Viacom Asks YouTube to Remove Clips – New York Times — I use the word idiots here for three reasons. The first is that these clips are actually free publicity and promotion. One of these days Viacom may have to pay to have such free promotion put online like this. Secondly YouTube is a huge money loser. Who is Viacom kidding when they say that YouTube is profiting. How?

And, finally, do you really want to stiff Google like this when it’s not important? Hey, dorks, I have a huge idea for you. Sue Google because that will force the world’s most important search engine to probably have to pull any references to Viacom and all its connections off the search engine. You know, because some lawyer told them to since they are being sued.

Idiots indeed.

Viacom is particularly unhappy because so many of its shows, like “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” a YouTube favorite, appeal to the young audiences who visit the site.

“We cannot continue to let them profit from our programming,” Philippe P. Dauman, Viacom’s chief executive, said in an interview. Mr. Dauman said that Viacom had been in discussions with Google for months, but that Google kept delaying and did not make what Viacom saw as a serious offer.

  1. Danijel says:

    I can understand how Viacom looses money from people who would rather watch these shows on YouTube than pay for watching Comedy Central on cable…

    On the other hand, most of the world doesn’t get to watch Comedy Central (I’d pay immediately if I could) and these folks should really adapt to new technology than try to destroy it for their own profits…

    I guess there are people in big movie studios that would still rather see us going to cinema every day than have a TV in our homes…

  2. Stern Fan says:

    Viacom continues to make missteps. They scewed up losing Howard Stern to satellite radio. You have to wonder about the CEO – the rate of the pack is determned by the speed of the leader.

  3. ArianeB says:

    Whats funny is that Viacom owned CBS uses YouTube all the time to promote their shows. There are lots of David Letterman clips posted on YouTube, that CBS posted themselves.

  4. ArianeB says:

    May as well add a link. Viacom owned CBS on You Tube:

  5. JT says:

    Mark Cuban’s: “Only a ‘moron’ would buy YouTube” is becoming increasing prescient. He correctly predicted that copyright infringement issues would trip up the video sharing service. Viacom’s salvo is only the first of many across Google’s bow. What YouTube will be left with is originally created videos by the users of its service, which was its original intention to begin with.

  6. SN says:

    1. “I can understand how Viacom looses money from people who would rather watch these shows on YouTube than pay for watching Comedy Central on cable

    First, Viacom is not complaining about complete shows on YouTube, they’re complaining about clips of the shows.

    And second, considering that nearly 90% of Americans pay for either cable or satellite TV, I highly doubt anyone would avoid those services but yet still pay for broadband to watch clips of those same shows in low resolution. Anyone that cheap wouldn’t pay for broadband.

  7. Joey says:

    There is a growing realization that Google has become too powerful and threatens all sorts of established industries. I think a major pushback is brewing. For instance, cell companies are rumored to be planning their own mobile search engine, even though many of them already have agreements with Google.

  8. morphimus says:

    Way to go John… way to go! I certainly hope Google’s lawyers get to read this and decide to adopt your idea. And after those Viacom idiots come to their knees, we’ll be like, “see… John Dvorak was right all along!”

  9. Mr. Fusion says:

    I agree with John C. on this. It would be kind of like cutting off your nose to spite your face. This free publicity is much better then the old discussion around the water cooler the next day. If it is good, they will come again.

    And to those who do not get Comedy Central. It ain’t all that great. There are sporadic shows that are really funny and some stand up that hits the spot. But so much programming is just showing the old early 1980s High School movies and rerun after rerun of crap that wasn’t funny the first time.

  10. SN says:

    9. “And to those who do not get Comedy Central. It ain’t all that great.”

    I agree. The vast majority of CC’s programing is crap. I can’t remember the last time I watched a funny movie on it. Like you say, it’s all real bad flops from the 80s.

    Heck, didn’t CC have that awful Battlebots show? What was supposed to be funny about that?! (Btw, I thought the show was awful only because there were only three competitions per show and each lasted no more than 3 minutes. Thus, the entire show was at most 9 minutes long stretched into 30 minutes. If they had filled it up with at least 20 minutes of actual programing, I would have loved it.)

  11. lou says:

    I agree with general sentiment here. Since you tube only allows clips (not full shows), any exposure to CC’s shows is publicity, and can only spur non-viewers to try out the whole show (with commercials). I can’t see how linking to clips is going to hurt the revenue stream at CC/Viacom.

  12. OmarThe Alien says:

    When I moved I left the satelitte dish and all at the old place, and sprang for the deluxe DSL package in the new one. My coat hanger enhanced TV antenna brings in three channels, and that’s really more than I need. I occasionally watch the Stewart/Colbert clips off the Comedy Channel web site, and most of the other Sat/Cable channels all have streaming video to satisfy my not very acute hunger for these things.
    Commercials on broadcast TV bother me not at all, as most of that crap isn’t fit to watch anyways. ETV has the occasionally interesting bit stuck here and there amongst the really boring stuff they are so good at, although their commercial plugs become more in your face with each passing year.
    But I’ve got one of those little shiny boxes that seem to play anything you stick in it, and there’s a few big ass cardboard boxes around the house full of DVD’s and VHS tapes so when I do get the urge to watch something on the tube there is no lack of choice.
    And yes, I do live alone. If the situation was otherwise then I’d have no choice but to spring for a subscription to something, if for no other reason than to keep the peace (piece?)

  13. Oil Of Dog says:

    I do live alone……………….if for no other reason than to keep the peace (piece?)

    I wonder why??? 🙂

  14. ChrisMac says:

    So what’s the net effect here?

    Viacom still makes no more money and pisses off some youtube users?

    Youtube uses less b/w by hosting 100,000(?) less clips?

    BT download speeds of Stewart and Colbert increase?

    I’ll be interested to see if John or Stephen comment on this come monday night.

  15. John says:

    Viacom does not own CBS, CBS cooperation owns CBS. In 2005 the company decided to split up and I think at the start of 2006 is when the split took place. (Now the majority of shares of both companies I believe is held by the same company/person, but they are two companies now with two different sets of leaders to make good and bad decisions)

  16. Hazzamanazz says:

    I’m from Brazil. We have “24 Hours” and “Simpsons” here, on Fox channel.

    I don’t endorse piracy, but it seens that John had a point: who will spend an hour watching a program on Youtube? The resolution of video and audio are pure shit!
    I mean, you can watch to check if the show is good, but keep the video for your self in a garbage resolution? Spend almost an hour in a chair (don’t even try zoom the image, for the sake of your eys!!!)?

    Why will this stops me from wanting to see “24 Hours” on Fox channel, with much better quality and sound, is beyond me.

    [ ]’s

  17. Ozymandus says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with John that Viacom is full of idiots for the following reasons:

    1. GOOG bought YouTube to profit on ads GOOG would integrate into those clips. GOOG, even if it’s making a loss, is still using VIACOM content to generate its business model. As such, GOOG needs a license. Plain and simple, even if the clips are 5 minutes.

    2. It’s kinda silly/extreme to say that GOOG is gonna remove VIACOM deets from the search engine.

    3. GOOG is being arrogant in this whole affair by arguing that they’re not responsible for what their users do. However, I know a few file-sharing companies that tried that argument in court and are now defunct: Kazaa, Sharman Networks, etc. Yes, if ur responsible for what ur users post on ur site, even if they post a 4 minute clip showing the inside of the Pentagon or something silly like that.

    4. GOOG is playing DUMB and DEAF and being idiotic about the whole thing. Use that Billion dollar valuation and get the damn content filtering software running. The GOOG whining is so pre IPO. They can afford it. Do it.


  18. Wiley says:

    I think that Viacom has forgotten what a customer is. YouTube is just another outlet for their products. Just think if Viacom had their way we would have to get rid of all copiers, scanners, carbon paper (showing my age) and anything that makes a copy. That was not the intention of the copyright law and Viacom is going to be hard pressed to say they have lost money because of YouTube. If anything YouTube could be their salvation.

  19. dave says:


    You know what i find very interesting? -besides that i hate big, greedy money making machineries, like viacom and co., that would even sue their own artists if they get a chance to.

    Its that google, and everything google owns, is always viewed as the cool indie guys. The two cool youngish founders, revolutionizing the web. And i agree, they are pure geniouses for that, they have brilliant developers, brilliant “strategizers” and all. But the thing is, that google has pretty much become one of those monster companies as well. I dont know if they are greedy, probably, cause isnt every major company, that is relying on the noble “free trade” and “global economy” philosophies, greedy and corrupt? And isnt it quite a scary thought how much influence google has? in my opinion by now, much more than microsoft or even some tv networks. Although obviously that is debateble as always. Anyways, it does seem like everyone is turning a bit of a blind eye on that fact, because youtube, or google is there for the people as it seems, always offering the best services etc for free. But of course there is more behind it.

    So, i just leave that statement as a thought, and although that said, i do agree with most comments here, generally, that viacoms suit is a joke, and has nothing to do with copyright infringement prevention or the like, but is rather a cry for more control and money, like in the “good old days”.

    And obviously, google doesnt make money with the “pirated” clips on youtube, it makes money off the huge google community, that nowadays includes almost every avid internet user. You, me, pretty much everyone… The most clever move ever. Automated advertising. Cause, thats where the money lies, not for nothing do major companies spend most parts of their budgets on marketing/advertising…

    worldpeace 🙂

  20. robert says:

    Ok so the people at VIACOM are COMPLETE & TOTAL MORONS since up to now they were getting FREE PUBLICITY on youtube.

    Secondly, however, the people at YOUTUBE are pretty STUPID as well! I had over 50 videos of tv posted on youtube but because of the ASS-HOLES IGNORAMUSES at VIACOM, YOUTUBE just deleted my ENTIRE ACCOUNT, even though the little bitches at VIACOM cried and complained ABOUT ONLY 1 video which belonged to them. The rest of the tv video clips I had posted had nothing to do vith VIACOM. Way more than half the videos on youtube come from movies and tv, so why did youtube HAVE TO delete my entire account when there are millions of other tv and movie clips on youtube.

    VIACOM MAY BE RUN BUT ASSHOLE MORONS but I would have thought that the people at YOUTUBE and GOOGLE had just a few more neurons!


  21. Andy says:

    So Google turned over gigabytes worth of free consumer behavior and marketing data for Viacom to use? I think no matter what the outcome, Viacom is already a big winner here.

  22. Mouse says:

    If Viacom wins this, be forewarned that next step will be that Viacom goes after the ones that posted said infringements on youtube.

    @Robert maybe it was best that they deleted your account. It quite possibly be to save you from being sued? At this point with big companies looking to get their pockets filled I wouldn’t put it past them.


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