2011-01-07

Homeless Radio Announcer Video Taken Down

If you've been keeping up with the news around the Internet, you know that there's a viral video of a homeless man named Ted Williams who has a great radio-announcing voice. The video spread everywhere, and within a day or two, he got dozens of offers for both local and national announcing gigs.
Unfortunately, as Mike Masnick of TechDirt reports, that video has been taken down from YouTube at the request of the Columbus Dispatch, an employee of which shot the original video.
The person who shot and posted the video online specifically asked for viewers to forward this to friends and contacts to spread the word and help the gentleman land a job. And yes, all the good things that happened to Ted Williams happened because of the video going viral and people taking notice. So now the employee's company is claiming copyright infringement/DMCA violations? What?
This is a huge slap in the face of all the people who did the right thing and let other people know to help this man. I have a feeling that someone higher up in the company said something along the lines of "the video served its purpose, so it's no longer needed, and keeping it up any longer would be copyright infringement." (I think the reason they can claim that is because anything the employee creates is the company's copyright (as it is a work-for-hire or something like that).) It reminds me of the part of Animal Farm by George Orwell where Napoleon the pig and new leader abolishes the old anthem (which extolled freedom, equality, and the like) and replaces it with a new anthem (extolling Napoleon, Napoleon, and Napoleon) for the reason that the animals are already free from the dictatorial farmer so it no longer serves a purpose.
If there are any readers from Ohio, can you please send the Columbus Dispatch polite angry letters asking for the video to be reinstated?

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