An Open Letter to Comedy Central and Viacom

We love the Daily Show on VideoSift. The Comedy Central video embeds have been consistently some of the most popular voted content here.

So, it’s with a lot of regret - after an extensive community discussion- that we have decided to ban the submission of all Comedy Central videos.

The Internet does not respect national borders and your recent decision to block access to non-US viewers means that 30% of the members on VideoSift see a frozen screen when trying to view content from The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, South Park and other CC programs.

I’m sure you have very good reasons for taking this action- exclusive distribution deals with overseas TV networks, advertisements not meant to be globally broadcast etc. - but we ask you to reconsider your decision – and not just for the obvious reasons.

Programs like the Daily Show do more to create goodwill toward the US than the current US administration has ever done.

If the Daily Show can relentlessly skewer its nation’s politicians without fear of retribution- it gives hope to those living under despotic regimes that democracy isn't quite dead in the US.

Those of us living overseas see Jon Stewart as a face of America- and we like an America that is self-deprecating and willing to highlight her many mistakes. It makes it so much easier to forgive that way.

Of course, you own the content, and who are we to tell you how it should be distributed? Comedy Central has no obligation to send a political message to the rest of the world.

But there is another reason to allow international viewing that has more commercial appeal. When you block dependable access to your videos, you are driving people to illicit sources for their favorite content. (YouTube, Bittorrent etc.) We would try to monitor contraband submissions on our site, but for you, policing this across the Internet will be like trying to drain the ocean with a teaspoon.

Comedy Central, please think globally and give us our Daily Show!

Respectfully yours,

The Rest of the World

PS. While you’re at it – can you prevent your videos from “expiring” after a few weeks?

Please help us spread the word. Digg and Reddit

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