The New York Times has picked up on the rumor that YouTube is yanking Comedy Central video. And to me, it’s still just a rumor, because the same “colbert” search that I’ve been running for the past
several (several is an overstatement — I first heard about this on the morning of the 28th … I don’t know why I wrote “several”) days as a spot check still returns the same well-populated results.
UPDATE: Mark Glaser writes an open letter to Steve Colbert and invites readers to make their own response videos.
To re-emphasize my previous point: Here’s another YouTube search of Comedy Central videos.
It should be noted that the apparent original source for the story is Jeff Reifman, who operates NewsCloud, which appears to me to be a somewhat competitive user-generated content site. His claim is that he an e-mail from DMCA Complaints, a YouTube department.
Doesn’t that sound fishy to anyone?
Possible explanations for the disconnect between what I’m seeing on YT and what the news reports are telling us:
- Google attorneys are studying the matter without further action
- The mass removal of video from YT is far more difficult than I can imagine (and I imagine it’s pretty damn easy, knowing what I know about web programming)
- Reifman jumped to an incorrect conclusion about the meaning of the e-mail, since it references only one specific video
- That specific video contained an interview with Steve Wozniak, and Wozniak or an associate didn’t want the video on YT, and that’s the mysterious third party involved here
At any rate, I see a lot of big and independent media jumping all over this story without one bit of confirmation that Reifman’s report is accurate or that he has drawn the correct conclusions from the e-mail he received. I still say it’s a rumor.
UPDATE II: Other blogs publishing unskeptical accounts of the story:
- Huffington Post
- Media Law Professor Blog
- Lost Remote
- Wise Law Blog
- The No-Fact Zone
- John Battelle
On the flip side, here’s a copy of another letter to another user about another clip (an interview with Al Franken (somebody should check on whether Franken and Woz have the same agent).
UPDATE III: I just found this YT video that speculates that only clips longer than five minutes have been removed, but here’s a guy called “colbert clips” that has uploaded many longer-than-five-minutes clips in the past week (the videos preroll a plug for colbertclips.com). Here’s a long one uploaded by another user. Then again, here’s somebody reporting that a bunch of CC clips from a favorite list have disappeared. As for the classics, there’s a couple of versions of “Truthiness” and “Wikiality.”
UPDATE IV: Lost Remote goes along with Glaser’s update to his post above that maybe this is a negotiating ploy by Viacom.
[tags]youtube, google, comedy central, daily show, colbert report, south park, viacom, copyright[/tags]