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EFF Sues Viacom to Prevent Abuse of DMCA

You already know that Viacom is suing YouTube for a gazillion dollars for copyright infringement, but now the cable company is facing a backlash over its careless use of the DMCA.

Nate Anderson reports the Electronic Frontier Foundation – a nonprofit group that looks to protect digital rights and free speech – is suing Viacom for its misuse of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Among thousands of DMCA takedown notices sent out, is one of a Stephen Colbert parody video that the EFF claims doesn’t violate any copyright laws.

The video does contain clips from “The Colbert Report,” but the EFF argues that these qualify as fair use, since parody has a well-recognized copyright exemption. “Our clients’ video is an act of free speech and a fair use of ‘Colbert Report’ clips,” said EFF staff attorney Corynne McSherry in a statement…

NBC & News Corp Building a YouTube Competitor?

Rumors tend to have a little more substance when they’re reported in places like the LA Times and TechCrunch. With both of these outlets reporting News Corp. and NBC are joining forces to create a video-sharing site to challenge YouTube, it’s likely going to happen.

News Corp. and NBC Universal plan to announce as soon as today that they are creating an online video site stocked with TV shows and movies, plus clips that users can modify and share with friends, according to people close to the negotiations.

The two companies obviously understand that despite their own immense size, they’re still minnows in the online video space, so they’re seeking help from some of Google’s fiercest competitors.

Marketers Continue to Debate Best Place for Video Ads

Despite as many as 80% of online video viewers finding ads annoying, marketers are still debating whether pre-roll ads (before) or post-roll ads (after) are the best way to utilize advertising in video.

Marketers continued their debate at a ClickZ forum in San Francisco this week.

Those for pre-roll…

“We’re qualifying pre-roll as the television advertising model, but everything is going to change. We’re working with companies and advertisers to create a theater show,” said Dorian Sweet, executive creative director for Tribal DDB.

“As long as we’re seeing demand for pre-roll, we’ll provide it. And the advertisers are still demanding it,” said Jessica Luterman, director of strategy and development for About.com

Give Away the Milk: Slap Ads on the Cow

Okay, I couldn’t resist. MediaPost today blogged about CBS using YouTube for their free NCAA tourney highlights. Not that there will be any highlights, since both my team and my alma mater got knocked out in the first round. Stupid upsets. Ahem. Anyway. This comes after CBS partnered with CSTV for their user-generated content contest. This new move is especially important for CBS because they were having trouble accomodating the high traffic levels on their site.

It seemed for a while there that CBS was with Viacom on the “kill YouTube” boat—but apparently not. Guess what, big, huge, YouTube-hating networks. As I just said, “Give the milk away, and make tons more money than you could from selling the milk by slapping some ads on the cow.” The new agreement will offer ad-supported highlight reels through YouTube. YouTube and CBS will split the revenues.

YouTube Video Awards An Answer to Vloggies?

Mashable is reporting YouTube will today announce the launch of the “YouTube Video Awards”.

The seven categories are Most Inspirational, Most Creative, Best Series, Best Comedy, Musician of the Year, Best Commentary and “Most Adorable Video Ever.”…The winners will be announced on March 25th, and trophies will be awarded.

It seems a little late in the year to start honoring the best videos of 2006, doesn’t it?. As Robert Scoble suggests, YouTube appears to be reacting to the Vloggies – which has been around for six months.

Did You Know?; Video Presentation Offers Mindblowing Statistics

Have you seen this video? “Did You Know?” is a six minute video that could blow you mind with data. Everything from the growth of China to the growth of information is covered in this thought-provoking and well put together piece. Now, anyone know how to validate its claims?

Tip of the hat to Scott Gardner.

Former Disney CEO Eisner Launches Online Video Project

CNET is reporting former Disney chief, Michael Eisner, is involved with the launch of Vuguru, an independent studio for the production of online videos.

According to a statement from the new company, Vuguru aims to focus on “high-quality, story-driven content for the Internet” on a par with professional television and cinema productions.

Vuguru – anyone know the origin of the name, sounds like some kind of venereal disease – also plans to be platform agnostic, with content available for mobile and your living room.