Sunday, February 7, 2010

Poof! In an instant, all the videos posted by Conan O’Brien from his NBC run are gone


In my series “The failed promise of digital content,” I’ve lamented the fact that nothing lasts forever on the Internet.
NBC provided a case in point last week when it excised all of Conan O’Brien’s comedy bits from his eight-month run on “The Tonight Show” from the web. It was a harsh end to a bitter contract dispute between NBC and O’Brien. (See Wikipedia entry on “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.”)
On Tech-media-tainment’s sister website, One Stop Video, I had posted seven videos from the show from Hulu and NBC.com. These included funny bits with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and Conan interacting with tech geeks at Intel.
Now those embedded videos no longer work. Instead they have text that reads “Unfortunately, this video is no longer available” or “The video you are trying to access has expired.”
GE-owned NBC Universal yanked the videos off the web late last week, according to All Things Digital.
In the digital age, there is no expectation that videos on the web one day will be there the next. This case is proof of that. At least with physical media such as DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, people have something tangible. On the web, videos are ethereal.

Previous articles in the series “The Failed Promise of Digital Content.”:

Part 1: Music
Part 2: Video
Part 3: Newspapers and magazines
Part 4: Books
Part 5: Content on the web
Part 7: Yahoo

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