YouTube to MTV: We'll Pull Clips

Viacom says there's no “fair compensation”

YouTube agreed to Viacom's demand that it pull more than 100,000 clips of its programming off the popular video-sharing site.

Last week, Viacom said that, after months of discussions, YouTube was unwilling to “come to a fair market agreement” for the content.

YouTube acknowledged that it had received Viacom's request and would comply with it.

The clips, from Viacom's cable channels including MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon, represent some 1.2 billion video streams on YouTube, Viacom said. The company is alleging that YouTube and its parent company Google have failed to follow through on promises to provide filtering tools that would notify Viacom of its clips' running.

“YouTube and Google retain all of the revenue from this practice without extending fair compensation to the people who have expended all of the effort and cost to create it,” Viacom said.

Viacom's dissatisfaction grew after YouTube was bought by Google for $1.65 billion in October 2006. Google has started selling promotional spots on YouTube, according to executives familiar with the situation. That poses particular problems for Viacom, which runs several kid-targeted channels and is uncomfortable with unauthorized—and potentially inappropriate—ads running against their content, says a company spokesperson.

“Our hope is that YouTube and Google will support a fair and authorized distribution model that allows consumers to continue to enjoy our very popular content now and in the future,” Viacom said.

Last year, Viacom asked YouTube to remove clips from its Comedy Central network and others, but this is a far more sweeping demand.

Other major media companies, such as CBS and NBC, have struck deals allowing YouTube to run selected videos. At the same time, Walt Disney Co.'s ABC and NBC Universal have also regularly asked YouTube to remove their content.

YouTube said it prohibits users from uploading copyright-infringing material and cooperates with rights-holders to identify and remove such content if it lands on the site.