Monday, August 13, 2007

Viacom v YouTube Depositions

According to court documents, YouTube is asking to depose both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in its defense against Viacom's $1 billion lawsuit. What's interesting about this is that Stewart is already on the record in support of YouTube and that Colbert has embraced YouTube and the whole ethos of video sharing/editing to engage his hardcore fans.

Assuming they are actually deposed (no guarantees that Viacom lawyers won't try to block these requests as irrelevant), it's not clear how much effect it will have, if any. I would suppose YouTube is hoping that Stewart and Colbert both say that YouTube is a boon for them and they have no problems with their clips on the site, thus challenging Viacom's claim that it will be irreparably harmed if YouTube isn't shut down. Then again, never bite the hand that feeds you; don't be surprised if the two stars temper their opinions and hew as close to the company line as they can without completely contradicting their previous support for YouTube.

Will either of them do for YouTube what Mr. Rogers did for the VCR? It's fun to imagine Mr. Colbert filling Mr. Rogers' shoes as the savior of great new technology and I can easily envision his character claiming credit for saving the Internet and the lives of millions of bored teenagers worldwide. We did it!

But this is all speculation because who knows if they will end up being deposed, what they'll say if they are, and whether a court ends up paying much attention to their thoughts anyway. The more entertaining kind of speculation revolves around whether Colbert would show up to a deposition in character. That would totally rock.
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Blogger Ian D. Miller said...

Excellent post. It's getting very difficult to find updates on the case lately. There was an Aug. 6th date set for the rest of the case management hearing...but that's the last info I can find.

just found this site:

which seems to give all the documents filed to date...but don't understand the most recent filings. looks like discovery is due by december of 2008.

4:05 PM  

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