watch it: “Conspiracy Theory Rock By Robert Smigel”

I can’t believe this actually aired on Saturday Night Live, even if it was way back in 1998. Probably would never make it to air today. And in fact, this clip was edited out of future airings of this episode. The YouTube poster of this clip says:

[Producer Lorne] Michaels claimed the edit was done because it “wasn’t funny”.

There’s no attribution, but what else could Michaels possibly say? “In spite of my temporary bravery in letting this air once, I was forced by my corporate overlords to ensure that this never saw the light of day again”?

Also, if “it’s not funny” were a valid excuse for stuff to be edited out of subsequent airings of SNL, most reruns wouldn’t last more than 20 minutes.

The YouTube poster also says NBC demanded this be removed from YouTube, but he appealed on Fair Use grounds and won. And so now this is posted after the video on YouTube:

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Law of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment,news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Think I’m gonna post that all over FlickFilosopher, too. Just to be safe. Gonna be fun to see how SOPA (should it become law) clashes with Fair Use doctrines. Under SOPA, NBC could have just eliminated the due-process part of this procedure and had YouTube unilaterally shut down.

mediaopoly Conspiracy Theory Rock By Robert Smigel

I, for one, do not welcome our mediaopoly overlords.

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