Networks Grapple With YouTube; CBS’s Turn


Updated: The response when CBS News told the story of an autistic teen’s triumph on the basketball court was so extraordinary, the network ran the story again the next night. Not surprising, then, that a YouTube user would feel driven to share the experince via the video site. So far, YouTube has delivered more than 1.3 million viewings and the video is on the site’s top 20 all-time list. Unlike much of the network video that pops up on YouTube, though, this particular story is actually available for free viewing — and in higher quality — on, which has asked YouTube to pull its version.
Betsy Morgan, SVP and GM of, told the CBSNews blog Public Eye: “It’s uncool for people to take our video without permission. It’s interesting and encouraging that there’s that much of an audience for our content. But this stuff should come back to the core site – otherwise it’s theft.” But Morgan also stressed: “We’re not anti-YouTube. We are anti-taking video w/out our permission.”
When NBC complained about the showing of “Lazy Sunday” — still available for free on — You Tube took it down and posted a link to NBC., explaining to users “YouTube respects the rights of copyright holders.” But I just signed up for YouTube, started a test upload and at no time was there any question about copyright or any suggestion that copyrighted material not be uploaded without permission. But this gem does come up if you read the terms of use: “A. YouTube hereby grants you permission to use the Website as set forth in this Terms of Service, provided that: … (ii) you will not copy or distribute any part of the Website in any medium without YouTube’s prior written authorization.” Further down, YouTube does add language barring the posting of copyrighted material without permission but explains that action will be taken only after “proper notification” of IP infringement. (I’ve heard from at least one content owner that a similar policy is keeping that company from participating in Google Video.) I understand there are a host of legal issues involved but why not include a reminder during uploads and a suggestion that legit sources be referenced? And why not take something down when it’s patently clear that it’s an infringement?
For, two suggestions — HTML links a la YouTube that can be included in pages and, on the “email to a friend” form, make the “get info from” option opt-in rather than opt-out.

Update: YouTube appears to have removed the CBS News video in question — no explanation so far, just a red error box that says “The video you have requested is not available.” Total viewings: 1,559,407. A local news report is still up.

Related: NBC’s C&D To YouTube For SNL Video Clips; YouTube Complies

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