Microsoft accidentally removes YouTube videos after product keys appear in comments

15 Oct 2014

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A number of YouTube users were left baffled yesterday after their Windows-related videos were removed following Microsoft-issued takedown notices.

GeekWire first reported the strange phenomenon yesterday after videos produced by bloggers, tech journalists and even a Microsoft employee were taken offline despite not featuring any ill-suited or copyrighted content.

“At no point during the video did I actually use any third-party copyrighted material,” said tech reviewer Bruce Naylor.

“No music, video, photos – nothing like that. It was strictly talking about why Windows 8 was failing in the marketplace at that time.”

However, it has transpired that the videos were inadvertently targeted for removal due to stolen product keys posted in the comments section. Microsoft has since apologised for the mistake.

“While we are still investigating the recent YouTube takedown notices, it appears some of these videos were inadvertently targeted for removal because there were stolen product keys embedded in the comments section of the videos," the consumer tech giant told Geekwire in a statement.

"Our intention was not to target legitimate YouTube content and we are sorry for the impact this has had.

"We have already taken steps to reinstate legitimate video content and are working towards a better solution to targeting stolen IP while respecting legitimate content.”

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Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com