Saturday, January 8, 2011

Columbus Dispatch DMCA's Youtube Video About Ted Williams

Odd story today. The Columbus Dispatch newspaper that serves the greater Columbus Ohio area originally reported on Ted Williams, the homeless man who was willing to use his "golden voice" in exchange for a couple of bucks and the paper put their reporter's video on their website.

Someone took the video and put it on Youtube and it went viral quickly as word spread through Youtube, Facebook and Twitter that "you gotta hear this guy's radio voice" and in 2 days time the video had received 10 million views. Williams became something of a celebrity and received numerous job offers. You probably know the amazing story.

Well at that point the Dispatch decided that rather than celebrating that they had broken a massive story, they were upset that they were not the recipient of those 10 million views (and corresponding ad revenues) and demanded that Youtube take down the video on copyright grounds. Youtube complied as they should have. But this leaves a really bad taste in your mouth. Certainly the Columbus Dispatch are entitled to acknowledgement of their work and perfectly within their rights to ask that the video be removed. It's unfortunate for the hundreds and thousands who linked to the video (not Bradshaw's Blog) and all the comments are pretty much worthless.

I just watched a video by Renetto who was, shall we say, visably upset about this and you can watch his video here. I didn't include it on the blog because of Renetto's rather "salty" choice of words when talking about this story. He was one of the top youtubers several years ago although overtaken by many others as far as in numbers of subscribers, but he still has his moments.

The Columbus Dispatch posted a statement on their website about why they took this action (here's their statement) and posted the video on Youtube but it has only about 2,000 views. I can see why Renetto is perturbed, but I also support copyright laws. The newspaper posted an article about How the 'golden voice' video went viral and after that they took down the video then they posted their original to Youtube. Bummer.

This story shows the slow process in which old school media thinks. If they want to reach an BIG audience, with their online website, they need to THINK BIG. Why wasn't this video posted to Youtube by the Dispatch in the first place? Why are they not ALREADY trying to shoulder their way onto Youtube and the other platforms where their content can be seen? They must be happy trying to generate ad revenues from their own back yard of Columbus. It really seems like the newspapers do not get the MASSIVE audience that is out there waiting for good content (like the Ted Williams story) and will respond and forward it onto their friends online.

I found out about this story online because I follow Renetto, not by reading about it in the Columbus paper. If you really want to find out what is happening in the world TODAY, go to Youtube and other sites where the news is reported. Not an actual newspaper. At best you will get yesterday's news.

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