It seems like NBC just can't make up its mind about YouTube. After the Saturday Night Live video "Lazy Sunday" showed up on YouTube and helped make both YouTube famous and SNL somewhat cool again (at least the Andy Samberg skits), NBC lawyers decided to cut off YouTube. A few months after that, NBC signed a deal with YouTube to upload videos to the site, and the two sites were friends again. In fact, NBC admitted that there was tremendous promotional value to putting its shows on YouTube, but still felt the need to limit how much content would be shared. Some have wondered if NBC Universal would follow in the footsteps of Viacom in suing YouTube. While it hasn't done that, it has joined Viacom in filing an amicus brief against YouTube in a smaller case. If you remember, before Viacom went nuclear on YouTube, there was a small LA news publisher who sued YouTube alleging copyright infringement. That case is ahead of the Viacom case, and will probably serve as the key test case in determining whether or not Google/YouTube really are protected by the DMCA's safe harbor provisions. It seems like NBC wants to embrace YouTube while at the same time killing it. Given the way NBC keeps taking one-step forward, one-step back in dealing with YouTube, perhaps it's not a surprise. Hopefully, a judge recognizes the many reasons why the safe harbor protections do apply and NBC finally recognizes it has more to gain by embracing it than killing it.
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