YouTube Ordered To Take Down 'Homeless Man' Video Clip Due To Copyright

This week over 13 million people watched the ‘Homeless Man with the Golden Voice’, the viral video that changed Ted Williams’ life. The video featured homeless Ted, panhandling on the street offering his voice skills for money, and sharing a sample of his golden announcer voice for a dollar with Doral Chenoweth, a videographer for The Columbus Dispatch website. Chenoweth uploaded the video to YouTube in order to share Williams’ skills with the world and hopefully catch him a break. 13 million YouTube views later he did, but if you want to see the original video now you’ll have to do it on The Dispatch website because the YouTube has removed the video due to a copyright claim.

What? YouTube removed the video that changed this man’s life from YouTube due to a copyright claim? Sounds ridiculous, right? And what’s even more ridiculous is that that claim came from The Columbus Dispatch themselves – the online news outlet that got so much coverage and good karma because of this whole thing!

Ted Williams fans are in a tizzy over the fact that the video has been taken down. A comment on a related video expressed disgust at the copyright claim, telling viewers about how the original video had been taken down. It amassed 390 views in the first hour alone.

I, for one, hope that The Dispatch had a mighty good reason for asking YouTube to remove the video with 13 million plus views. As of yet there has been no comment on the reason. If you go to The Dispatch website you’ll find a page dedicated to Ted Williams, “The Man with the Golden Voice”, which includes links to Dispatch coverage as well as the original video itself, now with the Dispatch logo at the beginning.

I think the Dispatch is doing nothing except making themselves look bad by having the video removed from YouTube. After all, the original clip gave credit to the Dispatch in the description and was even shot and uploaded by a videographer from the Dispatch itself, so it’s not like it was stolen, uncredited material.

But even if the video had been uncredited I’d say this is a little bit of a special case. This is a video that changed a man’s life– a video that is pretty special to him, as well as a lot of other people who saw with this video that there is hope for all of us to turn our lives around. Why did The Dispatch think it would be a good idea to simply wipe the clip from the face of YouTube, especially after so many people blogged about it, Tweeted about it, and posted the link on Facebook.

It sickens me that some people can’t think about anything besides views and revenue. This was a special case in which some of their footage was uploaded to YouTube in order to do a great service to a man on the street. It worked, which is amazing, and all the Dispatch could do was think about how it was theirs and they didn’t want it to be on YouTube on someone else’s account? Like I said, they better have had a mighty good reason for their copyright claim.

Do you think it was a good move on their part to have the video taken down?