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Viacom, the parent company of MTV and Comedy Central, has requested YouTube to remove 100,000 clips of its programming.

Viacom had been negotiating with Google over a deal that would allow the clips to be shown on YouTube in return for a share of ad revenues, but pulled out of talks after failing to reach an agreement.

Viacom explained its actions in a statement:

“It has become clear that YouTube is unwilling to come to a fair market agreement that would make Viacom content available to YouTube users."

"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.''

Viacom makes the point that Google has tools in place to filter out some video content, such as pornography or hate videos, yet is reluctant to use filtering for copyrighted content.

Mark Cuban takes aim at Google on the filtering issue, and feels that the emphasis should be on Google to filter out copyright content, rather than waiting for the owners to request the removal of such material.

He suggests that Google only filters videos from media companies who have done a deal with them:

“Gootube has taken the arrogant position with big media that "You can't stop us. You can't stop people from uploading your copyrighted materials and if you want us to, you have to do a deal with us".

It is an interesting point. Google seems to hold the view that brand owners should police their trademarks and content. It is a similar story on Google Adwords. Although the other main search engines have adopted similar hands-off-you-figure-it-out policies.

Since buying YouTube last year, Google has been busy making deals with copyright owners, and some, such as CBS,  have seen the benefits of having their programming shown on YouTube.

Other content owners have decided to take legal action though, including Time Warner back in October, while Fox this month demanded that Google reveals the identities of YouTubers who had uploaded episodes of '24' onto the video sharing site.

Graham Charlton

Published 5 February, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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