Viacom, YouTube Strive for Accord

NEW YORK After Viacom sent YouTube a letter last week asking the video-sharing site to remove some of its copyrighted content, the two companies appear to have reached an understanding.

The letter requested that YouTube remove some Viacom proprietary content that had been posted by users, including episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

That letter led YouTube to scramble to remove several videos over the weekend, according to officials.

Now, according to a Viacom representative, the two companies are exploring ways to ensure such problems will not be repeated. As a result, YouTube has re-posted an undisclosed number of Viacom-produced videos.

As of Tuesday, a variety of short clips from the Daily Show, Colbert Report, South Park, Laguna Beach and SpongeBob SquarePants could all be accessed on the site.

“Like our peers in the media industry, we are focused on finding the right business model for professionally created content to be legally distributed on the Internet,” the Viacom rep said. “We want our audiences to be able to access our programming on every platform and we’re interested in having it live on all forms of distribution in ways that protect our talented artists, our loyal customers and our passionate audiences.”

As of now, Viacom has yet to enter an official licensing agreement with YouTube as have other media companies, including CBS, NBC and several top record companies.

This month, Google agreed to acquire YouTube in a deal valued at $1.65 billion [Adweek Online, Oct. 9].