YouTube takes down Comedy Central clips

"Daily Show," "Colbert Report" fans will have to get fake news from the source, not the video-sharing site.

Now people will have to go to the Comedy Central Web site to get their Jon Stewart fix.

YouTube is removing from its site all copyrighted content from the Comedy Central Network after receiving a request to do so, The New York Times reported on Monday, citing the blog site Newscloud. The removal includes video clips from "South Park," "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report."

Content from "The Colbert Report," however, still appeared on YouTube as of late Monday afternoon. YouTube declined to comment on the report, referring instead to the company's general policy.

"We don't control the content on our site. Our users post the content on YouTube--including videos, comments and ratings. Our terms of use and language on the site make it clear that users must own or have permission from copyright holders to post any videos. We take copyright issues very seriously. We prohibit users from uploading infringing material and we cooperate with rights holders to identify and promptly remove infringing content," YouTube's Julie Supan said in an e-mail.

Comedy Central already offers free viewing of video clips from many of its shows on the MotherLoad. The clips usually appear alongside an advertisement.

The comedy network is certainly not the first to balk at unauthorized use of content on YouTube. At the request of the NBC network last June, YouTube removed a "Saturday Night Live" video clip, after which NBC Universal worked out a deal with YouTube allowing specific clips from shows like "Saturday Night Live" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" to appear on the site. Since being acquired by Google, YouTube has also cut content deals with Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and CBS.

YouTube has also informed those suing people who post videos for copyright violations on its site that it would provide "copyright owners with user identification information" (after receiving a valid subpoena). Such is the case with Robert Tur, the journalist whose footage of the Los Angeles riots appeared in several places on YouTube.

At least some of YouTube's popularity may be because of the readily available copyrighted material that the site makes accessible for free. However, in the wake of the Google acquisition, some analysts have speculated that the site could go the way of Napster, losing its bulk of users once lawsuits force it to crackdown on copyright violations.

Representatives from Comedy Central were not immediately available for comment.

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