There has been an interesting bit of controversy surrounding the Google / YouTube merger over the past weeks, much of it centering on the legality of much of YouTube’s content. Folks like to record their favorite TV shows, and upload them to YouTube in easily digested chunks.
The hugely popular Comedy Central programs “The Daily Show” and “Colbert Report” appeared many times on YouTube, and subsequently those clips appeared on many, many blogs.
Several actions have followed the Google / YouTube merger. Some of them were deals involving media companies paying for their content to appear on the newly legitimized [?] site. Others involved cease-and-desist letters demanding the removal of copyrighted material from the newly legitimized site. One of the more publicized items this week was that of Viacom, owner of Comedy Central [thus The Daily Show and Colbert Report.]
Apparently Viacom said take them all off. Then they changed their story, saying that the clips could remain, but full shows would have to be removed. The Media Shift blog over at PBS lays out the conflicting messages about this exchange.
Conflicting messages aside, the most remarkable thing to come of this all was some of the on-air messages that Comedy Central is now using during both The Daily Show and Colbert Report. The spots direct people to the Comedy Central Motherlode where they can watch the whole show, rather than finding parts of it “on some crappy blog.” That is clever. They turned the whole thing into a humorous jab, all while getting people to their website. And getting ads in front of those people. Just like TV.