Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert = Legal Hijinks Galore!

How much do we love that YouTube wants to depose comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert?

It’s all part of the three-ring circus that the copyright-infringement lawsuit between the Google-owned video-sharing unit and media giant Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, where “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” air, will likely become.

Viacom is suing Google for $1 billion for allegedly letting stolen content proliferate on its service.

Viacom’s imperious chairman and main shareholder Sumner Redstone is also on the Google witness list, a deposition that will likely be comical in its own unintended way. But we want a front-row seat for Stewart and Colbert, who probably like how popular their material is on the Web.

Now, thankfully, Viacom is providing a lot of embedded clips from both shows and I am guessing really wants to settle this and get on with the job of monetizing its video trove (doubtlessly, with Google’s help).

Google, on the other hand, is ridiculously stubborn enough not to settle, even though it probably should, as its execs seem to want a solid decision on the issue, even if it turns out badly for the company.

In any case, video flourishes on the Internet, despite all the rancor. And it is even funny.

Here’s a recent example of an embeddable Stewart video on the departure of Republican political impresario Karl Rove:

And here’s a very funny intro video Colbert did that ran before an onstage interview I did with Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman at D5 (by the way, it got ripped into YouTube in about 14 seconds after we put it up on our Web site on May 31):

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work