What just happened? If you think Apple might be grateful to a YouTuber who archived WWDC videos going back decades, you'd be wrong. YouTube has taken down the channel after Cupertino issued several copyright claims over the content.
The owner of Apple WWDC Videos, Brendan Shanks, tweeted that Apple had issued a number of takedown requests due to copyright infringement against his channel.
YouTube's Terms and Conditions state that any channel subject to just three copyright strikes is subject to termination, will have all its videos removed, and its owner can't create new channels.
Shanks tweeted that his channel contained hundreds of Worldwide Developer Conferences (WWDC) videos reaching as far back as the early 2000s. Shanks still has all the original files and descriptions, which he will be moving over to The Internet Archive, though this content will doubtlessly receive less exposure than if it were on YouTube.
I still have all the original files (and descriptions, which were a lot of work!), and I'll be moving things over to the @internetarchive. It'll take time though, and unfortunately videos get a lot less visibility when you're not on YT— Brendan Shanks (@realmrpippy) November 4, 2022
The Apple Podcasts app allows users to access many of its events from years gone by, but the earliest is the iPhone launch from 2007, and it's not an extensive catalog.
The Verge notes that this isn't the first Apple-focused archive channel to receive copyright strikes from the iPhone maker. YouTube removed the EveryAppleVideo channel in 2016 for the same reason. It also brought down the Apple Archive website in 2020 via the numerous DMCA notices sent to creator Sam Henri Gold.
There has been a lot of debate over who's at fault in this situation. On the one side, people say that Shanks was doing a better job than Apple of preserving the company's history for tech fans to see. But the counter is that the content he's been uploading and earning money from is the property of Apple alone. Whether it's in the public interest or not, Cupertino is the one who decides whether someone can post its videos.
Whatever the rights or wrongs, shutting down a YouTube channel that preserves its history isn't going to be a good look for Apple.