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The Trouble With YouTube

(AP Photo/Fox News Sunday, M.Simon)
There have been plenty of stories out there telling us about is changing the face of American politics. And now, more and more, we are seeing stories about how YouTube is changing television news. Dedicated PE readers will note our continued documentation of CBS' own storied relationship with the video-sharing site. Most of those conflicts deal with the copyright issues that inevitably arise when YouTube posts CBS News material.

It's becoming a hot-button issue – and, like all great American hot-button issues, now the lawyers want in. When Fox News' ever-popular interview with former President Bill Clinton hit YouTube, the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog wondered what was up: "Did you see Chris Wallace's interview with Bill Clinton? If not, you can watch it here, thanks to YouTube. But wait a minute, doesn't Fox News own a copyright on this content? Is the video-sharing site breaking the law?"

Actually, that's pretty much what Fox News thought when they contacted YouTube and requested that the clips be removed from the site. Ever the dispenser of new media wisdom, BuzzMachiner Jeff Jarvis concluded that was an idiot move: "Fools. They would be getting a whole new audience. They'd be even more part of the conversation."

Well, apparently Fox News agreed with that too, because the following day, the clips reappeared on YouTube. Fox News told digital news site dmwmedia (via TVNewser) that the move was a mistake.

"In an official statement, Fox News claims that their Internet division used 'poor judgment' when going after YouTubers. Strategically, Fox News recognizes that the clips are of great PR value and that the company is 'thrilled' that the interview received so much publicity.
So is YouTube going the way of Napster? As far as news networks are concerned, not just yet.
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