YouTube will remove the iconic 'Charlie Bit My Finger' viral video from its servers today. The 2007 video was sold as an NFT (non-fungible token) for a staggering $760,999 in honor of its 14th upload anniversary. The memorable video is now the sole property of the new owner, and will be wiped from YouTube forever. The world of NFT has been slowly taking off over the past year with no signs of slowing down as people aim to own original and unique digital work.
'Charlie bit my finger - again !,' aka, 'Charlie Bit My Finger' or 'Charlie Bit Me,' was first uploaded to YouTube in May 2007. The video features two brothers from the U.K., Harry Davies-Carr (3-years old at the time) and Charlie Davies-Carr (at age one), as Charlie bites his older brother's finger. When Howard Davies-Carr first reviewed the footage, he didn't see anything remarkable about it. However, that all changed when he uploaded the video to the computer.
Howard Davies-Carr uploaded 'Charlie Bit My Finger' to YouTube to share with his father, who was living in the United States at the time. The video was far too big to send in an email, so YouTube was the next best option. Davies-Carr and his family had no idea that the video would go on to become one of the biggest and most famous viral videos ever uploaded to the platform. As of this writing, 'Charlie Bit My Finger' has been viewed over 882 million times, which has earned the family a substantial amount of money over the years, which now includes nearly a million dollars, thanks to the recent NFT auction.
While YouTube will take down 'Charlie Bit My Finger' from its servers at some point today, that obviously won't stop people from downloading before they do. With that being said, they will not have the authentic version, due to the NFT auction. The NFT auction winner will have the certificate of authenticity to the original video, which is something that nobody else will be able to claim. In addition to winning the sole rights to the video, the auction winner will have a chance to make an updated version with Harry and Charlie, who are now teenagers.
'Charlie Bit My Finger' is not the only viral YouTube video or meme to be sold as an NFT in recent months. Classics like 'Leave Britney Alone,' 'David After Dentist,' the 'Disaster Girl' meme, and the Nyan Cat, have all sold for crazy amounts of money. For those worrying about the world of crypto currency and its impact on the environment, the Davies-Carr family want everybody to know that they are donating to "carbon offset costs of mining bitcoins before we even worry about having anything left over," and using whatever is left for the boys' education. NFT and crypto has been criticized recently over creating millions of tons of planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions. CNN was one of the first outlets to report on 'Charlie Bit My Finger' leaving YouTube forever. Watch the original video above before it's removed.