For a long time, Comedy Central has passively allowed the sharing of online clips of its shows–because let’s face it, it’s helped them generate the kind of water cooler talk that has made them a ton of money. In this Wired Interview , Jon Stewart and Daily Show Executive Producer even encouraged viewers to watch the show on the Internet:Karlin: If people want to take the show in various forms, I’d say go. But when you’re a part of something successful and meaningful, the rule book says don’t try to analyze it too much or dissect it. You shouldn’t say: “I really want to know what fans think. I really want to understand how people are digesting our show.” Because that is one of those things that you truly have no control over. The one thing that you have control over is the content of the show. But how people are reacting to it, how it’s being shared, how it’s being discussed, all that other stuff, is absolutely beyond your ability to control.But apparently, all good things come to an end when there is money and attorneys involved. I assume the only online clips that will remain will have to qualify under fair use – probably short clips, with social or political importance.
Stewart: I’m surprised people don’t have cables coming out of their asses, because that’s going to be a new thing. You’re just going to get it directly fed into you. I look at systems like the Internet as a convenience. I look at it as the same as cable or anything else. Everything is geared toward more individualized consumption. Getting it off the Internet is no different than getting it off TV.
Reader comment: skott says,
This post (on a fairly well-known comedy message board occasionally frequented by comedians some of whom have even had shows on Comedy Central) indicates that the network's YouTube nastiness doesn't just stop with clips they "own," but clips involving their big stars.[Another BB reader named] Jeff came up with a funny and spot-on list of practical reasons why comedycentral.com's video-viewing UI sucks way more ass than YouTube. "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:
# You have tiny pathetic little videos that can’t be resized. It’s like watching the TV in the next room through the keyhole of a closed door.
# Your popup window can’t be opened in a tab or resized. Give me control of my browser back.
# Your popup window has an obnoxious background that I’m afraid is going to give me a seizure.
# Next to your video, there’s an ad that’s bigger than the video (Firefox blocks it, but I’m still annoyed by the gaping hole that remains).