It is apparently not enough that Sunday's Oscar telecast had better ratings than last year's show. The Academy ordered YouTube to remove all clips of the program, including a video of the musical number by Jack Black, John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell, which was viewed over 250,000 on the site before being taking down. This is obviously a bad move on the part of the Academy, because these unauthorized clips could very well drive viewers to next year's telecast. Considering the Oscars are not replayed or released in any other way, the Academy isn't really losing out by having YouTube host the clips. They are actually gaining fans via the promotion of the only few worthy parts of the show.

Unfortunately the Academy doesn't see it this way. For one, they argue that has its own video clips, from which they receive ad income -- though these clips don't include most of the popular moments that were being viewed on YouTube, such as the previously mentioned performance. Still, Academy exec Ric Robertson stated that even if there was no outlet for Oscar fans to see highlights, the YouTube clips would have been ordered shut down. Robertson also said that the authorized clips on the official Oscar site will be taken down eventually to, "whet people's appetite for next year's show." Certainly the YouTube clips would do a much better job of that. I seriously believe the day will come when the Academy embraces YouTube's benefit as a promotional tool, but I fear that with it will come full-view ads on the stage of the Kodak so that even unauthorized views will be paid for. And the Academy probably wonders why it can't attract audiences as big as it used to.

Update: Hollywood Wiretap has pointed out that many clips still exist, in a variety of languages, including the Black, Reilly and Ferrell number.