Activists sue Viacom over removal of YouTube video

It must be a wonderful time to be a copyright lawyer.

Just a week after Viacom began suing YouTube and its parent Google, alleging copyright infringment, two activist groups have launched a suit against Viacom, claiming that the cable network had no right to ask YouTube to remove a parody video which used portions of Viacom’s Colbert Report.

The activists say their use of Colbert was permitted under “fair use” provisions of copyright legislation. Viacom says it did not request removal of the video from YouTube and has no problem with it staying on YouTube.

It’s unclear whether the video was, in fact, ever removed from YouTube. It’s on the site now.

I can’t quite figure out its purpose though. The Colbert Report is already a parody. It’s sharp, funny and it’s a hit. The activists’ video, by comparision, just makes them look like they don’t get the joke.