Difficult though saying goodbye to David Letterman’s Late Show proved, Stephen Colbert has slowly started to win us over in promotion of his own late-night future. That said, CBS may have nuked the ground from orbit, taking down every single Letterman clip from YouTube and its website, so what gives?

BuzzFeed was first to notice the sudden absence of Late Show clips from Letterman’s tenure, including among the CBS website, where the revered host’s presence was seemingly scrubbed out. There’s a more palatable explanation however, as Vulture uncovered, namely that all of Letterman’s Late Show material fell under the copyright of production studio Worldwide Pants, to which the rights reverted after Letterman’s farewell.

That’s not to say that Letterman’s Late Show history will sit in a vault forever, Disney style, as representatives for Worldwide Pants told BuzzFeed “As you might imagine, there is significant interest in the Worldwide Pants-owned content. We are currently considering a range of options.”

We’re content to enjoy Stephen Colbert’s increasingly charming vignettes on the Late Show’s future, but should CBS lobby Worldwide Pants to retain the rights to Dave clips? How else might Letterman’s history stay in the internet’s focus?

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