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YouTube Removes Colbert Report and Daily Show Videos October 28, 2006

Posted by Unreasonable in Truth.
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Comedy Central, you’re on notice!

Comedy Central - You’re on Notice

 

What are you thinking? By forcing YouTube to remove your video clips, your lawyers removed your best advertising. Here’s the cool thing you’ve just screwed up: your fans picked the very best stuff to share. Not only did they pick the best shows, they edited them down to the best segments. They chose those clips because they were topical, they were funny, and they were worth sharing. If I go to your site, I can watch the shows that you’ve selected, and they are not the same ones. Nice move.

Next, the YouTube video player works. Your video player? Not so much… Here’s why:

  1. You have tiny little videos that can’t be resized. It’s like watching TV from the next room through the keyhole of a closed door.
  2. You use javascript to launch a popup window. Therefore, I can’t send a link to my friends or put a link on my blog to direct people to the video highlight I want them to see.
  3. Your popup window can’t be opened in a tab or resized. Give me control of my browser back.
  4. Your popup window has an obnoxious background that I’m afraid is going to give me a seizure.
  5. Next to your video, there’s an ad that’s bigger than the video. Firefox blocks it, but I can’t decide which is worse: the hole that remains in the background, or the background.
  6. When I open a YouTube page, the video starts to play. Isn’t that cool? On your page, I sit and think about how much you suck while the video buffers. The video plays for about 3 seconds until it over-runs and starts buffering again. …and that’s with DSL. It must be completely useless at slower connection speeds.
  7. With YouTube, I can embed the videos in my own website. When I visit a site I’m more likely to watch a video if its right there and I can just push play. You’re at least five years away from developing that technology.
  8. YouTube’s search feature also works, conveniently allowing me to find what I’m looking for. At your site I end up looking through a list of videos.

While I’m at it, here’s a few more things you should fix about your website in general:

  • Flashing banner ads? Is that some kind of a Comedy Central joke that’s over my head? There’s this company called Google that showed everybody that annoying your customers isn’t necessary to get them to click on things. Instead, their idea is to give people what they want. You might also want to check out their website for some layout ideas.
  • Thanks for letting me sign in. What do I get from my new membership? You’re not going to spam me are you?
  • Your privacy policy and your terms and conditions are very impressive. I’d even go so far as to say they are massive. Why not put a summary of that in English for the 100% of us that don’t read that nonsense?

You have two shows right on the front edge of a cultural wave. I thought that was intentional, but now I see that it was dumb luck. The good news is, it’s not too late. You’ve built up a lot of political capital with those two shows, and I can forgive you if you change your ways now. Here’s what you can do to win me back. You can build a user interface that fixes the all items I listed above, or you could just let someone who has already fixed your problems continue to do their thing.

Get out of the way, and let YouTube and your shows’ fans do your advertising for you. I think you’ll be surprised to find out how much you were doing right when you weren’t doing anything.

*Idealog posted the DMCA letter YouTube sent to their members who had uploaded Comedy Central material.

Update #1:

Viacom, Comedy Central’s parent company, is apparently trying to cut a deal with Google/YouTube to share revenue. Removing the YouTube videos was part of that negotiation. Comedy Central subsequently released their Motherload video player, which is a vast improvement over the previous one I wrote about. However, it’s still slow, they still make you sit thru a commercial, embedding is only possible at a small size, the embedded player looks junky, and the videos become unavailable after 30 days. Dumbasses.

Update #2:

The geniuses at Viacom are suing Google for $1 billion dollars. Mark Cuban thinks that’s a good idea. I think that’s idiotic, and it might even be what Google had in mind.

Comments

1. Comedy Central Pulls Its Videos from YouTube « Griffin Post - October 28, 2006

[…] A Boing Boing reader called Jeff came up with a funny and insightful list of reasons why comedycentral.com’s video viewer sucks. “Comedy Central, you’re on notice!,” he says, “they are stupid to ask YouTube to remove their videos.” Link. Here are the top five reasons Comedy Central should laissez the hell faire: […]

2. Sometimes it pays to listen at Tom Raftery’s I.T. views - October 29, 2006

[…] This comment was very prescient because Boing Boing has posted news that YouTube has taken down all copies of the Daily Show! ComedyCentral have their own online video site where people can view the Daily Show but as the blog An Unreasonable Man said: the YouTube video player works. Your video player? Not so much… Here’s why: […]

3. infobong.com » links for 2006-10-30 - October 30, 2006

[…] An Unreasonable Man: YouTube Removes Colbert Report and Daily Show Videos Comedy Central shoots itself in the foot. (tags: TVontheWeb cable copyright YouTube) […]

4. BlogWorks - October 30, 2006

Comedy Central Yanks Daily Show Clips

By Charlie Kondek BoingBoing reports that Comedy Central has ordered clips of The Daily Show removed from YouTube for copyright violation. As we have said often in the past, online resources like YouTube extend the life of a brand, and…

5. » YouTube Removes Clips, Just Like It Always Does » InsideGoogle » part of the Blog News Channel - October 31, 2006

[…] A big deal’s been made over the fact that YouTube is cracking down on Comedy Central clips, like those from the Daily Show and South Park. Of course, this is something they’ve long done, they’re just doing a better job of it. Good for them. The balance is tipping already to the point where, if your stuff isn’t on YouTube, it hurts your exposure, and Comedy Central is the big loser, not YouTube. Wait till the next Presidential election, when someone not named John Stewart is getting millions of views on YouTube; or when the next really buzzworthy (”Chef Dies”) South Park episode only gets exposed to those watching the show on the tube, and not millions of additional YouTubers. Yeah, that’s good for business. Posted: October 31, 2006 by Nathan Weinberg in: […]

6. No Fact Zone.Net » The latest Conspiracy Theories and fodder in the blogosphere - The Great YouTube Purge of 2006 - October 31, 2006

[…] But, you say, Comedy Central has Motherload! Yes, they do, and I will give them credit – Motherload is MUCH better than it was even a couple of months ago, and it’s search engine is fairly thorough. However, as The Unreasonable Blog points out, there are quite a few down sides to Motherload: 1. You have tiny little videos that can’t be resized. It’s like watching TV from the next room through the keyhole of a closed door. [Note: You can make the videos full screen, but the quality isn’t any better than YouTube. I’ll give this one to Motherload] 2. You use javascript to launch a popup window. Therefore, I can’t send a link to my friends or put a link on my blog to direct people to the video highlight I want them to see. 3. Your popup window can’t be opened in a tab or resized. Give me control of my browser back. 4. Your popup window has an obnoxious background that I’m afraid is going to give me a seizure. 5. Next to your video, there’s an ad that’s bigger than the video. Firefox blocks it, but I can’t decide which is worse: the hole that remains in the background, or the background. 6. When I open a YouTube page, the video starts to play. Isn’t that cool? On your page, I sit and think about how much you suck while the video buffers. The video plays for about 3 seconds until it over-runs and starts buffering again. …and that’s with DSL. It must be completely useless at slower connection speeds. 7. With YouTube, I can embed the videos in my own website. When I visit a site I’m more likely to watch a video if its right there and I can just push play. You’re at least five years away from developing that technology. 8. YouTube’s search feature also works, conveniently allowing me to find what I’m looking for. At your site I end up looking through a list of videos. [Again, this works fairly well, and you can actually search for key words in the video description, which doesn’t work in YouTube nearly as well. I’m giving this one to Motherload again.] […]


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