Thursday, October 30, 2008

MTV Begins To Show Music Videos Again -- but Only Online

MTV's decided to fight fire with fire.

This week, the music channel that once showed music videos put up about 16,000 archived videos on a new Web site, , all for free and, so far, without ads.

Want to see Madonna? There are 128 videos, interviews, performances and other bits of footage of the Material Girl.

Guns N' Roses? Five videos, two live performances and five other artists just talking about Guns N' Roses.

Why all this? One word: YouTube.

For the past year and a half, the video-sharing Web site and its parent company, Google, have been fighting a massive copyright-infringement lawsuit filed by Viacom, MTV's parent company.

YouTube's reached agreement with other major media companies over showing copyrighted clips, but not Viacom. In fact, Viacom's request for details on millions of YouTube users forced an outcry from privacy advocates and led the two sides to reach a compromise on the data. Names will be separated from IP addresses, which identify each computer on the Internet.

While the lawsuit drags on, Viacom figures it can beat YouTube at its own game. Judge for yourself.


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