­peertube.video (one of the current largest instances) is closing on 28th February

According to peertube.video’s About page, the instance plans to close on 28th February.

This is a serious issue; the instance has over 3000 users, 5900 local videos (441GB) and 300 comments.
joinpeertube’s old instance list claims this instance has the most users and the 7th most local videos.

As an archivist, I wish to discuss how we can best migrate or preserve this instance’s content. Hopefully we can co-operate with the instance owner and move accounts and content across to other instances. Otherwise, we may need to resort to scripted archival. I don’t think we need to call in ArchiveTeam just yet, but remember their name if we don’t make progress by February.

I would also like to prompt discussion of where the best places to migrate might be, since many of the most popular instances (open.tube,peertube.mastodon.host, peertube.live) are still using PeerTube 1.4.x, and therefore I believe they should be avoided.

edit: a discussion has already begun on reddit: https://old.reddit.com/r/PeerTube/comments/ekmjeb/peertubevideo_one_of_the_largest_instances_is/

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I suspect that one of the causes of the shutdown, are problems with powerful hardware to support the portal or a proper connection, or perhaps another issue.

I am setting up a system ( https://elproyectox.eu ) with a 6-core AMD and 500 GB SSD, with 300 Mbps width, under peertube version 2.0, I can try to rescue the best videos, but the migration process may be complex.

Thanks for taking an interest in the situation.

I believe it would be possible to scrape the most popular videos and simply import them with the ‘Import via URL’ feature into a ‘best of’ channel (possibly with appended info of the original video’s like/view statistics). There are a couple of GitHub issues open to improve this feature so that it keeps more metadata from the original videos, but it already manages the title, thumbnail, description and some other parts.

Finding the best videos could be done by setting up a temporary instance to only follow peertube.video and use the API to search and sort by -likes and by -views.

I sent an email 7 days ago to contact@peertube.video and have no reply yet, so it may be unlikely there will be cooperation with the admin. I will see if I can find another way to contact them.

A late update:

The instance is still up, I have not received any reply.

I have decided not to archive this instance. After talking to Archive Team, I discovered that archival in the Fediverse is a controversial issue due to higher expectations of data-handling ethics from Fediverse users. Unsolicited ‹ opt-out › archiving (such as what I planned to do) can be harmful or unwanted, so I will not archive PeerTube channels without permission.

On the plus side, this whole issue motivated me to improve youtube-dl’s PeerTube extractor, which had issues handling long descriptions, captions and other metadata. This will help make archiving easier if a user needs it in the future.

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I tried to reply to you @3risian, but it ended up at:

To you @3risian, and also generally. Decentralization is at heart to me too… Currently, my developer skills are too short to be able to help, though…