Columbus Dispatch Issues Takedown On Famous YouTube Video Of Homeless Guy With Great Radio Voice

from the dumb-takedowns dept

Unless you've been under a rock the past week, you probably have heard about Ted Williams, the homeless guy in Columbus, Ohio, who panhandles off of a highway, but whose panhandling sign noted that he had an amazing radio voice. Someone from the Columbus Dispatch shot a short video of the guy showing off his voice, and after it went up on YouTube it went viral. Within days there were over a million views, and people were talking about how the guy really deserved a voice over job. The Cleveland Cavaliers offered him a job and apparently MSNBC has hired him to do some voiceover work. All that sounds good.

And then... despite the tons of views and positive attention... Mathew Ingram points us to the news that the Dispatch has issued a takedown on the video:
It's difficult to understand what the Dispatch is thinking. It had such a great story here, all of which was credited to The Dispatch, and its response was to remove all of that goodwill by forcing the video offline.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 7:41am

    Your Toolbar is horrible

    Hey, TechDirt -- ditch the toolbar! It makes your site run like molasses-soaked garbage.

     

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  2.  
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    Ed, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 7:49am

    Dispatch Dinosaurs

    No reply from @DispatchEditor on Twitter.
    Maybe you'd have better luck?

    Killing a video that has 12m views in 72 hours
    is a great example of why papers like this archaic rag
    deserve to go Chapter 7.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Scott Skibell, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 7:52am

    Another example of traditional media failing

    This is a real shame. They had nearly 12 million views and then somebody makes this bonehead decision!? They won't get nearly the views on their own homepage and it defeats the purpose of what sharing is all about.

    It's just another example where traditional media fails to understand the new worldľa world where they don't control the message.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 7:54am

    Agreed about the toolbar

    I hate it too. What were they thinking?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 7:57am

    dumbass-cliche dept: Use of "...living under a rock" is to stop, replaced with "living all up inside your own ass."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:04am

    Re: Your Toolbar is horrible

    I second, triple, and quartripple that.

     

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  7.  
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    el_segfaulto (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:09am

    Re: Your Toolbar is horrible

    NoScript for Firefox takes care of that quite easily. I didn't even know it existed until I tried loading the site up in IE

     

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  8.  
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    Larry Keltto, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:10am

    The Golden Voice

    Agreed. If you missed the vid, it's still available on YouTube, as of the morning of Jan. 7:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN2bPy4NQAQ

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re: Your Toolbar is horrible

    good thing I use Noscript then. What toolbar?

     

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  10.  
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    mosaic user, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:11am

    misunderstanding the presentation platform

    I believe it is about misunderstanding what YouTube is. Some organizations think "That's a hit! Bring it home!Everyone will come here!" They don't understand the magnitude of what YouTube does in terms of reach, and variety of clips it offers. It is the variety that brings folks there. It's like browsing a library,just to see what's available,and when something is good,it's easy to share because people know where it's located.The Dispatch should have just added a tag line "For more on this story..." and a link to their homepage.

    I agree about the toolbar.

     

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  11.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:13am

    Re: Your Toolbar is horrible

    Doesn't slow me down. My popup manager gets mad from time to time but it does that on google as well

     

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  12.  
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    TPBer, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:14am

    Time for a lesson..

    Everyone needs to go to the news site and attempt to stream off their servers. This will bring it down in a rather short time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    It's up as of 9:30 MDT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Cowardly Anon, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:30am

    I never watched the video on YouTube. I watched it on a bunch of other sites though.

    So, now they have squashed the legit video so people will have to go and find it elsewhere on the interwebs. Good job!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:32am

    Re: Agreed about the toolbar

    They were thinking.

    "Look at how many people viewed this video. Imagine if we charged for those views how much money we could have made. Quick lets get this video pulled down, every view is money stolen from us!"

     

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  16.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:37am

    I like the fact that youtube credits The Dispatch for the notice. I hope The Dispatch learned a lesson about turning god publicity bad. I hour some others did too, but I doubt it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    average_joe (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:39am

    Re: Your Toolbar is horrible

    Hey, TechDirt -- ditch the toolbar! It makes your site run like molasses-soaked garbage.

    This site is totally unusable with Internet Explorer on my Windows 7 machine. Using Firefox with Ad Block works great though, so that's what I use.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    zac, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:40am

    Re: Time for a lesson..

    That's not an intelligent idea. That is exactly what the Columbus Dispatch wants. Everyone should AVOID the Columbus Dispatch website entirely, to show them that issuing a takedown request is a terrible move on their part.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:44am

    Re: Your Toolbar is horrible

    What toolbar?

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:51am

    Re: Your Toolbar is horrible

    If you're registered you can turn it off.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:51am

    Well that's lame. Probably because some lawyer bitched that the guy who posted it worked there or some such bullshit. They probably own everything that employee does simply for the privilege of working there. How is that Democrazy? You can't even help someone out without some asshole lawyer or the GOP telling you no.

     

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  22.  
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    Huph, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:55am

    Methinks You Should Wait...

    Isn't Ted Williams currently in all kinds of talks with employers about voiceover work? Does anyone know if he signed a contract yet? Considering his "story", I imagine he's going to sign an exclusivity contract that for all we know may be retroactive in nature.

    Perhaps the Cleveland Cavaliers want to buy the video as a promotional tool. Who knows?

    This knee-jerk reaction to what may just be a negotiation tactic is silly. The damn Dispatch put the video on Youtube themselves, I imagine they understand what Youtube is "about".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re: Time for a lesson..

    i think he's wanting a DDoS

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 9:08am

    The question left wanting an answer is "why"?

    Perhaps it was a hissy fit. Perhaps it was because of a legitimate business reason.

    Doesn't it seem a bit premature to mock the paper with having an answer to "why"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    The Real Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 9:10am

    Re: Your Toolbar is horrible

    You need to ditch your 56k modem and get broadband dude.

     

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  26.  
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    Randy Ray, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 9:12am

    Ted Williams You Tube Removal

    How sad for the Columbus Dispatch! As a former journalist I am disappointed in this papers action against Ted Williams.

    You took what might be the widest coverage your newspaper has ever had and flushed it down the toilet.

    I feel sorrow for Ted Williams plight and I am glad he has "found his way back!"

    Unfortunately all I can feel for your newspaper is shame.

    I send this letter to encourage you to rethink what you did and learn from it. Learn that "You serve the public good. You serve the public every day. You serve to protect the public citizen in every way."

    Quit competing and start serving!

    Randy

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Your Toolbar is horrible

    Good call, I hadn't seen that. Go to Accounts at the top right of the page, and then it's under My Preferences. Thanks.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Your Toolbar is horrible

    You dont even need to be registered to turn it off. Just edit preferences.

     

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  29.  
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    TPBer, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 9:23am

    Re: Your Toolbar is horrible

    Works fine with Chrome on OSX w/ only a 2Mb DL only. Just ran speedtest

     

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  30.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 9:31am

    But, but, but.....

    That's piracy - you thief!! /s

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Your Toolbar is horrible

    Ah, didn't realize that was an option if you weren't registered. I imagine it may not stick, though.

    Does anyone actually like it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 10:01am

    It's difficult to understand what the Dispatch is thinking.

    It's not difficult to understand at all. It's the same reasoning that's at the heart of every other copyright-related takedown in history; "MINE! MINE! MINE!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    mike allen (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 10:04am

    the vid is all over the web even on the BBC site. The dispatch put it there then issue a take down dont they know how to delete their own stuff from YOU TUBE!!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    Re:

    The question left wanting an answer is "why"?
    Dammit man! Go lock that big door over there! That'll get the horse back......"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 10:26am

    lol if it wasn't for everyone seeing the video it wouldn't be a story....

    They probably have footage of aliens visiting but since it cannot be viewed due to copyright claims no one will ever see the video..lol

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 10:31am

    Re: Agreed about the toolbar

    Why the hell was parent flagged? It's a good point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re:

    Still does not answer the question "Why?".

    There may be a perfectly valid reason having nothing to do with putting horses back in the barn.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    Maybe?

    They're thinking they can monetize the video? ~shrug~

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Re: Maybe?

    Yeah and someone else puts up their own video of Ted Williams and gets all the hits.

    What is really unfathomable is that the video linked by Larry Keltto had the newspaper's logo at the beginning and the end of the video. Until they shut down the original video, they were going to get traffic their website from that alone...perhaps from people looking for more videos of Ted Williams.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    ECA (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 11:14am

    LETS DO IT THE EASY WAY

    OK,
    LETS do this easily..

    Can we get Millions of people to HIT their site and watch video at the same time?

    LETS see how well their servers hold up.

    Give them warning and suggest we are coming over to LOAD Test their server. Let me add, that I have seen Game servers CRASH under heavy traffic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 11:23am

    Re: Your Toolbar is horrible

    Uh, how's about ditching IE6?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Time for a lesson..

    Exactly. Most people will be in for a rude awakening when they realize what bandwidth they've paid for.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

    I like it

    I actually like it when large companies issue takedowns of stuff on YouTube. I know this sounds odd from somebody like me who highly dislikes copyright and other "IP". Really though, actions like this help drive the public's recognition of how copyright is wrong, and evil. The more often takedowns happen the more chances of the public seeing copyright for what it is, evil.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    RobShaver (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    Dear Old Media Company

    Here's their reasoning, such as it is: http://www.topix.net/forum/source/columbus-dispatch/T9JG877NU02MHP799#lastPost

    I left this comment on that page:

    Dear Old Media Company,

    Copyright as currently practiced in the USA is stifling innovation, communication and, in some cases, free speech. Everything is copyrighted. Copyright lasts (effectively) forever now. Fair Use is only a defense after you are sued (which means you've already lost if your're the little guy).

    The "unauthorized" posting of this video to YouTube did you nothing but good. Your take-down order did you nothing but harm.

    Peace,

    Rob:-]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    The Dispatch started their own YouTube channel just so they could repost the video on their own, without credit to the uploader who made it a viral sensation in the first place: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv-F5JnnGo0

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    Re:

    But copy'right' is for the artist, it's not for the big corporations. Yes, the big corporations own everything the artist and recorder does while employed regardless of where or when they do it (because as long as they're employed they're always on the clock and working for the corporation, even when asleep at night in their own house their actions belong to the corporation) but who cares, copy'right' is still for the artist and not the corporation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 2:26pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSThiWFDOcI

    What I really love about this story is how appreciative of what he was given he seems to be. Hard times are awful I know from experience but they also are some of the best thing that could happen to anyone, it makes you appreciate of life and what you have, no matter how little it is, it all becomes a blessing.

    Most people forget what it was like to have nothing, I hope that for this 53 years old that lesson is now engraved in his soul, it makes us better, we do better by others and they in turn do better by us.

    About the Dispatch reaction "Shame on you people".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Bryan Price (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 3:23pm

    I'm not surprised

    The Dispatch was one of the first to take up the web in Columbus, they started using cd.columbus.oh.us (working as of about a year ago, now defunct it seems), and supported the Freenet there as well. But they still don't get it.

    Their FM station carries the Buckeyes games, but you have to pay for it. Of course, there are other sources that work just as well that are free. Their TV website used to run play by play live until recently. Why would you stop that mid-season? Especially if I was still living there and just had to turn the radio on?

    I'm completely baffled.

    It still doesn't affect that I'm very glad and happy for Ted Williams.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Griff, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Dear Old Media Company

    There's a reason it was/still is called the "Columbus Disgrace"

    Go figure. Stay classy, Dispatch Media. Stay Classy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 5:42pm

    Was the video shot with his camera on his personal time or was it shot on company equipment on company time?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Maybe?

    They're also thinking that the video provides content that competes with their own content.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 6:53pm

    Re:

    (from the comments on the more recently uploaded video, the video was taken by a cell phone. Seems like Columbus Dispatch shouldn't own it since the person taking the video seems to have taken it on his own "equipment" on his own time).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    JHG999 (profile), Jan 8th, 2011 @ 11:16am

    Head in wrong location....

    Certainly have their head up their butt.....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Erik, Jan 8th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Who gives a shit? You'll have a new stupid video next week.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Charles, Jan 8th, 2011 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Your Toolbar is horrible

    Thanks

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Smile And Repeat, Jan 9th, 2011 @ 4:54am

    How Lame The Dispatch Is:

    1. The Dispatch is lame

    2. The Dispatch is extra lame for trying to defend its stupid move

    3. The Dispatch is super lame for thinking that youtube would put up a link to their site - Ha!

    4. The Dispatch is extra super lame for only having a few thousand hits while the AP and RT have 100s of thousands of hits and there are still copies with millions

    Say Thank you to "User/Ritchey" for the best viral video of 2011 and Thanks to "The Dispatch" for killing it with these T-shirts: http://bit.ly/efj7pY - The one with the Broken video is cute.

    Shame on you Dispatch - you gained nothing and lost everything.

    Oh did I mention how lame The Dispatch is?

    PS: Could you picture the guy at Youtube who had to take down the video? I bet he cried and then said something like "Damn you Dispatch!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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