Kanye West live performance videos are mysteriously being pulled from YouTube, with some creators even reporting that their channels have been shut down as a result of carrying the clips.
At this stage it is unclear whether the decision to remove the videos comes courtesy of West’s camp or Universal Music Group, which holds the rights to the content.
Popular hip-hop channels including Miss Info, XO Necole, and XXL have all been hit with restrictions, ranging from the removal of clips to closures. XXL reports that it has had videos from West’s recent Yeezy Season 3 fashion show and The Life of Pablo listening session removed. Others, however, claim that older clips have also been targeted, including live performance videos that date back several years.
West, who has been very vocal of late, has not yet commented on the issue despite being called out by YouTube creators on Twitter. “4 year old videos filmed at Ye events are being used to shut down entire accounts,” read one tweet from popular blog Miss Info.
@N_C_B 4 year old videos filmed at Ye events are being used to shut down entire accounts.
— Missinfo (@Missinfo) February 17, 2016
Having made his latest album a Tidal exclusive, along with all upcoming G.O.O.D. Friday releases, it begs the question of whether West intends to do the same with his videos. The Yeezy Season 3 fashion show/The Life of Pablo listening session was a Tidal exclusive event — live-streamed on the service direct from Madison Square Garden — meaning the related clips could have been pulled from YouTube for infringing copyright. The same doesn’t go for West’s older performance videos, however.
At present, there are still lingering clips to be found on the video platform. Most of them, however, are from West’s official Vevo channel. It will therefore be interesting to see if the video take-down continues, and if the older clips in question will now start appearing on Tidal.
West’s single-minded approach to releasing his latest album hasn’t necessarily gone according to plan. Despite pushing Tidal to the top of the App Store charts, The Life of Pablo has subsequently been illegally downloaded 500,000 times.