In the latest installment of the protracted legal clinch between Viacom and Google-owned YouTube over copyright infringement, Google requested last week that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert be among the 32 people deposed as part of Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit.
Predictably, Stewart and Colbert riffed on the news last Thursday on their respective shows, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, on Viacom’s Comedy Central.
“Hey, Jon. Ready to be deposed in this whole Viacom/YouTube lawsuit?” says Colbert, before subjecting Stewart to a mock deposition about marijuana use and concluding, “We should put this on YouTube!”
Sure enough, the people have obliged. A YouTuber with the handle “DMCAisCRAP” (as in Digital Millennium Copyright Act) posted the clip straightaway, with a preamble stating that, since Stewart and Colbert discuss the suit, the clip is “fair game.” The same user has posted other Daily Show clips -- including a classic explanation of the lawsuit itself by “youth correspondent” Dmitri Martin -- reasoning that adding commentary to the clips constitutes fair use.
According to a Viacom spokesman, who declined to comment on the unflagging pace at which the company’s content continues to appear on the video-sharing site, Google’s planned depositions likely wouldn’t begin until March 2008. Should the case go to trial, we’re looking at March 2009. We expect to see a few more postings before then.
With Joel Topcik