Comedy Central’s YouTube purge: Dumb, dumb, dumb

So Comedy Central, getting all corporate media on us (they are part of Viacom, after all), has demanded that YouTube scrub all video clips of its programs, including The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, from the site.  This should earn the network an extra — well, not much of anything that I can see.

Still, I suppose a profit center’s got to do what a profit center’s got to do.

(NY Times) YouTube Is Purging Copyrighted Clips

Hitting the financial jackpot, it appears, may have created some headaches for YouTube, the wildly popular video-sharing Web site that has agreed to be bought by Google for $1.65 billion in stock.

The site late last week began purging copyrighted material from Comedy Central, including clips from YouTube stalwarts like “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” “The Colbert Report” and “South Park.”

The action was “a result of third-party notification by Comedy Central,” according to one such e-mail message sent to a YouTube user, Jeff Reifman, who broke the news on the Web site NewsCloud.

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The situation is tricky for a network like Comedy Central, part of Viacom. Its audience is young and technologically sophisticated, and Comedy Central stars in the past have used YouTube and clip services to interact with their audience.

This seems dumb to me.  Clips posted on YouTube and elsewhere on the web are extraordinary effective advertising for Comedy Central — something the network itself apparently understood until recently.  People get hooked on the clips and then start tuning into the programs.

How they benefit by pulling the plug on this escapes me.

It remains to be seen whether this is purely a Google thing, or whether Comedy Central will start going after other Internet “poachers.”  If it’s the latter, they will have no one to blame but themselves when, having dropped out of the Internet conversation, they end up losing much of their cutting edge appeal.

Dumb, dumb and dumber still.

2 Responses to “Comedy Central’s YouTube purge: Dumb, dumb, dumb”

  1. Again Says:

    Dumb, dumb and dumber still.

    don’t you know the saying: “greed beats need” (also “greed eats brain”)?

    sounds like that, i guess

  2. RJHall Says:

    Have you read about how the Boy Scouts in Los Angeles now have a new “Respect Copyrights Activity Patch” merit badge that they can get by turning in their friends who download movies and music from the Internet? (Okay, that “turning in” part is just their inspiration in Hong Kong. In L.A. they don’t yet have to turn people in, but just be aware of it and tell their friends not to do it either.)

    From the article: “If record companies really cared about their artists’ integrity, then they would pay bands more than a measly 15 percent of album sales. If the film industry cared about movie-goers, then they would stop hiking ticket prices. And if they cared about jobs, then they would stop patting themselves on the back with bonuses big enough to feed a small country.”

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