The EFF had filed its lawsuit on behalf of MoveOn.org, Civic Action, and Brave New Films. The video, called "Stop the Falsiness," was created using clips from The Colbert Report, but it was a parody of both Colbert's right-wing schtick and MoveOn.org. At first Viacom denied sending a takedown notice over the video, but later the company admitted that it had sent the notice and that it had been a mistake to do so.
The Boston Phoenix makes an interesting suggestion on one of their blogs: maybe NBC should give the Late Night slot to Demetri Martin in 2009 when Conan O'Brien takes over for Jay Leno. Hmmm...
In this Daily Show clip, Martin explains the whole copyright controversy involving Viacom, Google, and YouTube. It's a great clip, with Martin asking at one point if viewers are watching him right now on YouTube (yes, it's a YouTube clip). He even freezes his body and says "buffering." Funny stuff. Both videos after the jump (YouTube version and Comedy Central's, just in case...)
Right, so now, about a week later, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has turned around and sued Viacom, claiming that one of the videos in question was actually a parody of The Colbert Report, and protected under fair use. The video, produced by MoveOn parodies both Stephen Colbert's schtick, and MoveOn's strategy of using online petitions to effect social change.
I'd embed the video, but as I've pointed out, it's no longer up on YouTube. You can, however, still check it out at Falsiness.org.
Now Viacom is seeking $1 billion from Google for unauthorized use of Viacom content. Viacom claims that nearly 160,000 of its copyrighted cliips have been uploaded to YouTube and viewed over 1.5 billion times.
In a press release, Viacom says the decision to sue Google follows a series of "unproductive negotiation." Viacom also accuses YouTube of building "a lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others' creative works."
I'm going to say "probably not," but this fellow, who once drew a face on a household sponge, feels differently. Cartoonist Troy Walker created a character named Bob Spongee in 1991. Years later, in 1999, Nickelodeon premiered SpongeBob SquarePants, created by marine biologist and former teacher Stephen Hillenburg. Walker is convinced his idea was stolen, and has filed suit against Nickelodeon parent company Viacom for $1.6 billion in damages.
We all know that CBS has its own channel on YouTube, and in what seems to me like a pretty smart move, CBS News is removing user-uploaded content and replacing it with the same (but authorized) clip.
In a perfect world, it would actually be cool if everyone did this, e.g., take down that crappy dub of The Simpsons and replace it with a FOX-authorized full episode. Yeah, I know that's really not possible, but it would be in my "perfect world." Also, cars would be made out of chocolate.
Really though, I hope others follow CBS' example. Protecting your content is fine, but this is Web 2.0, after all, and sites like YouTube aren't going to go away.
[via Lost Remote]
Hitwise has released figures showing that YouTube's market share has actually gone up by 14% since removing 100,000 videos at Viacom's request earlier this month. As of Tuesday, YouTube was the 12th most visited internet domain in the US.
Perhaps more significantly, earlier this month YouTube traffic climbed higher than the traffic to every US television network's web sites combined. Sure, more people are watching TV than watching web videos. But when it comes to the battle for online eyeballs, YouTube is winning, with or without partnerships with major content producers.
The announcement follows news that Viacom asked YouTube to remove more than 100,000 copyrighted videos from its site. Apparently Joost claims that it can provide tighter copyright protection than YouTube, and it's probably a safe bet that Viacom will receive a higher percentage of any revenue generated from the Joost deal: Joost needs a partner like Viacom a whole lot more than YouTube did.
Joost is still in closed beta, but you can apply to be a tester.
Like many of you, I love music, and I think we can all agree that the best way to listen to our favorite music is to have total strangers interrupt a song, and for the song to never play in its entirety. MTV understood this need, and that's why they gave us Total Request Live (or TRL as the cool kids call it).
In the wake of an announcement by Viacom that it would be cutting nearly 250 jobs from its music networks, rumors began to circulate that TRL would be taken off the air, but according to a rep from MTV, those rumors are not true. Regardless, TRL has seen a decline as of late, and Variety reports that interactive sites like YouTube and MySpace are partly to blame, as they provide a more personal mode of interactivity.
In the wake of Viacom's demand that all of its content be removed from YouTube and Google Video, another one of the company's properties will be offering embeddable online videos: MTV. Comedy Central began offering the same not too long ago, and it would be nice if the rest of the dominoes would fall and everyone would automatically equip all online videos with this function. Of course, that probably gets into some kind of legal mumbo jumbo that might cause my brain to explode, and if I can remember one thing my mother told me, it's this: "son, I am not going to clean your brains off the wall because you thought too hard about something."
CNET reports that Viacom is trying to catch up to this whole "Web 2.0" thing, and that it has not ruled out the possibility of partnering with YouTube sometime in the future.
Look for these new videos to appear on all of MTV's sites over the next few months.
Is Prince God? Did he have a deal with Mother Nature or something? Does CBS have that much money to be able to be able to influence meteorology?
Obviously the only explanation of the situation is that Mother Nature loves Prince and watches The Super Bowl. She was hell bent on not making the Kevin Federline the top news of the Super Bowl, and wanted to provide her man Prince with some ethereal stage props.
How many of you were wondering if he would even play "Purple Rain?" How many of you even doubted it after he played his crazy rendition of the Foo Fighters' "Best of You?"
How many of you were still holding onto hope he would play "1999?" I was pretty pleased with his performance and less impressed with his random and particularly unattractive dancers.
News Corp., Viacom, NBC Universal and CBS have been chatty-chatting with one another since the beginning of the year about one very important thing: THEY MUST KILL MISTER BOND. Wait, sorry, that's incorrect. I have trouble thinking of Rupert Murdoch and not seeing him seated at the head of a long table stroking a small exotic animal like some James Bond villain.
The clips that are appearing on iFilm are primarily from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. They're uploaded in about three-minute segments, but there are numerous segments so practically the entire show is on iFilm. And the good news is that they appear the morning after a new episode of either show airs. Other Viacom clips include sketches from Chappelle's Show, Reno 911!, The Real World, and Wonder Showzen. There are also clips from The State, as well as other MTV and LOGO programming.
Lost Remote is reporting (via Fimoculous) that several Comedy Central video clips - mostly clips from The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and South Park - have been taken off of YouTube and replaced with the "This video has been removed due to copyright infringement" message.
Hmmm...what's going on here?
It's interesting that this should happen, because YouTube has been a great benefit to Comedy Central. But maybe things are starting to change, especially since YouTube was bought by Google and has started to make deals with several networks, including CBS, part of Viacom like Comedy Central.
Remember that earlier this year, CBS split off from Viacom, with Les Moonves heading up the broadcast TV, radio, and billboard businesses (CBS, Inc.) and Freston heading up the cable networks and the Paramount studio (Viacom, Inc.). Freston's place in television history is significant, since he co-founded and developed MTV during the formative days of cable. He also came up with the famous "I Want My MTV" ad campaign of the early eighties. So his association with the network is a long one (MTV is owned by Viacom). No word on what his next move is.
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