Viacom and YouTube duking it out over video sharing

In this CNET article Viacom moves on without YouTube a very strange argument is made. The situation is that clips from Comedy Central programs like The Colbert Report and The Daily Show are very popular on YouTube. Viacom, the owner of Comedy Central, has demanded that over 100,000 clips be removed from YouTube. Clearly the people who posted those clips did not have copyright permission, and therefore they ought to be very yankable, but I'm sure that YouTube enjoys the traffic that ensues from hosting those videos.

One thing Comedy Central has done is to start hosting their own video .. and, taking a leaf from YouTube's playbook, the videos are embeddeble using simple HTML just like from YouTube. For example:

The CNET article seems to be saying that because Comedy Central has done this they're escalating a fight with YouTube. er.. ah... Is the CNET author presuming that YouTube is the only service that should be allowed to host video? Why shouldn't Comedy Central host their own video if they want to?

Who put YouTube in the position of being the only site that can host video? Who said YouTube is the only site that can use viral marketing techniques of publishing HTML snippets to allow website publishers to easily embed video in their site from other services?

Let's be clear here... Viacom and Comedy Central own their content. If they allow other websites to publish their content then they're going to lose control of their content. Further the YouTube model is essentially viral marketing taken to a very ingenious level. But it's done in a way that's very easy to mimic.

Given the example shown by YouTube it's trivial for another site to emulate the same embeddibility and try to invoke the same viral marketing effects. And it's especially useful for a content producer like Comedy Central to do this kind of thing with their own content, rather than to allow other organizations to do this with their content. It shows wisdom and internet-savvy on Comedy Central's part to act to protect their brand and use their content as a way to spread awareness of their image, branding and website.

When YouTube hosts a video clip sourced from Comedy Central, does it help Comedy Central? Nope. It helps YouTube. While the clip is playing YouTube's logo is on the screen, not Comedy Centrals. Further the link points to YouTube, not Comedy Central.