Porn producers are streaming on YouTube via hosting loophole

An exploit has recently been discovered in Google's YouTube video hosting service that is being used by adult websites to upload pornographic content.

Normally, videos can be uploaded to YouTube "unlisted," making them invisible from search engines. These videos cannot be seen publicly, unless a direct link is provided. However, according to a report by TorrentFreak, some third-party websites found a way to play secretly uploaded videos on their own service, by streaming the data on googlevideo.com, which is operated by Google.

"These videos are served directly from the GoogleVideo.com domain without being listed on YouTube. This means that they might also bypass the Content-ID takedown system somehow, although we haven’t confirmed this."

Apparently, this trick seems to be already well-known to the adult community. A California-based adult film producer shared that the loophole was actually being used to host pirated adult content. "Copyright infringers take advantage of a private-video-share setting," Dreamroom Productions told TorrentFreak. "They upload and store videos, and freely use them on third party websites to earn profits."

TorrentFreak is unsure on how the trick actually works, going beyond merely uploading an unlisted video online. Since the content are not publicly listed, it reportedly can be quite difficult to be taken down. The adult producer states that a takedown can usually take up to three weeks, and he believes that it could be better if Google actually fixed the problem for good.

“YouTube should be aware of this," he said. "They are allowing the situation to continue by not plugging this hole, which could be done by disabling the sharing function of videos under those special settings."

Moreover, TorrentFreak pointed out that the trick doesn't only apply to adult videos, but also with popular streaming websites. As shown in the picture, it proudly displays "googlevideo.com" as a source.

A YouTube spokesperson offered the following statements regarding the issue: "We have teams around the world that review flagged content, regardless of whether it is private, public or unlisted. Content that violates our policies is quickly removed."

Source: TorrentFreak via BBC

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