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Public Knowledge Pleased With Restoration of Viacom Online Episodes

Viacom got some positive reinforcement from Public Knowledge
(PK) Tuesday for restoring online access to its programming.

PK, the Washington-based fair use activist group, had been critical
of the programmer's
decision on July 11 to block access
to episodes of some high profile shows --
The Daily Show, SpongeBob SquarePants, among others -- as part of its ongoing
carriage impasse with DirecTV.

After Viacom restored that access Tuesday, John Bergmayer,
senior staff attorney at PK, gave it some props.

"Viacom did the right thing by reinstating full online
access to its programming. As AMC demonstrated when it made Breaking Bad available to Dish customers
during its own carriage dispute, the best way to win customers over is to treat
them with respect, and not try to use them for leverage in contract

He also urged the two sides to reach an agreement on channel
carriage. "DirecTV and Viacom should settle their differences quickly so
that DirecTV viewers who want to watch popular channels like Comedy Central,
Nickelodeon, MTV, and BET can do so again," he said.