The developers of Invidious, a privacy-respecting alternative front-end for YouTube, have received a cease-and-desist notice from YouTube’s legal department. The free and open source software, which provides a YouTube experience minus advertising and user tracking, has been instructed to shut down within seven days. As things stand, cooperation isn’t on the agenda.
Premium products aside, YouTube is free to use. But with around a billion hours of content consumed every day, YouTube has to find ways to make that pay.
The most visible cost to the user is advertising, lots and lots of advertising. Less visible costs include significant user tracking, with an average of seven trackers per YouTube page, according to WhoTracksMe data.
With a growing subset of YouTube’s users becoming more aware of…