YouTube suffers from video duplication. Video duplication occurs when a YouTube video user uploads a video that already exists, or copies a video already on the site but changes the video slightly to make it different.

Let’s search for a popular song we like to listen to! In this case, let’s look up Metallica’s “One” because I’m feeling like listening to something heavy.

Ok. Open up a new tab, navigate to YouTube, enter “Metallica One” as the search query, and tell me how many duplicate videos you get on the first page.

I leniently counted six. A lot of the videos on the page are for live performances, so we’ll consider them to be unique videos. We can also assume the audio quality is pretty much the same across videos. What peeves me is the five different videos offering lyrics to let you sing along. This sort of video duplication simply is unnecessary.

Why is video duplication a problem? It skews the rating system. It takes up space on YouTube’s servers. Finally, it doesn’t promote innovation. Why should a user provide new content when he’s able to copy a previous upload and consequently get more profile views by doing something completely boring and unoriginal?

What do you think? Does this bother anyone else?

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