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(So I looked up on the Insane Challenge that was submitted a couple of years ago. I'm just editing that part into this video.)
The fad that is the 10 hour videos or X for 10 hours is an adaptation of an earlier YouTube trend, which was just X for 10 minutes. This spinoff is quite different from its predecessor as it would take on a cult following of its own, call on more insane challenges (http://www.slacktory.com/2011/07/10-hour-youtube-challenge/) and actually get noticed by large institutions (as mentioned later at the Copyright Issues section) In the shortest description possible, 10 hour videos are just samples or clips of videos repeated or looped for 10 hours.
During the 2nd quarter of 2011, YouTube increased the video limit for 15 minutes. However, they kept it secret as well that any YouTube account made after that day and before it (if those accounts that have a clean record) have the capacity as well and rights to upload videos up to 10 hrs. Though obviously those accounts who would obtain a strike/warning would lose the capacity to upload 10 hrs, and may only upload up to 15 minutes.
A user by the name of TehN1ppe, uploaded the first 10 hour video on the 29th of April 2011. (Nyan Cat 10 hours) This would quickly gain huge popularity as over a million people watching from the original video of the Nyan Cat would interest themselves to watch the video. This would later give way to the "10 hour challenge" (http://slacktory.com/2011/07/10-hour-youtube-challenge/) in which people would dare their friends, relatives or people they know to watch an entire 10 hour video nonstop.
In the following months, TehN1ppe's popularity kept increasing because of the amount of 10 hour videos he has been releasing. People would also upload their own 10 hour videos as well, joining TehN1ppe in the bandwagon of 10 hour videos.
Though, this would later halt because of the 10 hr video of Bird is the Word. What is the controversial thing about this video?
[Fun Fact: TehN1ppe also uploads OST of games but before his popularity, did various gameplay videos of Touhou and other Japanese Space Shooters]
[Fun Fact #2: It takes him 12 hours to upload a 10-hour video. (According to an old youtube comment that he answered)]
Copyright Issues (2011)
During the 3rd quarter of 2011, TehN1ppe uploaded a 10 hour rendition of a scene from Family Guy, entitled, "Bird is the Word". TehN1ppe's channel was given a copyright strike after FOX filed for a copyright infringement of the video. This strike would affect his main channel because that meant he could only upload videos up to 15 minutes.
For a brief period of time, TehN1ppe still took in looped requests of certain scenes but could only loop to the length of 15 minutes due to the copyright strike that was given to his account.
TehN1ppe announced months after the incident in his channel that he has an alternate channel where he uploads gameplay of video games, as well as more 10-hour videos. He also added a video called, "Dimitri hears about TheN1ppe" which he advertises to have every one of his subscribers to subscribe to his alternate channel to check out his new 10 hour videos.
It is also noted that in Early 2012, he announced on his alternate channel that he has gotten a youtube partnership on his old youtube channel (TehN1ppe) which enables him to upload 10 hour videos once again without being limited.
In late 2012/early 2013, TehN1ppe's original channel was removed of the copyright strike. So, it meant he could now upload back in his main channel thanks to that.
Throughout the history of this slowly rising culture, more and more people have gone to adopt TehN1ppe's 10 hour videos and make their own 10-hour takes of many things, ranging from pop artists to game soundtracks, 10HV has indeed become a cult following.
Some examples for your pleasure: