by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jun 13th 2008 11:41am
Viacom seems to have a bit of a multiple personality when it comes to online video. It's famously suing YouTube for $1 billion because some clips of TV shows have shown up on the site, but at the same time, it's been aggressively putting its own shows on a variety of sites. Yet, for the most part, it's focused on having full control -- that is, making them streaming versions only, on specific sites, often complete with advertising. However, it looks like the company is finally realizing that a little uncontrolled distribution isn't such a bad thing. Viacom-owned Spike TV is trying to promote a new TV show by distributing a commercial-free, DRM-free download of the show through a variety of sources including P2P system Limewire. The company admits that it's just trying to entice viewers to watch the series on TV when it debuts later this summer, but it makes you wonder how the company can stand up in court complaining about YouTube, when its out there telling people to do whatever they want to help promote this other show. In fact, the folks behind this offering admit that DRM would have defeated the purpose, which is to get the show seen by as many people as possible: "We're trying for a bit of a ubiquity here, to go where the people are." Wonder if this story will make its way into the Viacom-YouTube lawsuit.
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