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Viacom Orders Comedy Central Content Off YouTube

Here's an example of how Google's acquisition of YouTube is changing things for the viral video site's users: Thousands of clips from Comedy Central shows like "The Daily Show," "The Colbert Report" and "South Park" were taken down over the weekend. Instead, users were greeted with the following message: "This video has been removed due to terms of use violation." Users who uploaded the Comedy Central content were also informed that if they attempted to upload video from the Viacom unit again, it would result in the immediate deletion of their accounts.

Apparently, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and co. were unable to convince Viacom that an ad rev-share agreement would be worthwhile. This is the largest purge of American content to date from YouTube, and other media outfits may follow Viacom in their forceful request to have their valuable content removed.

It's also a rather abrupt change of heart from Comedy Central, whose executives used to see YouTube as a great promotional vehicle for its shows. "Getting it off the Internet is no different than getting it off TV," Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show," told an interviewer recently. But TV shows are losing more audience and ad revenue to the Internet, and now that YouTube is owned by Google, Viacom seems to have changed its tune.

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