YouTube removes original "Rickroll" video due to terms of use violation

UPDATE: YouTube has confirmed the removal was a mistake. For more information and a comment from Rick Astley's manager please see our follow up story.

The Interwebs came together in a collective gasp on Wednesday as it was discovered that YouTube removed the original "Rickroll" video that has clocked up 30 million views to date.

For those not familiar with the term "Rickroll" or "Rickrolling", it's a famous Internet meme involving the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up". The phenomenon began at Internet image board 4chan and soon spread more widely. Internet users typically send the URL of the video to another user and the practice results in the person being "Rickrolled".

The original video can usually be found here, but currently it displays "This video has been removed due to terms of use violation." Google and YouTube spokespeople were not immediately available for comment.

Thanks to GeekAdos for the news tip

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63 Comments

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it's not that 4chan is lame is just they have nothing better to do with their time. Youtube has been cracking down on a lot of videos people are putting on youtube so in some ways every video on youtube is becoming kinda like rules of the internet #24 Every repost is always a repost of a repost including now youtube videos one person makes a video and then other people keep uploading the same thing over and over

im wondering why it took this long for it to be removed due to terms of use

did the copyright owner finally request it down due to rickrolling not being as prevaliant, only not having a problem with it because it was popular ?

omg... that's really pathetic.

ah, the old game again:
fun and meme < protectivism (haha, youtube will bring up millions of other rick rolls, don't need to block the first one only! just STUPID)

argh... makes the companies look sooooooo freaking UNSYMPATHETIC! nothing more achieved here.
good job guys!

Glassed Silver:mac

It wasn't the original video. The original was used in YouTube's april fools prank a couple of years ago and I remember it racked up like 50,000,000 views in one day, when all the featured videos on the front page linked to it.

what said,
It wasn't the original video. The original was used in YouTube's april fools prank a couple of years ago and I remember it racked up like 50,000,000 views in one day, when all the featured videos on the front page linked to it.

If that's true then link it...

Tom W said,

If that's true then link it...

I remember that one, the end of the youtube URL was something with a U, an i and a dash. like Uui- or Uiu- or something. I actually can't believe I forgot it because at the height of the Rick Roll phenomenon I would catch when that link was posted

what said,
It wasn't the original video. The original was used in YouTube's april fools prank a couple of years ago and I remember it racked up like 50,000,000 views in one day, when all the featured videos on the front page linked to it.

The video you guys're talking about is the one that it has been deleted. And it used to have 30.000.000 views, not 50.000.000.

Tom W said,

If that's true then link it...

They removed it soon after.

The video you guys're talking about is the one that it has been deleted. And it used to have 30.000.000 views, not 50.000.000.

Umm, no, it's a different one.

DaveGreen said,
Google is really annoying lately.

That's pretty dumb to blame Google for that...

Look at the news today that an Italian court convict Google execs for what a user posted on YouTube... that is stupid.

For April fool's a few years ago they made it so every link on the front page of YouTube went to that video, how can they give it such prominence even themselves only to pull it later?

Well, I loved RickRolling someone, it's a fact that I'll miss the Rickroll'd, and as Mounty, I feel given up and let down :(

Meh. Hopefully this sees some action from 4chan, as youtube is getting more and more retarded every day. Pretty much everything is being removed on copyrights basis and nothing can be found anymore. Soon whats left will be only videos of some egocentric camera hugging morons who think that they are stars.... And maybe some concert videos.
At least Vimeo actually has quality content when it comes to original.

They Do

I imagine they pay a very small amount per clip but having to pay out that amount whenever someone links to the video.... either way or Rick got sick of it and had the video removed.

Copyright holders can still have their stuff removed deal or not.

the world is a f**ked up place where people (and businesses) are becoming more idiotic and protective by the minute. Where is the space for innovation? If there is one, it must be a small cardboard box to think inside of..

My two cents.

dagrimdialer619 said,
the world is a f**ked up place where people (and businesses) are becoming more idiotic and protective by the minute. Where is the space for innovation? If there is one, it must be a small cardboard box to think inside of..

My two cents.

I agree with you but good riddance. That song is just like the "bird is the word".

Jebadiah said,

I agree with you but good riddance. That song is just like the "bird is the word".

Curse you for bringing that up, now that thrice damned song is doing a loop in my head :(

Edited by fleimur, Feb 24 2010, 1:07pm : typo

Jebadiah said,

I agree with you but good riddance. That song is just like the "bird is the word".

"Surfin' Bird" is so annoying (and catchy) that it's what my alarm plays on Thursdays to wake me up.

I thought this would be a clever rickroll - telling people the rickroll video is down, to make them go check if it's true - and get rickrolled!
Too bad it's true, though. You tube just shot themselves in the led. It's technically a copyright infringement, but this particular one actually helped not only youtube, but the artist himself - rick whatever, who suddenly rose to new fame, so... it's hardly 'theft' or whatever.

Ambious said,
I thought this would be a clever rickroll - telling people the rickroll video is down, to make them go check if it's true - and get rickrolled!
Too bad it's true, though. You tube just shot themselves in the led. It's technically a copyright infringement, but this particular one actually helped not only youtube, but the artist himself - rick whatever, who suddenly rose to new fame, so... it's hardly 'theft' or whatever.

I though that, but well, it's too late :(

Seriously, the front page article needs to link to a rickroll site instead of this page.

It would be legendary.

Relativity_17 said,
Seriously, the front page article needs to link to a rickroll site instead of this page.

It would be legendary.

+1

Relativity_17 said,
Seriously, the front page article needs to link to a rickroll site instead of this page.

It would be legendary.

+1 on what he said. Would be epic.

Relativity_17 said,
Seriously, the front page article needs to link to a rickroll site instead of this page.

It would be legendary.


I actually thought for a second this was a rickroll!

i agree i kinda hated it, when for the fact you would find a video you've been looking for play it and get rickroll'd bit of an annoyance imo glad it's gone.

Cupcakes said,
It took them that long to decide to take it down? It should be left back up..
I bet someone with legal rights finally complained.

0V3RS1GHT said,
Unbelievable. The song that put me to sleep every night.. what am I supposed to listen to now??

I don't know is the end of the Internet as we know it now.

0V3RS1GHT said,
Unbelievable. The song that put me to sleep every night.. what am I supposed to listen to now??

Haha dude you were quoted on this CNET article http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10458847-36.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

XerXis said,
stupid, Rick Astley loved the renewed attention it was giving him. They will never learn, do they?

Actually he wasnt really a big fan of the whole rickroll thing.

da00 said,

Actually he wasnt really a big fan of the whole rickroll thing.

Says who? I remember him saying he loved the idea in an interview...