Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Columbus Dispatch Fails The Internet

Well the talk of the YouTube's this past week has been Ted Williams A.K.A. Homeless Man with the Golden Voice. He is a person who used to work in radio until he fell into drugs and alcohol. His criminal record is easy to find if anyone wants it, I have no intention of discussing it here. The good news is now he is getting his life back on track. He has gotten job offers and is now the official spokesman for Kraft Mac and Cheese. His first commercial is embedded below

And of course he finally met his mother again after all these years. He is so happy that she lived long enough to see him get his life back on track

Then of course he now has a job with the Cleaveland Caveliers and a home

It all started with this video filmed by a reporter by the Columbus Dispatch. However the Columbus Dispatch learned too late the value of YouTube marketing potential.

Within 48 hours that video got 10,000,000 views. However, very little traffic was going to the Columbus Dispatch website. Rather than sign up for the Content ID program, they decided to file a DMCA instead. Learn what the Content ID program is below.

You can also see YouTube Employee Margaret Stewart explain how copyright owners can monetize videos uploaded by others through the content ID program

They decided to file a DMCA and then issue this laughable press release

"The Columbus Dispatch is proud to have created The Dispatch's Ted Williams "Golden Homeless Voice" video and is happy to hear about so many potentially life-altering opportunities that resulted from the video.

Our video was posted on January 3. When an unauthorized person posted the video on YouTube January 4, it was done in violation of The Dispatch Printing Co.'s copyright. YouTube was asked to remove the copyrighted video and redirect interested parties to the original video on On January 6, YouTube removed one of the unauthorized videos, but did not include a link to the original video.

At no time was The Columbus Dispatch trying to prevent anyone from seeing our video. In fact, it has remained available since it was originally posted to It has also been reposted on YouTube under our copyright"

Now as a person who has been homeless myself, I am glad to see Ted Williams get this second chance on life. However there have been a few things that have bugged me.

1. The number of Partners out there trying to cash in on his success. But as long as YouTube has the Partner Program I guess that is to be expected.

2. The number of tastelss parodies made at mocking him and the homeless.

I would encourage the Columbus Dispatch to rethink their use of the DMCA. The videos in most cases will just be restored in 10-14 business days anyway after they file the counter-notice. Instead you should sign up for the Content ID program and monetize the videos uploaded by others. Sadly you only joined YouTube 18 hours ago and by now everyone has seen the video. Furthermore your demand that YouTube redirect all the video searches to your channel just shows that you truly have no idea how the internet works.

Anyway here is the video from the ColumbusDispatch channel for anyone who has not yet seen it