YouTube Takes Down Oscar Clips

    February 28, 2007

This year’s Academy Awards were particularly sweet for director Martin Scorsese, who received his first Oscar in five nominations for his behind the camera work in The Departed, which was also awarded the Oscar for Best Picture.

Unfortunately for Scorsese, he won’t be able to relive the moment on YouTube or any other video sharing site anytime soon.

That’s because YouTube has acquiesced to a Tuesday request from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences that clips from last Sunday’s Academy Awards be immediately removed from the site.

It’s a puzzling move, to be sure, seeing as the Academy offers very little video coverage of the event on the official website for the Oscars, nor does it pursue any ventures in the secondary market by offering home video versions of previous ceremonies. So, I’m really not quite sure what would prompt such a request.

Scott Kirsner, writing for Variety, lends more details to the story:

Several segments of the show, including host Ellen DeGeneres’ opening monologue and musical numbers featuring Will Ferrell and Beyonce, had been among YouTube’s most-viewed content this week.

Ferrell’s musical lament about how comedies never win Oscars, sung with Jack Black and John C. Reilly, had racked up more than 250,000 views on YouTube before it was replaced with the message "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.”

For YouTube, the takedown notices just keep coming. Traffic to the site, however, doesn’t seem to be suffering in the wake. Several web analysts continue to report that YouTube is experiencing the highest volume of traffic in the history of the site, thanks in no small part to increased exposure by Google in its search results.

The question, however, is will the trend continue in the face of continued copyright issues?

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