Update: The music video has returned!
Just as it was about to hit 150 million views, Girls’ Generations‘ music video for “Gee” has been removed by YouTube due to a copyright claim.
While the hasn’t been a clear reason for the copyright notice and video removal, many are speculating that it is due to YouTube’s new paid video service “YouTube Red.” Video partners who do not accept the new terms of service risk having their videos unavailable in areas or even disappear.
“Gee,” like many of SM Entertainment‘s older music videos, was uploaded by their older sment YouTube account. They switched over to their SMTOWN YouTube account in 2011 and reuploaded many of their videos. The reupload of “Gee” on that channel” has less than a million views.
The song was the fifth most viewed K-Pop music video on YouTube. Girls’ Generation’s “I Got A Boy” music video is now their highest viewed one, sitting at 145 million.
If the removal was due to YouTube Red, it is still strange that only “Gee” was removed from that channel while all other music videos were left untouched. Hopefully an official announcement will be revealed.
While the video is still readily available through other uploads, it is the loss of its tremendous view count that has saddened and angered fans. As it was a song that introduced many people to Girls’ Generation and the K-Pop genre, there was a lot of sentimental value in that view count.