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Viacom in a copyright doomloop

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This is pretty rich but somehow not surprising:

One guy thought it was so cool that he recorded the clip of Web Junk that featured his own video and posted that on YouTube so he could blog about it. And, in an incredibly ironic move, Viacom sent a takedown notice to YouTube forcing it offline. Just to make it clear: Viacom used this guy’s work without permission and put it on TV. The guy then takes Viacom’s video of his video and puts it online… and Viacom freaks out claiming copyright infringement. Effectively, Viacom is claiming that it’s infringement of Viacom’s copyright to display an example of Viacom infringing on copyright.

Here is the story from the horse’s mouth:

So Viacom took a video that I had made for non-profit purposes and without trying to acquire my permission, used it in a for-profit broadcast. And then when I made a YouTube clip of what they did with my material, they charged me with copyright infringement and had YouTube pull the clip.

Folks, this is, as we say down here in the south, “bass-ackwards”.

Well, there are many more names to call this… Another, bigger story here is that it may, just may turn out that Viacom was acting within the current laws, although I don’t think so. It appears that the blogger who used his Viacom-processed video clip was within fair use provisions. Still, the tension between Viacom using videos taken from YouTube, which is in turn under constant fire from the company policing its own content is palpable. Call it hypocrisy, call is lack of balance, something about it just isn’t right. It is like the playground bully coming and nibbling at the cakes that the smaller kids made together. Whilst beating them up for baking in the first place…

Then there is the copyrighted content that is now getting a far better reach and exposure now that various shows and film moments are living on through the clips on YouTube. Think of all the Monty Python sketches that are now accessible and can be used in blog posts! Such joy.

I wonder what will happen to the bully in the end. Will he end up hungry and with no-one to play with bully?

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One Response to “Viacom in a copyright doomloop”


  1. Johnnie Moore
    on Aug 31st, 2007
    @ 10:21 am

    That’s bonkers, but another little sign of the craziness surrounding intellectual property these days.

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