Viacom probably doesn’t get the joke


Activist groups have sued Viacom, claiming the company improperly demanded that YouTube remove a parody of The Colbert Report that was protected under the “fair use” provision of copyright laws. Sounds simple enough, but in fact, this is a mind-bending media assault that operates on several levels. First of all, The Colbert Report already lampoons news and interview shows, so further parody seems excessive. And Viacom responded to the complaint by saying it has no record of demanding that YouTube pull the clip. So … perhaps the complaint and the coverage thereof constitute a Colbert-esque parody of Viacom’s $1 billion copyright infringement suit against YouTube. The activist groups are using the courts and the Internet to deliver their message. It’s a kind of digital-age street theater! Which means this very post could be part of their smarty-pants strategy. Since they didn’t get AdFreak’s permission, they’ll be hearing from our lawyers. Unless hearing from our lawyers is also part of their plan. … Which brings us to today’s word: ironic.