YouTube will be removing more than 100,000 videos from its site after failing to strike a deal with Viacom to keep the content on there.
Viacom owns a whole bunch of media properties, including Comedy Central, MTV, Paramount, Dreamworks and Spike TV. With such a wide range of properties, its not surprising that a lot of clips are being uploaded to YouTube by fans of, amongst other things, South Park.
Now owned by Google, YouTube has been trying to negotiate a deal with Viacom, as well as other media companies, whereby the copyrighted content can stay on the site in exchange for a share of revenue that YouTube generates. However, given that YouTube isn't really generating much revenue at the moment, upfront deals are getting a little tricky.
YouTube has also failed to implement any kind of algorithm for detecting copyrighted content upon upload, which it said it would do by Christmas last year.
Viacom said that "It has become clear that YouTube is unwilling to come to a fair market agreement that would make Viacom content available to YouTube users," whilst Google said that "It's unfortunate that Viacom will no longer be able to benefit from YouTube's passionate audience, which has helped to promote many of Viacom's shows," and huffed a little bit.
So what is the future for YouTube? There is a lot of speculation - will it strike the deals it needs to maintain its content, or is the legal spectacle going to get more interesting? Let us know your thoughts over in the forums.