Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The Internet Loves MTV, Taylor Swift and Kanye West, but YouTube Keeps Its Distance

video music award taylor swiftIt’s a not-quite-annual tradition: Something unexpected (but perhaps not unplanned) happens at MTV’s Video Music Awards and the Internet can’t stop talking about it.

A couple of years ago, it was Britney Spears wobbling across the stage; this time around, it’s Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift on behalf of Beyoncé and…pfft.

I can’t work up the enthusiasm to describe it, but happily for Viacom (VIA), MTV’s corporate parent, there are plenty of people who will do that for you: The story is dominating Twitter and Google (GOOG), and it’s the lead story on Yahoo’s (YHOO) front page.

You can also see the incident on Google’s YouTube, of course. But you’ll have to do a little bit of hunting since Viacom clips aren’t supposed to be on the most popular video site in the world–because Viacom is still suing Google and YouTube for $1 billion.

Remember that copyright case? It’s still motoring along, slowly but steadily: Executives from both companies are still being deposed, and if things keep moving forward, there will actually be a trial in 2010–some three years after Viacom filed its first complaint.

In any case, here’s the official version, served up by MTV, which says it has generated more than 1.1 million views of the clip since last night.

But if you’re pressed for time, you might prefer this parody version, which only requires 13 seconds and even manages to incorporate some political commentary.


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”