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11/19/2008
06:20 PM
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Monty Python Launches YouTube Channel

And now for something completely different...the comedy troupe makes it clear it would prefer payment to litigation.

Under the tongue-in-cheek pretense of combating copyright violations, Monty Python now has its very own channel on YouTube.

"For three years you YouTubers have been ripping us off, taking tens of thousands of our videos and putting them on YouTube," the group explains on the site. "Now the tables are turned. It's time for us to take matters into our own hands."

"We know who you are, we know where you live and we could come after you in ways too horrible to tell," the group's note continues. "But being the extraordinarily nice chaps we are, we've figured a better way to get our own back: We've launched our own Monty Python channel on YouTube."

In the video version of the note, a scene of someone being stoned in Monty Python's Life of Brian accompanies the hyperbolic threat of copyright enforcement action.

Were Monty Python actually interested suing YouTube for unauthorized uploads of its clips, it would be in the minority. Since the introduction of Google's Video ID technology to claim copyrighted content, 90% of those making content claims have chosen to monetize unauthorized uploads with ads, an option that Google provides as an alternative to blocking claimed content.

And Monty Python makes it clear it would prefer payment to litigation: "[W]e want something in return. None of your driveling, mindless comments. Instead, we want you to click on the links, buy our movies and TV shows and soften our pain and disgust at being ripped off all these years."

Google also recently give content owners the option to place click-to-buy links beneath YouTube videos they've claimed, providing another way to monetize content without court costs.

Even as Viacom continues to press its $1 billion copyright infringement case against Google and YouTube, the majority of YouTube's content partners have realized they don't have to come after people in horrible ways to protect their intellectual property.

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