Original RickRoll'D video knocked offline

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Many Internet users are big fans of pranks and memes. I've certainly RickRolled more than a few people in my day, just for grins, and I bet many of you have too.

For the uninitiated, the original RickRoll'D video showing the 80's pop star crooning out "Never Gonna Give You Up" has been online for years and amassed millions of views. We can practically guarantee the bulk of those views were from people tricked into clicking a link.

Yes, RickRolling is a classic bait and switch tactic where you send an unsupecting someone a disguised link that leads to the above-mentioned YouTube video.

Interestingly enough, something rather strange happened over the last 24 hours when the original video was taken off-ine by YouTube and replaced with a screen citing a copyright claim by AVG technologies. But what sort of copyright claim could AVG Technologies have on an 80s pop song?!

Clearly, one needs very little proof that you are, in fact, the company requesting a YouTube video removal, or that you actually have any copyright claim at all for YouTube to act. We can thank Hollywood for the fact that online video sites now have knee-jerk reactions and simply remove a clip based on a mere hint that something might be wrong.

So either AVG Technologies did ask for the copyright takedown, or someone claiming to be from AVG was interested in pulling a Rickroll of the Rickrollers. Then again, AVG could have been the source of the takedown due to the insinuation that by being Rickrolled in the first place, you really need some AVG software.

After all, rather than simply having to listen to Rick Astley belt out a song that wasn't that great back in 1987 knowing you were had, well, you theoretically could've been sent to a link that installed a Trojan or virus on your computer.

Still, whatever happened to cause the takedown, the good news for online pranksters is that the video is now back up - after YouTube apparently realized whoever asked for the copyright takedown had no actual claim.