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Comedy Central yanks clips from YouTube

Comedy Central vs. YouTubeHead over to YouTube right now and search for clips from The Daily Show, the Colbert Report, or South Park. You'll find your search discouraging, since clicking on most of those video links will get you naught but a big red "This video has been removed due to copyright infringement" or "This video has been removed due to terms of use violation." That's right, Comedy Central's lawyerbots are reportedly on a rampage and have asked that newly Google-owned YouTube take down copyrighted clips from their shows. That sound you hear is the sound of a million buzzes being killed or, as Agent Smith would say, "That... is the sound of inevitability."

As I wrote recently, Viacom--Comedy Central's parent company--and other media companies in similar situations could easily rectify this situation by simply offering the best clips from their shows on their own web sites with their own branded player that users can embed in their blogs and MySpace pages. This would allow them to directly control their content while still allowing their shows' biggest fans to do all the free promotion they want, and they could stick ads at the end for their other properties. Warner Music recently got a clue and struck a deal with Brightcove to do this very thing. Personally, if I were Viacom I'd rather pay a few engineers to give fans a legitimate alternative to copyright infringement than pay a bunch of lawyers to sit around watching YouTube.

Still, Viacom is well within its rights and Google's only option--its only smart option, at least--is to comply with their requests. This, as I've said before, is the shape of things to come.

[Image via NewsCloud]

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