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"IS YOUTUBE DEAD?" screams the San Francisco Chronicle. "For many of us, there's a definite vibe that the wild fun times will soon be coming to an end. It's like your parents are coming up the driveway."

Their reasoning? Napster and MySpace, says the Chron, were no fun once they went commercial. (Please — I was on MySpace before News Corp bought it, and if anything, it's gotten better.)

Reason 2: Censors and politicians want Google to regulate YouTube. Of course, Google's famous for fighting censorship — in America, anyway — and they can afford to ignore the shrill cries of prudes more than YouTube could alone.

Don't be scared that YouTube just deleted 30,000 videos from Japan — the site always had a policy of removing copyrighted content when asked. And that journalist's $150,000 copyright lawsuit? Even if he wins, that's pocket change.

And while MySpace serves more video than YouTube, YouTube is catching up fast.

Finally, Yahoo says it's not going to make its own YouTube. Yahoo's VP of marketing says, "We want to give users quality video experience instead of being a worldwide repository of video. A big part of our strategy is not to become a video flea market."

Three months ago, I thought YouTube would die. But now, for so many reasons, YouTube is better than ever. The only way from here is up.

Is YouTube dead? [SF Chronicle]