Viacom Demands YouTube Pull Its Clips

Viacom said Friday it was demanding Google pull more than 100,000 clips from YouTube. The company claimed an outside consultant found the set of videos had been streamed more than 1.2 billion times.

Viacom had been in months of negotiations with YouTube, and it seems the company was fed up with the lack of progress. Viacom owns MTV, Comedy Central, BET, and Comedy Central, among other things. Many clips are still on YouTube as of Friday morning PST, but that’s well within the 10 days allowed by the DMCA safe harbor.

From the official Viacom statement, as posted on paidContent:

Filtering tools promised repeatedly by YouTube and Google have not been put in place, and they continue to host and stream vast amounts of unauthorized video. YouTube and Google retain all of the revenue generated from this practice, without extending fair compensation to the people who have expended all of the effort and cost to create it. The recent addition of YouTube-served content to Google Video Search simply compounds this issue. …. Our hope is that YouTube and Google will support a fair and authorized distribution model that allows consumers to continue to enjoy our very popular content now and in the future.

Some background:

  • Shortly after the Google-YouTube deal was announced, there was a lot of hubbub about Comedy Central demanding YouTube take down Daily Show and Colbert Report videos (good summary here). Then Viacom apparently eased up while negotiations with YouTube were ongoing.
  • Viacom had also been part of talks to create the so-called big media “YouTube killer,” but had backed out, according to reports.
  • MTV had been a key parter in Google’s initial tests of AdSense for video, dating back to last summer.