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YouTube Restores Comedy Central Clips 150

Posted by kdawson
from the i-want-my-TDS dept.
ColinPL writes, "Though YouTube has removed Comedy Central clips, their corporate parent Viacom has confirmed that it wants to find some way to keep the clips available. Viacom has apparently given the green light for YouTube to put the material back up." Update: 11/02 20:49 GMT by Z : We received an email from DB Ferguson at the No Fact zone, letting us know things are a little more muddled than we might otherwise prefer. "This letter contains a link to Jeff's Idealog post where he had evidence that even more clips are disappearing, and I have copies of two Cease and Desist letters that were sent yesterday night from YouTube. The purge continues, despite the news reports that it has stopped or that videos are being put back in."
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YouTube Restores Comedy Central Clips

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  • A good start... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday November 02, 2006 @12:13PM (#16690599) Homepage Journal

    Comedy Central's clips are a start. A more serious matter is the misuse of the DMCA in efforts to stifle criticism.

    An offshoot of the Scientology cult known as The Landmark Forum is using the DMCA against YouTube, Google and The Internet Archive because of a scathing French documentary about Landmark being shared on those sites. It aired in France to 1.5 million people, a month later Landmark pulled out of France. Story at the EFF's site [eff.org] and other news sources.

    The video with English subtitles is available via BitTorrent at PirateBay [thepiratebay.org], search eMule for "Inside Landmark Forum" or view it online at DailyMotion [dailymotion.com].

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I don't see why we should spend time educating ourselves on some cult very few have ever heard of when the cults of Christianity and Islam are everywhere and are significantly more powerful.
      • by A. Bosch (858654)

        don't see why we should spend time educating ourselves on some cult very few have ever heard of when the cults of Christianity and Islam are everywhere and are significantly more powerful.


        I would assume it's the misuse of the DMCA in efforts to stifle criticism that would make this of interest of /. readers.
      • by cHiphead (17854)
        Because Scientologists are everywhere now. Their "religion" allows you to lie if you feel you are justified, without consequence. They avoid paying taxes, they brainwash themselves and others, they use pyramid schemes to make their money, they suppress freedom of thought and action that doesn't benefit the church, they trap their own practitioners and build files for blackmail on them through their own version of confession called auditing, they are required to shun anyone that disagrees with their religi
        • by chuck (477)

          They avoid paying taxes,

          Now you've got my attention. Where can I sign up for their newsletter?
        • by nofx_3 (40519)
          They avoid paying taxes, they brainwash themselves and others, they use pyramid schemes to make their money, they suppress freedom of thought and action that doesn't benefit the church
           
          Wait, so how does this differ from Christianity/Judaism/Islam?

          -Kap
          • by fbjon (692006)
            The big difference between cults like these and mainstream religions is that mainstream religions are Open Source. Beware of proprietary beliefs and philosophies, they're not really worth the time. Keep it simple!


            Today's life philosophy lesson was brought to you by fbjon. Released into the public domain, 2006.

        • While I don't believe in any of Scientology I do have a relative who is a Scientologist, and as a result I know quite a few of her friends who are Scientologists also. From what I've seen first hand they're generally nothing like what people make them out to be.

          That's not to say I've never seen any of them deploy some of the nasty tactics you described but it's my impression that those are the Scientology fanatics. From what I've seen you can point to religious fanaticism in any religion and find a laund
          • The things he is saying is mostly about the Church itself. The Church is a single organization which does do the things he describes. They also have a form of harassing ex-members that surpasses even the Jehovah's Witnesses' method of silent treatment.
        • Parent poster is saying things true of Scientology but not true of Landmark Forum. CoS is identified and treated by the U.S. Government as a religion. That means it pays zero taxes and keeps its finances entirely to itself. Landmark Forum is identified and treated by the U.S. Government as a for-profit corporation. That means it pays taxes and its financial records are subject to audits whenever the IRS sees fit (and they do). These are very significant differences.

          The main thing they have in common

      • by geekoid (135745)
        Chritianity is the following of christ works. this by itself is not a cult.

        Some relgion have turned there version of christinity into a cult.

        For example, If a catholic was to marry a non catholic, the churge could(but wouldn't) disallow you from attending service, but they don't send people to attack your spouse. They also don't tell you not to talk to your family anymore, and you dn't have to pay a dime to attend there service. Yes, they willask for a donation, but you don't ahve to give and you can still
      • Insightful? Troll is more like it.

        Scientology harrasses and/or kills anyone that is not a member of scientology. Unlike killings supposedly done in the name of Christianity, Ron L. Hubbards notes to his followers [planetkc.com] explicitly tells them to lie, cheat, steal, and kill!

        Anyone who actually reads the Bible will find, "Thou shalt not kill", "Thou shalt not steal", etc, etc.

        Lastly, remember the Xenu (sp?) spat with Slashdot a few years ago? How they fired off a Cease and Desist because a user posted their "copyrigh
        • I consider all of the miracles in the bible to be lies (or incorrectly attributed natural events) along with all of the references to god. I would also assume that many in the Church of Scientology are just as firm in their beliefs as you are in yours.
        • by damiam (409504)
          Not to defend Scientology, but I've never heard of them harming nonmembers, just ex-members. Contrast this to Islam, where a literal interpretation of the Qur'an pretty much undeniably supports killing nonbelievers.
          • by 2short (466733)

            Give me a literal interpretation of this then:

            "thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them."

            Hint: It isn't the Qur'an
            • Are you a Hittite, Girgashite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, or Jebusite? If you say, "yes", then you'd be lying. (Hint: They're all dead.) So you don't exactly need to worry, do you?

              A literal reading of the Bible would turn up a very clear theme for the military campaigns of Israel. One which explains why the Earth was flooded, and why Goliath of Gath (the Philistines, an offshoot of the Canaanites) was a giant. Of course, that requires that one believe in struggles between humans and fallen angel
        • by Fozzyuw (950608)

          Anyone who actually reads the Bible will find, "Thou shalt not kill", "Thou shalt not steal", etc, etc.

          The Bible (old Testament)is also filled with stories of death, destruction, doom and gloom at the 'hands' of the all knowing, all loving, and all powerful big "G". Of course, I believe that faith and therefor religion is an important part in the development of any person, particularly at an early age, for it's morals, proverbs, wit, and wisdom, but not to the point of closed minded singularity.

          Cheers,
          Fo

      • by vertinox (846076)
        Christianity and Islam never sued anyone for copyright infringement.
      • Landmark and Scientology are corporation-cults. I know all those McChurches are trying hard to be corporatized in their operations, but they're still a few notches below where these guys are.

        More to the point, when faced with a persistent evangelical, you know how to respond. When faced with a zombie-ed Landmark enthusiast who was a good friend from college (true story), you wouldn't know how to respond unless you had more information on the organization.

    • An offshoot of the Scientology cult known as The Landmark Forum is using the DMCA against YouTube, Google and The Internet Archive because of a scathing French documentary about Landmark being shared on those sites.

      On what basis? They aren't the copyright owner, nor are they the appointed representatives of the copyright owner. Until and unless the French documentary makers complain, what case do they have?

      • by ocbwilg (259828)
        On what basis? They aren't the copyright owner, nor are they the appointed representatives of the copyright owner. Until and unless the French documentary makers complain, what case do they have?

        Silly rabbit, you don't have to be the copyright owner or their appointed representative to issue a takedown request under the DMCA. The safe harbor provision basically says that you can't be held liable for your users posting copyrighted content as long as you take it down after receiving a takedown request. B
    • by bobetov (448774)
      Um. I'm hardly a cultist, and Landmark is hardly a cult. I've done 3 seminars with them over the years, for a net of about $1500 for 10 days of group work. It was by far the best money I've spent in my life. It's not for everyone, and there are unsavory aspects to the viral propagation that Landmark (and virtually all seminar-type self-help and training programs) use, but none of it is mandatory or dangerous.

      I took my classes, got what I got out of it, and stopped. No one hassled me about it. No one c
    • by frenchs (42465)
      As much as I see the similarities in Landmark and CoS, I don't think it's accurate to say that Landmark is an offshoot of Scientology.

      I actually had a roommate a few years back that got sucked into Landmark. Turned him from a very cool guy, to a very weird guy.
      • by grub (11606)

        Werner Erhard, the man who started EST which became Landmark, was a high level Scientologist. There is a definate link.
  • Colbert Report (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 02, 2006 @12:14PM (#16690623) Homepage Journal
    If this video from Stephen Colbert [youtube.com] is any indication, then Comedy Central may have felt different about the clips than Viacom did. Based on my observations of the situation, the YouTube clips were generating a lot of free advertisement for Comedy Central. Especailly some of their news commentary, which is quite good despite the humor. For myself, I had no inkling of Comedy Central's news commentary until I bumped across Jon Stewart's commentary on Internet Tubes [youtube.com]. Their followup with Senator McCain [youtube.com] was brilliant, and John Hodgman's analysis was an example of razor sharp wit. (And hey, you've got to love the, "I'm a PC" [youtube.com] bit.)

    Had it not been for YouTube, I never would have found out about Comedy Central. I'd start tuning in, but I've disconnected my cable. Yet I recently noticed that Jon Stewart's show is up on iTunes. Hmmm..... ;)
    • All of this week's full episodes are on comedy central's own site [comedycentral.com]. I got the impression they told youtube to remove the videos so they could test demand on their own site.
      • by loraksus (171574)
        Yeah, but the comedy central viewer really, really sucks.
      • by derniers (792431)
        you are right the servers do suck, I set it to play (with the sound off) and then sometime later watch it, 6-8 minutes of low quality video and poorly synced sound seems to take 30+ minutes to load, adding to the problem is the poor use of wmv that eats machine cycles like crazy even when not running- at least on a Mac, but I have a Mac Pro so I have cycles to burn
      • by Shadowmist (57488)

        Not if you you use a Mac. It wasn't always so. Originally the videos had a choice of Quicktime, Windows Media Player, and I think RealPlayer. Now they are only available in the current version of Windows Media, which is not supported by Microsoft's abandoned Mac client, nor by the Flip4WMV alternative plugin. And on Windows machines I've had very mixed results because I use Firefox instead of IE.
    • exNay on the Aysaying ouye umpedde ablecay, atthe's hyway iacomVe oesgay fterAy tubeUway!

      Btw, if it's already up, you seriously need to see yesterday's analysis of the Kerry- flap-up, absolutely the best coverage of the issue on any medium, including newsprint.
      • Here's the Daily Show Clip [youtube.com]

        This is exactly the sort of coverage that makes Daily Show and You Tube important to our political process. Instead of Kerry's odd responses, I think this clip should be forwarded to anyone spouting off about how "offended" they were.
        • by parkrrrr (30782)
          What a lovely demonstration of why nobody is scared of the "analog hole."

          Couldn't they have filmed it through a pane of frosted glass while holding the camera at an "artsy" angle, just to make it even lower quality?
          • Well, with the right display, the right lighting, and a tripod, I think you could manage a decent "analog hole" copy. But yeah, a lot of those are crap.
    • by coastin (780654) *
      Too bad you're not getting Comedy Central due to cutting off cable. I can see turning off the cable, except I get all of my news from the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. It's just newsyer than the other fake news (fox, cnn, msnbc, abc, nbc, cbs, etc.) shows you see on the boob tub.
    • by drewtown (1021549)
      Colbert especially feeds on his fans and Viral Video, just look at what power he has already (Hungarian bridge anybody). I think there is a lot to be said about youtube and it's power for legal markets to stake their claim in the online video market. Personally if I found a colbert clip incredibly amusing/smart/witty I'd go look it up on youtube or on colbertnation and share it with my friends and family, it's a great way for them to get their name out.
    • Ten years from now, when every PHB who spent a decade trying to prevent people from sharing culture with each other has seen the light and starts issuing press releases about how they've discovered that filesharing is a cost-effective loss leader, etc.

      Meanwhile I suppose the geeks will begging the corporate & government tag-team to "allow" things like GNURadio, spectrum sharing, etc. And the beat goes on...
    • by jc42 (318812)
      For myself, I had no inkling of Comedy Central's news commentary until I bumped across Jon Stewart's commentary on Internet Tubes.

      Yeah, that was fun. But do you realize how out of it you appear to be?

      Back before the 2004 US elections, one of the most fun political stories was about several surveys that turned up the apparent fact that the people most likely to correctly answer questions about the candidates' policies and records were not those that watched TV news, but rather those that watched the Daily S
      • But do you realize how out of it you appear to be?

        Did I mention that I barely watch television? :P

        Of course, if you know how to read, you have much better sources of news.

        Bingo. When you're reading, your brain is engaged. When you're watching television, you are simply absorbing like a sponge. Except that the facts (as they may be) tend to go by quickly. Thus if you get anything out of it, it's often confused and warped. It's hard to develop a valid opinion that way. :(

        • by jc42 (318812)
          Did I mention that I barely watch television? :P

          Heh. Some years ago, when I was in college, a friend asked me to keep some stuff in my apartment over the summer. This included a TV set. By the end of the summer, I had to face the fact that I qualified as truly weird, when I realized that I'd never plugged it in. (I didn't own one myself.)

          Closer to the present, we'd had cable TV here because my wife liked it for news and old movies. Back around the time of the 2004 elections, she noticed that since she'
      • "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be"-Jefferson
    • it's interesting that no one was batting an eye when the Colbert report freely used the Youtube clip of the guy riding his bike down the hill on fire. TV is free to "borrow" from us, but they don't want us to do the same?
      • by mgblst (80109)
        it's interesting that no one was batting an eye when the Colbert report freely used the Youtube clip of the guy riding his bike down the hill on fire. TV is free to "borrow" from us, but they don't want us to do the same?
         
        Your playground economics intrigues me, I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
        • i'm not saying that taking their stuff is right, i'm just curious if The Colbert Report had to (and did) contact the rights holder for that clip before using it. that show is not exactly a news program so they don't have that excuse to bypass copyright, and i don't think people posting things to YouTube are automatically surrendering the rights to their content
  • I wonder.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SkankinMonkey (528381)
    if this has anything to do with Steven Colbert's veiled attack against Viacom on his show last night?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by garcia (6573)
      if this has anything to do with Steven Colbert's veiled attack against Viacom on his show last night?

      "veiled attacks" on The Report mean great things for everyone who's being attacked. If anything, the major media outlets are beginning to realize that Internet content distribution is nothing but great for all parties involved.

      I'm sure it has something to do w/the money that they see with Google floating in the background but that's for another story...
    • I don't know, but someone should update his wikipedia entry to say that it was 100% his great idea.
  • This is great PR for Comedy Central. I wonder if their ratings will go up.
    • I was surprised that Comedy Central pulled the show - the reason Chappelle show killed other DVD sales is becuase the online clips moved it from a sleeper to a hit.

      The tension probably arises from the fact that one arm (prob. comedy central) made an agreement with iTunes, whereas another arm (i.e. Viacom) profits from DVD sales and/or general ad revenue. Obviously iTunes is a stupid idea - who cares to see the whole show vs. a particular segment.

    • Actually it's part of a pattern and I'm glad they're continuing it. Anyone else remember back in the 90's when Fox was going around agressively handing out Cease and Desist orders to anyone on the web hosting any kind of Simpsons related material? Meanwhile Comedy Central welcomed people to its material and freely let them host, download or share pretty much anything they wanted. I think this helped greatly with channel's overall popularity and acceptance in the web community.

      And as for FauxH^H^H^H^ Fox
      • by deinol (210478)
        Meanwhile Comedy Central welcomed people to its material and freely let them host, download or share pretty much anything they wanted.

        I certainly know that South Park's popularity was due greatly in part to it's availabilty on the internet. My freshman year in college I learned about it from friends who were downloading it. I don't think it was available on our cable channels yet. The free sharing of South Park certainly doesn't seem to have hurt it as a revenue stream.
      • And as for FauxH^H^H^H^ Fox, well we all know what has happened to them.
        The sky has been taken from them.
  • What, exactly, was pulled from YouTube the other day? When I read about this on /. of course I went to YouTube to check it out, but there were thousands and thousands of Colbert Report clips still there. Was it full episodes that were taken down?
    • by Em Ellel (523581)
      No, not just full episodes, an interview with Eleanor Holmes Norton [youtube.com] was pulled which is a shame, because it was one of the best bits of Colbert and I was just telling a friend of mine that he should watch it.... Hopefully they will restore that - if anything can sell Colbert Report, its that clip.

      -Em
    • According to some videos I saw on YouTube (can't find the link right now), it looked like only clips over 5 minutes were pulled.
  • Obvious! (Score:1, Offtopic)

    This move is the result of a legal action [slashdot.org]!
  • I'm glad my rights to watch Comedy Central on the net have been restored. Yet another defeat for the fascist anti-Comedy police state. Free at last.

    • You have a right to watch some one else's copyrighted material online? On a third party provider? Your definition of right is much different than mine. I have a desire, but not a right.
    • by SeaFox (739806)
      Yet another defeat for the fascist anti-Comedy police state.

      Well I, for one, welcome our fascist anti-comedic overlords. I'd like to remind them that as an avid internet user, I can be helpful in rounding up media pirates to toil in their underground reality-tv script caves.

  • by no_pets (881013) on Thursday November 02, 2006 @12:32PM (#16690899)
    Perhaps YouTube should have made an example of Viacom and not restored the clips on their own. This would be useful in making future requests from other parties think twice before requesting clips be pulled.

    YouTube could have just told Viacom that the clips were pulled and that Viacom were free to upload them again assuming they specified that it was okay for the clips to be made available.
    • Right. And the next time Viacom found some of their content on YouTube, they'd file an expensive lawsuit instead of sending a polite takedown request letter. Somehow I don't think Google/YouTube really wants to go out of their way to piss off content owners, however much their customers might wish they did.
    • by Skim123 (3322)
      Hell, why not just buy Viacom and call it a day? Viacom's measley $2.34 billion [google.com] market cap is nothing compared to Google's $142 billion [google.com].
  • For now, at least, the clips are back--even the long ones, so get your Colbert fix on before Viacom has another change of heart.

    Does all this mean that Youtube never 'really' deletes any clip a user deletes?

    • by iabervon (1971)
      They probably really delete clips that the users delete, but only disable clips they're requested to take down, in case it turns out that the entity requesting it doesn't have the authority or something.
  • ... is the sound of Comedy Central's head leaving it's corporate sphincter [wikipedia.org]. Now if only if the rest of the sountrack was "Constipation Blues" [datacomm.ch] by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, my day would be complete.
  • by flitty (981864)
    You mean allowing people to see our shows whenever they want will get us more viewers? Quick! Put those clips back up!
  • Viacom is the parent company of Comedy Central, not YouTube (owned by Google), as the grammatical error in the summary implies.
    • by asylumx (881307)
      Mod parent up please -- This is an excellent point, the summary is very confusing if you don't really know the context.
  • by kabz (770151) on Thursday November 02, 2006 @12:55PM (#16691321) Homepage Journal
    What next? Microsoft releases hax0r4d Vista to Pirate Bay?

    It looks to me like Comedy Central subscribe to the axiom 'any usage is good usage'. ;-)
  • CC gets it! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday November 02, 2006 @12:56PM (#16691345) Homepage Journal
    When it comes to stuff like "The Daily Show" or "Colbert," these are programs that get shown once, rerun once, and then are mostly never seen again purely because of the topical nature of the shows. This isn't the sort of thing that fills out a DVD box all that well, they aren't really going to continue to profit directly from the old content once it's been and gone. This is why clips that get "youtubed" or rerun by CC on their own site and occasional "best ofs," are really the only way for people to continue to dig the old clips and drum up enthusiasm for the next episodes.

    CC has realized that either they work the "best of" angle solely on their own site, with however much manpower and costs that would entail, or let the fans do it themselves on YouTube. With YouTube, not only do they not deal with the workload, but the fans themselves are in charge of what is or isn't a "greatest hit." That's as it should be, and something that the content producers rarely if ever get right, since all they'd have to go on are surveys, focus groups, and other troublesome hit-or-miss schemes.

    1. Let the fans do the work of hyping up the shows.
    2. More hype = more audience for the next ones. There are no ???s.
    3. Profit!
  • Run over here doggie. Now run over here. Good doggie!! Now pay me.
  • I'm pleased to hear the Comedy Central stuff will be reappearing on GoogTube. Comedy Central has clips available on their own Web site, but the player is absolute crap. I never got it to work. YouTube's works, so this is a happy thing.

    Schwab

  • by reifman (786887) * on Thursday November 02, 2006 @01:26PM (#16691893) Homepage
    There was another bigger purge last night: 78% of Daily Show Clips Missing from YouTube [idealog.us] I wrote a script to analyze this ... Of 897 Daily Show videos on YouTube sampled, 699 were missing or broken. That's nearly 78% of Daily Show videos now taken down for alleged copyright infringement without any regard for fair use from what I can tell. More commentary on the week's events here: Truthiness is scarce at Viacom and YouTube this week [newscloud.com]
  • I'm not surprised that they decided to make them available again. I'm surprised, though that they didn't leave them off YouTube and instead put them up officially on Google Video. I'd guess they have better encodings of their videos than are on youtube (at least based on how the copies of Weird Al's videos that he put up himself are so much better than the copies put up by other people). And if they put it on Google Video, they could probably work out a deal similar to this one [slashdot.org] and get some of the revenue f
  • Youtube seems to be down.

    here [utube.com]
  • I just noticed yesterday that comedycentral.com has redone their entire web site, so that it now actually works. I even got several of my browsers to give me URLs for their clips.

    So it's now not necessary to have them on sites like youtube. They finally wised up and realized that their idiotic site mis-design was driving people away to the copycat sites, and losing them all the eyes that they were obviously trying to get looking at their ads.

    This is a disappointment in some circles, actually. Namely, the
  • I saw in the news a company named Utube that is or is considering suing YouTube to "force YouTube to change its name or to get YouTube to help us find a new domain name", so I heard in the news.

    One would think that companies with conflicting names would have an arbiter or someplace to submit their name so that a heuristic or some-such program would be Google-like and display as screen saying:

    "Your request is remarkably similar to the name of a valid company that is receiving an extraordinary number of of ir

All the simple programs have been written.

Working...