For the past few months, various Rick and Morty seasons have been available to livestream for free on YouTube.
Adult Swim didn’t have a comment when Polygon asked last month if the network was working with YouTube executives to ensure the videos were taken down due to copyright infringement. An ongoing marathon for the series streaming on Adult Swim’s website, however, asks Rick and Morty fans to direct their eyeballs and attention to the network’s official site, not YouTube.
After clicking on the link to Adult Swim’s marathon, we were able to jump into the current episode playing after sitting through one 30-second ad. A few of the livestreams hosted on YouTube, which Polygon confirmed were still playing, didn’t contain any pre-video advertisements.
The livestreams on YouTube tend to be hosted by one-purpose, 24/7 channels that play the episodes on loop. Like other popular 24/7 livestream channels, the Rick and Morty-channels allow people to comment in a chat bar to the side.
A YouTube representative told Polygon in September that the company doesn’t act as a mediator in copyright situations. Responsibility for claiming copyright infringement falls on the content owner; in this case, Adult Swim.
“When copyright holders work with us to provide reference files for their content, we ensure all live broadcasts are scanned for third party content, and we either pause or terminate streams when we find matches to third party content,” the YouTube representative said.
There are noticeably fewer Rick and Morty livestreams on YouTube now than there were last month. Polygon has reached out to Adult Swim for more information about whether action was taken to remove them.