PeerTube, the free alternative of YouTube

At the origin of the project, the Framasoft Association is finally preparing to launch a v1 of PeerTube, a free video platform.

For years, YouTube has been considered one of the most important video platforms in the world. Launched the same year, the French Dailymotion will have tried to compete with the giant of the video, without result. In fact, it is very difficult to find an alternative to the Google-bought platform in 2006. Nevertheless, some users do not want to use platforms and tools developed by the private American companies that are Google, Facebook or even Amazon. Therefore, the Framasoft Association has addressed the issue in order to develop a platform that is intended to be free and decentralized. By comparison, PeerTube is at YouTube what Mastodon is to Twitter.

In terms of operation, YouTube hosts its contents on central servers that are owned by a private company. By definition, it is it that sets the rules of its platform, both in terms of moderation and monetization (in the case of YouTube). Conversely, PeerTube works by hosting its content across multiple instances to decentralise content. In fact, the Framasoft platform exploits an open source code, which is visible and editable by all. This means that the platform is not the property of a company, but of all its users.

To finance the free platform, Framasoft leaned towards KissKissBankBank, thus setting a target of 20 000 euros. Over a period of 42 days, a total of 53 100 euros will have been collected by Framasoft. If a beta version of PeerTube is already online since the month of March 2018, the V1 should make its arrival in the month of October. This will include several elements such as an interface allowing the user to change languages, a feature of adding subtitles, an improved search, and importing videos from a URL or a torrent file. Other improvements regarding subscriptions and RSS feeds are also on the program.

Although the Framasoft initiative is excellent, it is certain that the video platform will rub off on issues already encountered by its non-free YouTube counterpart. Where some instances will allow pornography for example, others will deny it. In addition to this type of content, it is possible for illegal videos to appear on some instances. In fact, the PeerTube community will have to ask the question of regulation and moderation in order to establish general consensus.

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