Video activists starting “New Screw Tube” campaign against YouTube dominance

From the activists at Transmission, which is a network of citizen journalists, video makers, artists, researchers, programmers and web producers who are developing online video distribution tools for social justice and media democracy.

They write that the “No Screw Tube” campaign, which aims to encourage people to use other video-sharing resource sites than just YouTube, is beginning…..

Why? Here is their list of reasons:

1. Exploitation: ScrewTube exploits your free videomaking to gain ad revenue.

2. Surveillance: Posting on YT risks surveillance and IP tracking, both by corporations and the state. For example in 2004 Yahoo collaborated with Chinese authorities to identify dissident blogger Shi Tao. He is now serving 10 years in jail. Many sites record your IP address, not just corporate projects.

3. Censorship: Posting on YT opens the door to censorship since they will do takedowns at State request or for copyright violations.

4. When Sharing isn’t really sharing: Sites like YT only allow sharing with other members, or by embedding YT videos in your site or blog. There is no re-distribution via p2p networks, or availability of high-resolution downloads for screenings.

5. When Free isn’t really free: Though free to use, the platform is closed – using YT technology entails using YT. With free software platforms, anyone can create their own video-sharing site.

6. When a community isn’t really a community: YouTube was sold to Google for $1.65 billion in Google stock. If it can be bought and sold, is it really a community? Editorial and software control should be in the hands of the user community. Control of ScrewTube sites is organised by the profit motive.

7. Intellectual Property: Sites like ScrewTube place exploitative terms and conditions on your contributions, allowing them to re-sell and remix your work.

Using existing ethical and pirate technologies, we can do much, much better….

Projects like VisiononTv,, (Australia) and numerous Indymedia video spin-offs, coordinated through Transmission, are linking up their databases to create decentralised search tools. This will greatly increase the profile and possibilities for social justice video online.

Using open source tools these projects hope that once you start watching in this way you won’t go back! Miro allows subscription to different channels of video content; some themed and some the pick of channel editors. You can even subscribe to YouTube channels and it sneakily downloads those videos for you.

Independent Media is not stagnant, it’s mutating. We’ll start to see the fruits of this mutation soon…. so stay tuned.


Miro player, A source of activist videos especially environmental and culture jamming. Also experimenting with using Media RSS feeds, at

The Pirate Bay : Download whole series for free with no adverts. Do it and then teach your Gran! Many tutorials and how to-guides for downloading distributing Video online and pirating DVDs.

1 Comment Video activists starting “New Screw Tube” campaign against YouTube dominance

  1. AvatarJosef Davies-Coates

    While I take their points and know lots of people heavily involved in the Transmission project (which I think is great) I see this as a false either/or dichotomy.

    Anyone who actually wants their films to be seen should be using miro AND posting on youtube etc.

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