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YouTube Poop

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YouTube Poop (YTP) is a type of video mashup created by editing pre-existing media sources for humorous, profane, annoying, confusing, shocking, détournement, or dramatic purposes. YouTube Poops are traditionally uploaded to the video sharing website YouTube, hence the name, but may be mirrored or uploaded on other sites like Newgrounds, Vimeo, and Dailymotion (usually for reasons involving copyright or YouTube's Community Guidelines).


A typical YTP uses visual and auditory effects to alter the underlying work. Some of these videos may involve completely or partially repurposing sources to create or convey a story, while others follow a non-linear narrative, and some may contain no storyline at all.[1] Alternatively, a YouTube Poop may consist solely of an existing video repeated in a slowed or remixed loop.[2] In many cases, YouTube Poops utilize a bizarre sequence of elements which may entertain, confuse, or irritate, depending on the viewer.[1] Associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University, Michael Wesch, has defined YouTube Poops as "absurdist remixes that ape and mock the lowest technical and aesthetic standards of remix culture to comment on remix culture itself".[3]

Media sources of YouTube Poops include television shows, movies, cartoons, commercials, video games, and other videos obtained from YouTube or elsewhere.[4] In the late 2000s, cutscenes from games released on the Philips CD-i platform (most notably Hotel Mario, Link: The Faces of Evil, Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, and I.M. Meen) were an incredibly common source in YTPs, because the campy and egregious nature of the animations made them ripe for satire.

YouTube Poop is often derivative in the sense that the work of one artist (or pooper) is sometimes 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.[5] Alternately, two YouTube Poopers may engage in "YTP tennis" or "YTP soccer", wherein the same video is remixed back and forth.[6]

Another prominent type of video in the community is known as a "collab", wherein a group of YouTube Poopers' videos are compiled to make a longer, often feature-length video. Most of the time, the videos featured are made exclusively for the collab and are not uploaded to YouTube prior to the collab's release.

Copyright and fair use[edit]

Due to the use of copyrighted materials and the manner in which these sources are depicted, YTPs may be removed from YouTube following a DMCA complaint. However, political scientist and author Trajce Cvetkovski noted in 2013 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 animated series SpongeBob SquarePants (in particular, the episode "Shanghaied") and Weegee (a satiric caricature based on Nintendo's Luigi as he appears in the DOS version of Mario Is Missing), remained on YouTube.[7]

The law in the United Kingdom does allow people to use copyrighted material for the purposes of parody, pastiche, and caricature without infringing on the copyright of the material.[8] Copyright owners are only able to sue the parodist if the work 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 meets these criteria.[9]

Individual responses[edit]

Individuals involved in YouTube Poops sometimes make efforts to take YouTube Poopers videos down because mature and defamatory content is prevalent in them, especially if they have a large audience of children watching their work. Children's poet Michael Rosen (who claims to have "become a cult" among YouTube Poopers)[10] initially attempted to take his videos down, but after a few frank discussions with YouTube Poopers, he decided to allow the videos to stay online, comparing the remixes to the use of photo editing software in a later interview.[10] Rosen issued a warning on his website, saying that:

He put a similar warning on his YouTube channel's "about" page.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "YouTube Poop: Memes and Community". Yale University, Law and Technology. November 3, 2012.
  2. ^ Van Damme, Tommy (November 8, 2013). "Slow TV: Youtube doet het op zijn manier". De Morgen (in Dutch). Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  3. ^ Electronic Frontier Foundation. "In the matter of exemption to prohibition on circumvention of copyright protection systems for access control technologies" (PDF).
  4. ^ Burgess, Jean (2013). "YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture". John Wiley & Sons. p. 53. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  5. ^ Lessig, Lawrence. "REMIX at Computer History Museum". Archived from the original on August 4, 2015.
  6. ^ "YTP Tennis". 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  7. ^ Cvetkovski, Trajce (2013). Copyright and Popular Media: Liberal Villains and Technological Change. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 175. ISBN 9781137172372. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
  8. ^ "The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations 2014".
  9. ^ "Parody copyright laws set to come into effect". BBC News.
  10. ^ a b Michael Rosen discusses the poop debacle (YouTube). LitUp666. May 29, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  11. ^ Rosen, Michael (May 29, 2012). "News - For Adults". Archived from the original on March 11, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  12. ^ "artificedesign - YouTube". YouTube. Michael Rosen. Retrieved June 11, 2015.

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