When Howard Davies-Carr posted a YouTube video of his son Charlie biting his brother’s finger, he had no idea that it would become one of the most viewed videos on YouTube. “Ow, Charlie! Ow! Charlie! That really hurt!” Harry says in his adorable British accent as a satisfied Charlie giggles away.
“Charlie bit me,” Harry’s lament continues. The video, dubbed ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ has accrued over 880 million views. Exactly why the clip went viral remains a mystery, but the two British boys engaged in harmless sibling play somehow grabbed the attention of nearly a billion people.
The Charlie Bit My Finger video will leave YouTube after selling at auction for $760, 999
The Charlie Bit My Finger video sold as an NFT (non-fungible token) for $760,999. 3fmusic outbid mememaster for the viral video. Howard wrote on the auction site that the owner would have the opportunity to create their parodies featuring the original stars. The page also stated that the video would leave YouTube:
“Bid to own the soon-to-be-deleted YouTube phenomenon, Charlie Bit My Finger, leaving you as the sole owner of this lovable piece of internet history, while also getting the chance to say Charlie bit your finger, if you want to see what all the hype is about.”
An NFT is something like a certificate of authenticity – it doesn’t give the owner copyright. The NFT’s value comes from having the original copy, and not necessarily owning it. The artwork’s owner or creator can show it whenever he or she chooses. It’s, therefore, surprising that the video will leave YouTube.
As of the time of publishing, however, the video is still on the platform. The title features the following words: “Waiting on NFT decision.” The video’s description offers some insight into how the Davies-Carrs created the video:
“Even had I thought of trying to get my boys to do this I probably couldn’t have. Neither were coerced into any of this and neither were hurt (for very long anyway). This was just one of those moments when I had the video camera out because the boys were being fun and they provided something really very funny.”
Proceeds from the video’s sale will help fund Charlie and Harry’s education
In 2012, the family appeared on ABC to talk about the unexpected popularity of their video. They revealed that they’d used the revenue from YouTube to pay for Harry and Charlie’s education. Harry and Charlie are 17 and 15, respectively.
Auctioning the video means that Charlie, Harry, and their two younger brothers will benefit from their moment of fame in 2005. The money will go towards funding the siblings’ education. “Education takes priority,” Charlie told CBS.
“It means that Harry goes to university and has a nice place to stay and doesn’t have to have a bar job,” Howard told the publication. He echoed the same message via a statement to Time: “This could make the difference between them having cheaper student loans, nicer accommodation, not having to get a bar job.”
Howard told Time that the internet is shifting, and he felt the need to shift with it. The video has brought significant income over the years, but revenue from YouTube advertising has gradually dwindled. He explained:
“YouTube is always changing. The relationship we have with YouTube has changed. You’re looking from a point of view that actually it should be here forever. Well, it might not be: they may change their terms and conditions in a year’s time, where actually uploaded, user-generated content is not important to them anymore.”