A legal YouTube look at films, TV

Deal with Digital Music Group for 4,000-plus hours

Google-owned YouTube on Monday announced an agreement with Digital Music Group that will make more than 4,000 hours of television and film content available on the video-sharing site.

The deal represents the first longform video programs You-Tube has obtained.

Older DGM-owned shows and movies, such as "I Spy," "The Gumby Show" and "Night of the Living Dead," will be available in their entirety on the site, along with such newer and edgier content as "Backyard Wrestling," "The Best of Hooters Swimsuit Competitions" and comedy specials from Steve Harvey, Sam Kinison and others.

DGM will have several channels on YouTube, including Classics, Kids and the mature-themed Edge, and will share advertising revenue generated by the videos.

"YouTube is all about connecting people to their niche interests," said Tuhin Roy, DGM's chief strategy officer. "We feel that this content hits all demographics."

Despite the recent news that Viacom has demanded that YouTube remove 100,000 unlicensed clips from the site, Roy said the video portal has "a lot of respect" for content and content owners. He said the agreement could be a big step toward YouTube successfully monetizing its business.

"YouTube has a huge audience, and the thing that has been preventing them from monetizing was fully licensed content," he said. "We would enable them to more powerfully sell advertising against that licensed content."

Using the model developed last year by the Warner Music Group, the deal also makes a portion of DGM's music catalog available for user-generated videos that appear on YouTube.