The Digg Reel Courts Viacom Anger

    January 17, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Revision3 added a new show to their lineup, featuring the best of user-submitted videos hitting the Digg social media site.

The Digg Reel Courts Viacom Anger

Former TechLive lead anchor and co-founder of, Jessica Corbin, opened The Digg Reel with a video of a cute bunny opening an envelope with its teeth. Aww.

Corbin followed that with a quick skim of comments posted to the video’s submission on Digg. Repeat a few times, with Shia LeBouef, a cover of "Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns-n-Roses, played on the sitar, a clip from The Daily Show, and a few other videos, and you have the first day in copyright infringement The Digg Reel.

YouTube built itself into a multi-billion dollar takeover target through the popularity of user-submitted videos, frequently coming from and including copyrighted works. An ongoing lawsuit by Viacom against Google over this practice contended there would be no YouTube phenomenon without such works being placed on the site.

That makes us wonder why Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson would so willingly court legal trouble for themselves. The Daily Show clip in the first episode of Digg Reel comes from Viacom. Waving a red flag in an angry bull’s face on a narrow street, metaphorically, doesn’t seem to make much business sense.

Viacom’s lawyers are sure to notice the ad placements during The Digg Reel. They already want a billion dollars from Google. Digg doesn’t really need that kind of grief, do they?

UPDATE! Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback also responded by email to a question regarding the use of the Daily Show clip:

"We have some agreements with video sharing sites out there to relax fair use and run long pieces of their videos (where it makes sense — the show is actually better when the video snippets are shorter).  With others, we follow a strict interpretation of "Fair Use", and are always ready to work with copyright holders who might disagree with our use (which means, in other words, we’re not going to stand on principle, we’ll work with them however they want, up to and including not….)."