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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Viacom Rattle's YouTube's Cage (VIA)(GOOG)(TWX)

Viacom wants YouTube to take down some of the entertainment company's intellectual property. The stuff it copyrights. Things like the Stephen Colbert show. Hard to sell them in re-runs when they are available on the web for free.

So, the dance between Google, the new owner of YouTube, and the big content companies continues.

The maneuvering for earning money off video on the web is just beginning. But, YouTube would be making a mistake to assume that the Time Warners and Viacoms of the world need it. They have set up websites of their own. YouTube videos of their content draws away audiences that might go to those sites and watch video ads or click on banners. A lot of $$$ are involved. And, copyright infringement can be an ugly business.

Google may have bitten off more than it can chew.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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