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
    Axl Pose, 30 Mar 2007 @ 10:03am

    #6 "black profanity" as opposed to white profanity? what's your point there

    # Everyone else: An unfortunate result of being in this litigious society of ours is that (in the business world) it doesn't matter if you're right or wrong, it only matters what the courts tell you. For instance, although Napster helped to unleash pandora's box when it came to peer to peer file sharing, the record industry sued the hell out of it to have it shut down. This did nothing to curb the publics interest in file sharing, it did however set a precedent....that peer to peer file sharing is illegal and grounds for a successful lawsuit. If they had lost that case we'd be living in a very different world right now, one that we are inevitably headed towards.

    I don't agree with it, but large companies like Viacom try to use this in their favor. You have remember, the decisions of Viacom as a company aren't solely dictated by the CEO and management, there's also their relationships with other companies, expectations from majority share holders...etc. They will use every dirty trick in the book to try and keep costs low and revenue high so that they can please said shareholders while also lining their own pockets. It's hard to blame them. In a capitalist culture that kind of behavior is the norm...if not encouraged.

    The real problem here is the courts for failing to draw a definitive 'line in the sand' on the issue. Google would have never touched You Tube if it was an illegal service. In fact, it probably wouldn't even exist in the first place if it were illegal. What Viacom is doing is trying to force the courts hand to the tune of billions. If they win Google will face an onslaught of lawsuits from other companies trying to cash in. If Viacom loses then Google, too, deftly plays the system and sets the precedent for development of a business model involving You Tube.

    Both have a lot to gain and lose but with the public primarily on You Tube/Google's side I think Viacom has the most to lose.

    Regardless, the courts failing to take a stand on these issues is only working against them (or for you if you're lawyer), more cases like this will force them to eventually choose a side, although it will probably come after endless appeals. I have a feeling Google will come out the victors on this (one can only hope) but I've been wrong before and I've learned that logic doesn't always prevail in the US judicial system.

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