It looks like all those Comedy Central videos are back, well most of them, on YouTube as Viacom and Google worked something out. And so ends the battle that led to a thousand blogger rants.
So now the big question is what made Viacom stand down? Was it Stephen Colbert's mocking that did it (above)? Maybe it was the guy who posted an anti-Viacom rant on YouTube. Or maybe it was just a smart business decision-- in a way, having all those clips works as great free advertising.
Then again, it could also be that searching for things to sue about ain't easy. Not just because there's too many people involved in the legalities of it but because those crafty YouTube denizens are figuring out ways to hide from those pesky lawyers.
Anyways, there's another theory out there about why Viacom got bitchy for a few days, one slightly different than what was guessed at before. This theory has it that the problem was about ad-rolls that go in front of the occasional video clip on the official web sites. For instance, if you go to ESPN.com, you get about thirty seconds of ESPN gibberish before you see anything. Viacom wants people to see the ad rolls, YouTube doesn't. Along those lines, considering you can download all of their shows on iTunes, Viacom had to be thinking why give the milk out for free when they could charge a few bucks for it?
The bigger question behind it all is how will all of this stuff work in the future? After all, for all of YouTube's brilliance, the company ain't making money. And nobody's even sure it can make money. Oh, but who cares. Did you see the lego version of "Thriller?" It's awesome.