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NBC Erases SNL Sketch From Digital Archive, Presumably For Fear Of Copyright Lawsuit

By Michael Nunez on October 22, 2012 5:04 PM EDT 0

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A recent "Saturday Night Live" sketch is missing from the show's online archives thanks to convoluted music licensing laws. (Photo: NBC)

NBC formerly fought tooth and nail against video-streaming services as they were becoming popularized in the mid-2000s. Once NBC realized the revenue potential in streaming Internet video, however, the network loosened its grip on its original content and started to partner offering more of its content online.

As a result of the NBC's push toward expanding its digital footprint, almost all of the best "Saturday Night Live" skits are currently available online. A recent sketch featuring Bruno Mars and a handful of pop music songs failed to make the cut, though.

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The digital "Saturday Night Live" archive does not feature a recent Bruno Mars sketch because it includes impersonations of pop singers and their chart-topping hits. Bruno Mars sings several songs that are not owned by NBC, so it can be presumed that the company refrained from uploading the sketch into its digital archive to avoid any legal issues.

Convoluted music licensing laws have essentially erased the Bruno Mars sketch from the digital archives of SNL. In the short comedy sketch, Bruno Mars impersonates vocal performances by Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day), Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Louis Armstrong, and Michael Jackson. The sketch cannot be found on NBC.com or Hulu, as a short clip or in either full editions of the episode.

Oddly enough, the video is still widely available across the Web. Some of its popularity on the Internet may be attributed to the fact that it makes a mockery of Pandora, one of the most well-known music streaming services on the Internet. Though the video is posted on several popular blogs including All Things D and The Verge, NBC isn't getting credit for any of the online views. Instead, companies such as GossipCop and Ebaums World are taking all the credit.

For those that haven't seen the sketch, it starts in the Pandora offices, where Jason Sudeikis plays a managerial character at the company's control room. After a few dumb puns, the control room goes into red alert because of a maintenance issue. To save the Internet radio station, an intern, played by Bruno Mars, must sing the missing vocal tracks from several songs. To see full video sketch (on an unofficial host), check out the link below.

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