Dramatic headlines cried out overnight that RickRolling was dead. The original Rick Astley video with more than 30 million views has been pulled from YouTube due to copyright violation. In fact, however, YouTube appears to have simply moved the video to Vevo, its music video website in partnership with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI.
"Never Going to Give You Up" is published under the RCA record label, which is a property of Sony. Originating on outlaw web forum 4chan and leading to a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade appearance by Astley 20 years after the song was released, RickRolling isn't dead - it's just safe now, in the official copyright friendly section of YouTube.
Update: A YouTube spokesperson has now said that pulling the video was done on mistake.
RIckRolling, the phenomenon, only remained outside the official boundaries of copyright for less than 3 years. The user account that uploaded the video to YouTube where it saw 30 million + views though, named cotter548, has now been suspended. Hardly a warm thanks from the company for a user that facilitated one of the most-referenced reasons to visit the website - that's just hitting below the belt.
Meanwhile the official version on Vevo already has more than 22 million views as well. RickRolling may not be dead, but it's probably over being cool. Here at ReadWriteWeb we've moved on to other things anyway. Like Pickle Surprise.