in which these sources are depicted, YTP videos are frequently removed from YouTube following a DMCA complaint. However, political scientist and author Trajce Cvetkovski notes that despite Viacom filing a copyright infringement lawsuit with YouTube in 2007, YouTube Poops such as "The Sky Had a Weegee" by Hurricoaster, which features scenes from the children's television show SpongeBob SquarePants (in particular, the "Shanghaied" episode) and a satiric caricature based on Nintendo's Luigi, specifically his appearance on the educational video game Mario is Missing!, remain on YouTube for all to see.
The law in the United Kingdom does allow people to use copyrighted material for the purposes of parody, pastiche and caricature without infringing the copyright of the material. Copyright owners are only able to sue the parody, pastiche or caricature creator if the parody, pastiche or caricature contains hateful or discriminative messages. If the case is then taken to court, it will be down to a judge to decide whether the video is funny. Despite this law in the United Kingdom, YouTube has not altered its terms and conditions to allow people to upload parodies, pastiches or caricatures meaning some users could still face copyright strikes even though they are not infringing the copyright.
- "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" (PDF).
- Burns, Kelli S. (2009). Celeb 2.0: How Social Media Foster Our Fascination with Popular Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 80. ISBN 9780313356889.
- Lessig, Lawrence. "REMIX at Computer History Museum".
- Cvetkovski, Trajce (2013). Copyright and Popular Media: Liberal Villains and Technological Change. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 175. ISBN 9781137172372.
- "The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations 2014". legislation.gov.uk.
- "Parody copyright laws set to come into effect". BBC News.