Harry Potter star Tom Felton set for new YouTube sci-fi series Origin

Tom Felton is to star in a new sci-fi thriller series made for YouTube called Origin.

The actor – best known for playing Draco Malfoy – will be reunited with his former Harry Potter co-star Natalia Tena, who played Nymphadora Tonks in the film series.

Paul WS Anderson will direct the first two episodes of the 10-episode series.

Origin will follow a group of strangers who find themselves stranded on a spacecraft bound for a distant planet.

The abandoned passengers must work together for survival, but quickly realise that one of them is not who they claim to be.

The series, which is currently filming in South Africa, will also star Fraser James, Philipp Christopher, Madalyn Horcher and Siobhan Cullen.

Origin will stream on YouTube’s subscription service Red, which has hosted a number of original films and TV series since its launch in November 2014.

The paid platform is available in the US, Australia, South Korea, Mexico and New Zealand – but not currently in the UK.

Its original programming includes documentaries, films and TV series. Since launching, some of its high-profile TV shows have included Single By 30, Good Game, Broke and Prank Academy.

Its original films include documentaries about Katy Perry, Lindsay Stirling and Demi Lovato.

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KeepVid scraps YouTube-ripping function in favour of legal approach

A popular website that let people save or “rip” videos from services such as YouTube has unexpectedly turned into a copyright advocacy site.

KeepVid let people download copies of videos that could not officially be saved from YouTube, Vimeo and others.

But the service has now been removed from its website and replaced by a page of guidance on terms and conditions.

The terminology used suggests it has now become aware of legal restrictions on downloading from sharing sites.

Journey of discovery

In an update to its website, KeepVid said it had discovered that ripping videos from YouTube was against the site’s terms and conditions.

“KeepVid unveils that users aren’t allowed to download videos from YouTube,” it said.

It revealed that “there are many video-sharing sites in the market” and offered to “introduce” visitors to services such as Netflix and Spotify.

It said it had “found out” that Netflix was “a very popular place to watch and download videos to your computer”.

Download by subscription

KeepVid was often the top search result for people who were looking for a way to rip videos from YouTube and Vimeo.

For a majority of videos, YouTube does not offer an official way for people to download and keep them.

However, subscribers to its premium tier, YouTube Red, can download videos to watch offline within the YouTube app.

KeepVid operated its service for free on its website and through paid software called KeepVid Pro. Both services have been discontinued.

The company has not explained why it has decided to close its service. However, it said it hoped the video market would be “organised to meet people’s requirements”.

“Video downloading will become possible if the video download tools and video sharing platforms reach an agreement about downloading videos,” it said.

PornHub greets bloggers after YouTube gun ban introduced

YouTube has banned videos that show people how to manufacture or modify guns and their accessories.

It had already banned videos linked to the sale of guns and accessories.

Many firearms enthusiasts noticed that some of their videos had been removed from the video-sharing website and some had their channels suspended.

Prominent gun video-bloggers said the move was an erosion of US citizens’ rights, and some said they would move their content to PornHub instead.

YouTube’s policies now prohibit videos that:

  • show how to make a firearm, ammunition, high-capacity magazine or homemade silencers
  • are designed to sell guns or specific accessories including high-capacity magazines and tools that convert a firearm to automatic fire
  • show how to convert a firearm to automatic or simulated-automatic fire
  • show how to install such accessories or modifications

    The changes will fully take effect on 20 April.

    The decision was met with anger from some videomakers who modify guns and show off their creations as a hobby.

    Karl Kasarda and Ian McCollum, who run the gun review site InRangeTV, said they had started posting their videos on Facebook and pornography site PornHub.

    “We will not be seeking any monetisation from PornHub… we are merely looking for a safe harbour for our content and for our viewers,” the pair said in a statement.

    Firearms manufacturer Spike’s Tactical said the change reflected attempts to “slowly chip away at our freedoms and erode our rights”.

    Videomaker Joerg Sprave said he appreciated YouTube was “now defining their guidelines” more clearly.

    But he said the change had been introduced without a transitional period.

    “Many gun channels must now be afraid,” he told news site Motherboard.

    “They should at least get some time to clean up their videos so the new rules are kept.”

    Unsuitable for children

    On Tuesday, YouTube was criticised after the Sun newspaper found step-by-step instructions on how to build an air rifle on YouTube Kids, the company’s app for children.

    Despite being designed for children, its content is curated by algorithms. Inappropriate videos have repeatedly slipped through the net.

    In February, the BBC’s Newsround programme found instructions on how to sharpen knives on YouTube Kids.

    At the time, YouTube said it had a variety of processes in place to try to prevent inappropriate material appearing on its platforms.