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If YouTube is in fact pulling down Comedy Central clips, as reported by the New York Times, then it's not doing a terribly good job.

As of this writing late Monday afternoon, thousands upon thousands of clips from The Daily Show, South Park and The Colbert Report were available on YouTube - Google's overpriced high school AV club. The existence of such clips seems to counter a Times report that YouTube had agreed to follow a Comedy Central request to remove all of its copyrighted material. Of course, the newspaper cited but one source for its story.

"The action was 'a result of third-party notification by Comedy Central,' according to one such e-mail message sent to a YouTube user, Jeff Reifman, who broke the news on the Web site NewsCloud."

Er, okay.

Comedy Central has yet to return our calls seeking comment.

YouTube continues to rely on it defense that users and not the company control what goes on the site. Unlike the old Napster, YouTube does try to pull infringing material in a timely manner, as soon as it hears about it. Of course, so much material goes up that YouTube can never quite keep up.

We continue to have our doubts about Comedy Central's alleged request to pull the material. Hopefully, this story is based on more than a reader e-mail and a blog post.

The TV network has been gracious with its YouTube plugs, as Colbert and Daily Show host Jon Stewart often talk about the site and their downloadable clips. The network seems to benefit from such publicity.

Without such copyrighted material, it's hard to imagine YouTube being around for long. There's only so many Asian boys singing Aqua songs that we can take. ®

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