YouTube Attributions to be removed in September

Screenshot of YouTube attributions page

On August 18, YouTube quietly announced that due to “low usage”, they will be removing video attribution pages. One version of the announcement said that this will happen in “early September” and another said “after September”. YouTube instead recommends using the description to attribute videos.

Video attribution pages were intended to list which videos were used to make the current video. This created a network of videos, connecting remixes/compilations/shorter versions of videos with their original source videos. These pages also helped ensure that credit was given to the original authors of video clips, even if the original uploader might have forgotten to do so.

Until some point between 2017 and 2019, video attribution pages also listed the videos that used the current video. The attributions were automatically associated with a video when someone used the online YouTube video editor to add a Creative Commons-licensed clip to their video. If a video had attributions, a link to its attributions page would automatically be placed below its description. On the mobile YouTube app, this link would open the attributions page in the user’s web browser, but more recently all of the attributions links in the mobile app would open the channel that claimed the “Attribution” custom URL.

The video attributions page is one of the oldest pages on YouTube, and is believed to be the last page on YouTube that still uses the old, pre-polymer layout. In fact, the HTML content of the attribution web pages (excluding headers, footers, and video thumbnail overlays) has not been modified since 2011!

No formal archival efforts have been initiated as of this time, but it is anticipated that one will start soon.


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