Why is the ethical responsibility on the end user? Does YouTube not benefit from the hard work of "content creators?" Keep in mind, there are plenty who YouTube doesn't compensate at all, who don't even have the option to display ads. There are a few ways they could level the playing field.
- Display ads on every video and give every channel the option to collect a portion of the total revenue based on how many views they generate. This way, YouTube partners who call their ad-blocking viewers "unethical, freeloading scumbags" won't feel like hypocritical assholes when they enjoy non-partner content on YouTube.
- Make the site paid-only and give every channel the option to collect a portion of the total revenue based on how many views they generate. This also eliminates the "unethical freeloading scumbag" problem. Of course, YouTube wouldn't do this because it would interfere with their oh-so-ethical data-mining operation.
It appears that YouTube has chosen a combination of these options with ad-free subscriptions. So now, they get my money, partners get a portion, and the non-partners I watch with my paid subscription continue to get absolutely nothing. Now that's what I call ethical!