Over the last few days word has spread that Comedy Central asked YouTube to remove clips of the Colbert Report and the Daily Show, under terms of the DMCA. When I first heard about it, I was really disappointed in Comedy Central. It seems they only decided to make a fuss now that Google owns YouTube. I thought they were really shortsighted, and indeed stupid, for ignoring the fact that YouTube is a huge buzz machine for its shows.
Today however, Jeff Jarvis is reporting that they didn’t ask YouTube to remove all clips, just some of them. Further investigation shows that only clips longer than 5 minutes have been removed.
I think it is really in Comedy Central’s best interests to allow clips to appear on YouTube. Not entire episodes certainly, but short clips. Even if they don’t make any money from the clips immediately, it would be a good experiment. You’ll never understand how to take advantage of the fast changing media distribution landscape until you try something new.