Copyright, Investigative Reporting Online... And Domino's Pizza Grossout
from the putting-it-all-together dept
That said, there were two interesting side stories involved in all of this that haven't received much additional attention, but both seem to fit into themes we discuss here on a regular basis. The first is that, in the NY Times' coverage of the story, it notes that the woman involved, Kristy Hammonds, eventually used a copyright claim to get the video taken down from YouTube -- though, of course, they're now available in many more places. It seems like an odd sort of thing to try to pull down via a copyright claim. After all, she had put the video up on YouTube in the first place, even if she later came to regret it. And, by this point, the video is clearly part of a larger news story, so it's not clear if there's really a legitimate DMCA takedown to be issued over the video... Of course, in the end, it's really a meaningless gesture. The video is spread so far and wide that no takedown is going to make it disappear.
The second issue of relevance is the fact that it was folks online at the always excellent Consumerist website who were able to take the original video and track down the actual location of the Domino's franchise in question, and to alert Domino's corporate execs. While we keep hearing old school journalists whine about how no investigative reporting gets done without newspapers, this situation shows exactly how a group of motivated, interested folks, can do plenty of sleuthing and exposing of malfeasance themselves. That's not to say, of course, that this is "the model" for investigative journalism -- but to show that the whole space is changing these days, and it no longer requires a classically trained journalist in every situation. If an investigation needs to happen, there are ways to make it happen.