The Daily Show On Parent Company Viacom's Lawsuit Against YouTube... On YouTube

from the meta-meta dept

Well, here's one for Friday evening. On last night's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (which is owned by Viacom), Stewart and Demetri Martin discussed Viacom's lawsuit against Google/YouTube. It's an entertaining five minutes, where Martin wonders if you're watching him on YouTube right now -- so it didn't take long, of course, for that clip to show up on YouTube:

Of course, given the way Viacom has been trying to take down anything even remotely connected to Viacom, that video might not last long. Viacom has it available on its own site as well -- though, again, getting to it and getting the embed code was immensely more annoying that the YouTube version, costs Viacom bandwidth resources and also requires Viacom employees to put the video up themselves, rather than just letting fans do it for them -- but if that's what they want (also, we "raced" the two videos and the YouTube one seemed much faster, but that's another issue):

While the clip is amusing, the key point is that it seems clear that Stewart recognizes how Viacom's decision is doing more harm than good: "But to me, the situation is that there's a ton to gain for both companies. Viacom, they put their content on YouTube, it gets exposure, people know about their programming... it's a win for everybody in this situation." This, of course, echoes Stewart's own statements from a few years ago about how great it was that people were downloading and watching the show (pre-YouTube). Too bad Stewart's bosses don't listen to him on these things.

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  1. identicon
    Nick Burns, 24 Mar 2007 @ 7:41am

    Viacom has a perfectly good reason for not wanting their clips on YouTube. They have no control over content on YouTube. A clip from The Colbert Report may show up alongside a clip from Sesame Street. They might believe that a poor quality clip on YouTube will reflect poorly on their company. By controlling the quality and appearance of their products, Viacom can maintain brand integrity and recognition. The cost of implementing their own video service, paying for bandwidth, yadda yadda, is an investment into maintaining their brands.

    Not to say Viacom isn't being a little foolish for restricting fans from putting up videos on YouTube. Free publicity is nice, but it isn't always the best publicity. I would love to campaign for Hillary Clinton for free, but she probably wouldn't like it. (The campaign would be about baby killing.) I'm sure the other main point of contention is advertising revenue. Viacom would much rather make money off their own shows than allow Google to. On the same note, some people will find the shows on YouTube and start watching them on TV, so Viacom will get their own revenues. Frankly, if Viacom doesn't want their content on YouTube, that's their own business.

    YouTube doesn't have an inalienable right to Viacom's content, but that doesn't mean that Viacom needs a billion dollar lawsuit to stop YouTube. Google isn't responsible here. Fans are, but Viacom won't sue fans. This whole mess isn't good for the rest of us, but Viacom will make out by maintaining brand recognition.

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