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Viacom Demands YouTube Pull Its Clips

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Viacom said Friday it was demanding Google pull more than 100,000 clips from YouTube. The company claimed an outside consultant found the set of videos had been streamed more than 1.2 billion times.

Viacom had been in months of negotiations with YouTube, and it seems the company was fed up with the lack of progress. Viacom owns MTV, Comedy Central, BET, and Comedy Central, among other things. Many clips are still on YouTube as of Friday morning PST, but that’s well within the 10 days allowed by the DMCA safe harbor.

From the official Viacom statement, as posted on paidContent:

Filtering tools promised repeatedly by YouTube and Google have not been put in place, and they continue to host and stream vast amounts of unauthorized video. YouTube and Google retain all of the revenue generated from this practice, without extending fair compensation to the people who have expended all of the effort and cost to create it. The recent addition of YouTube-served content to Google Video Search simply compounds this issue. …. Our hope is that YouTube and Google will support a fair and authorized distribution model that allows consumers to continue to enjoy our very popular content now and in the future.

Some background:

  • Shortly after the Google-YouTube deal was announced, there was a lot of hubbub about Comedy Central demanding YouTube take down Daily Show and Colbert Report videos (good summary here). Then Viacom apparently eased up while negotiations with YouTube were ongoing.
  • Viacom had also been part of talks to create the so-called big media “YouTube killer,” but had backed out, according to reports.
  • MTV had been a key parter in Google’s initial tests of AdSense for video, dating back to last summer.

20 Responses to “Viacom Demands YouTube Pull Its Clips”

  1. I tried also to sign up for the Joost Beta Tester but I didn’t get any replays for 2 weeks. Can any of you invite me?

    Also, did you guys see this t-shirt store? I know it has nothing to do with the topic… But, just to let you guys know, great designs and decent prices. Club/DJ/Trance T-Shirts available and new designs coming everyday!

  2. Another interesting fact is that Joost has plenty of former MTV staffers and management working for them .So one has to wonder if Viacom will use Joost as its prefered distribution platform .Some MTV content is already available during the Joost beta phase .

    All this and Viacom pulled out of the networks online video consortium late last year .

  3. It’s hard to blame Viacom folks here. They were willing to be patient while the brains at Google figured out a way to compensate the content owners, but after a billion streams, little progress had been demonstrated. I wonder if any other major content owners will follow suit?

  4. Hank Williams

    My bet is that this can’t be resolved because its just too hard of a problem. Unlike music, with video there are so many content owners and rights are shared and split in so many complicated ways, it would be very difficult for viacom to make a blanket deal because they still owe their partners who often own shares of or points in a property. This means that YouTube will have to become much more involved in what gets posted, whether they have the right to show it, and who to report it too. This is a massive undertaking that cannot be totally automated. I still believe some massive lawsuits that Google cant win, are in the offing.