This was a lot of places, but here is the Ars story:
Viacom joins Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC in blocking Google TV for fear that users might choose to stream those shows over the Internet on-demand instead of watching them the old fashioned way. Google has been trying to assuage the fears of TV execs by insisting that cord-cutting isn’t a real phenomenon, but it apparently isn’t working. Media companies would rather milk traditional TV’s big ad dollars for as long as possible before accepting the less-big ad dollars that the Internet can provide.
This is going to be interesting to see how it eventually resolves. Will the web now diverge into “connected to too nice of a screen” or not camps?
From the youtube blog:
For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately “roughed up” the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko’s to upload clips from computers that couldn’t be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt “very strongly” that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.
Viacom’s efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.
This is so absurd you’d be hard to come up with a better “who’s on first” plan yourself.