Some may label this as a fight between the old media [CNet] and the rising new media represented by Gawker which also owns popular web properties like FleshBot, Valleywag and Gizmodo.
A Youtube user (alias belowtheradar) has posted atleast 60 copyright videos (from NBC, ABC, Apple, etc) on Youtube that show pre-roll ads for Gawker properties such as Valleywag and Gizmodo. And lot of these video clips have already hit the Youtube popularity charts.
The Gawker media ads appear before the actual video clip or sometimes as overlay graphics during the entire duration of the video.
CNet, who's sort playing the role of an investigator here, has tried contacting representatives from Gawker, including owner Nick Denton for an official comment but there's no confirmation whether belowtheradar is associated with Gawker Media or just a fan of the blog network.
The fact that links user belowtheradar with Gawker is that some of these videos with embedded advertising have actually been displayed on Gawker blogs. And the videos were posted on Youtube the same day they appeared on Gawker sites further hinting the association.
This story is likely to gather lot of steam in the coming days for lot of reasons. Gawker is a rising force and old king CNet is feeling the heat. CNet has also posted an image gallery of some unauthorized Gawker Ads on Youtube videos.
It will be interesting to read Nick Denton's take on the whole episode.
Update: Nick Denton confirmed that Youtube user belowtheradar is Richard Blakeley, an employee of Gawker Media. And what he thinks of the CNet guys who broke the story "these establishment reporters. So sloppy. So sensationalist."
Nick may have lot of answering to do in the coming days if broadcasting companies decide to take up the copyright issue seriously.