Demaestro - 5:04 pm on Apr 28, 2010 (gmt 0)
Some angry Youtube users have revealed that Viacom is stealing their Youtube videos and repackaging them on their site... loaded with advertising.
Many years ago Viacom bought the site ifilm, which has been recently renamed to Spike.
There are screen shots of a page from ifilm encouraging users to take the viral videos that get emailed to them and send them to ifilm. ifilm says that they have scoured the web for the funniest and most outrageous videos out there to post on their site.
They also encourage what any good "netizen" would do and forward on any good videos to them and Viacom provides an email address for viral videos to be forwarded to. No mention of making sure you own the copyright.
When Viacom sued Youtube a reporter asked Viacom, "Don't you own ifilm? Aren't there copyrighted videos on there? Can't you get into trouble too?"
This is what Viacom responded:
"Contributions to ifilm are screened by ifilm employees to ensure that copyrighted, #*$!ographic or other restricted content is not posted to the site"
On ifilm user uploaded videos are marked with a tag "User video"
Videos that Vaicom upload are put into categories, like "viral" so you can easily tell which videos employees uploaded themselves.
In the viral section there are many many videos that went viral on youtube. One is from a user named coppercab who made a video complaining about how south park claims that gingers (red heads) have no souls. His video was so popular that south park actually responded in one of their episodes.
Spike (formally ifilm) has him as the featured viral video of the day on their site under the name "Angry Ginger kid still angry"
In the tags to the video they actually use the tag YouTube in the video, and use the tag stupid. They are calling him stupid, he is a minor and not only did they use his face and his video all over their site, they use his face in an ad!
CopperCab was contacted about this and said no one asked him if they could use his video.
I checked out the video on Spike and there is a 30 second pre-roll ad before his video and the page is littered with flash ads.
There are example after example of videos uploaded to Youtube that go viral and find themselves on ifilm, now Spike. You can tell they weren't uploaded by users because they don't have the "user video" tag on them.
Last count I saw there were over 25 videos that went viral on Youtube and appear on Spike the next day or within a week, uploaded by STAFF.
If you want to see more you can find videos detailing which videos were stolen on youtube, you can see the original Youtube posters deny that Viacom asked to use their videos. And you can see screen shots of the offending videos with ads all over them on Spike.
I am amazed at how blatant they are being while currently suing someone for the same thing.