Stuck in Youtube hell...
November 9, 2017 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Hey guys! We're yet another small business trying to get established on Youtube, but we're stuck with an old channel a former employee created and can't regain access.

Youtube isn't much help - they won't delete the old channel and don't have any account recovery tools for our situation. I think the email address associated with this channel was deleted when the employee left the company, so I can't use that email for password recovery... Youtube/Google tells me the account doesn't exist when trying to sign in with that ex-employee's old email address.

I have spent days talking to my staff, trying different combinations of emails/passwords, etc. No luck.

If you've successfully navigated this situation, please let me know! We are really eager to put our content on Youtube but can't move forward with duplicate channels and old videos floating around.
posted by roygbv to Technology (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

If it's your content on the channel, file a DMCA takedown notice - if you can't get login access, it's unauthorized copyright infringement.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:59 PM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Get your IT dept to reestablish the ex-employee's email address. I don't think you'll be able to go through these steps without it.
posted by ananci at 3:16 PM on November 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

Yes, if it was a company email account, BY FAR the easiest solution here is just to either re-create it, or alias it to someone else so you can recieve the password reset message.
posted by primethyme at 3:56 PM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I agree that recreating the email account sounds like the easiest solution, but if for some reason that isn't possible...

If it's your content on the channel, file a DMCA takedown notice - if you can't get login access, it's unauthorized copyright infringement.

Ideally, submit three separate takedowns if there are at least three videos on the channel. (It's probably best to wait for each one to be approved by YouTube before you submit the next.) After the third one has been approved, YouTube will consider that three strikes and delete the channel.

This approach may skirt YouTube's Terms of Service, but if no one is using that channel then I suspect Google are unlikely to care.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 3:59 PM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I spent months trying everything I could think of in the same situation, to no avail. It's something they're bad at, and don't seem to care about.

My issue was partly that the old account predated the merger with google, when logins were by username, not email address. I can't quite remember the details of the great recursive circle this stuck me in (which included getting the old email address reinstated, but that didn't help - though I can't remember why). But prepare yourself for the possibility that this may be unsolvable.
posted by penguin pie at 4:23 PM on November 9, 2017

I handle our IT, and already tried re-creating (first tried aliasing) the employees email address. Since YouTube accounts are tied to Google accounts and we use Google Apps, I think we're out of luck... It's like the channel was unhitched from the ex-employees Google account and simply re-creating it doesn't reattach the Youtube bit. Google treats my re-created employee's address as a new YouTube user and asks to set up a new channel after I log into the account.

The old channel has over 100 subscribers, and the URL has been set to our company name. Is going the DMCA route going to mess up my ability to get the same URL down the road?
posted by roygbv at 4:27 PM on November 9, 2017

Hmm, this is interesting. I had totally forgotten about the linkage between the Google account and the YouTube channel. Sorry about that. However, it surprises me that the YouTube account didn't get disabled if the underlying Google account went away. I haven't actually tested that out, I guess, but it doesn't seem right to me. It makes me wonder if the underlying Google account is different than what you think it is.

If you have Google Apps, you are paying for support. They are Google Apps support, not YouTube support, but I don't think it would hurt to ask them.

Having managed a couple of popular YouTube accounts in the past, I personally would be hesitant to go down the DMCA path unless it's absolutely the only option.
posted by primethyme at 4:54 PM on November 9, 2017

Employee may have established it under a personal account. Contact them to get more info.
posted by Sophont at 6:07 PM on November 9, 2017

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