When YouTube sensation Ted Williams was removed from YouTube

Ted Williams, a homeless man, is now, thanks to YouTube, the most famous voiceover in America. But why did the paper in which his story was first published remove the video from YouTube?

When we see someone else's redemption, it gives us hope for our own.

Perhaps someone will finally see us the way we would like to be seen. Perhaps someone will finally recognize our true talents, rather than, say, the ones we get paid for.

So the story of Ted Williams, the so-called "golden voice," which was first posted on the Web site of the Columbus Dispatch, has moved people to emotive heights. Footage of Williams has been seen by a figure that might now be 15 million people on YouTube.

However, the original video didn't have a terribly long life on the site.

In its own story of how the video became a viral string-puller, the Dispatch explained that a poster called Ritchey uploaded it to YouTube with the message: "Throwing this video from The Columbus Dispatch out there, hoping we can find this talent a place to call home."

Rather than celebrate that one of its stories was being promoted, the Dispatch had YouTube take the video down, citing copyright.

The Dispatch described the video's success in these terms: "It took an unauthorized repost on YouTube, tweets, Facebook recommendations and a blurb on the megasite Gawker to get Williams' story before CNN and the networks."

The Dispatch says it posted its own version of the video to YouTube, which would presumably be the very same video. However, when you search for "Ted Williams Columbus Dispatch" on YouTube, the Columbus Dispatch's official version doesn't appear to be prominent. Instead, a posting from Russia Today has enjoyed almost 1.5 million views.

When you simply search Ted Williams, a posting from Russia Today, though it credits the Columbus Dispatch, has had more than 6 million views.

Perhaps even worse, though, is that when you google "YouTube Ted Williams," the first video link leads you to the message: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by the Dispatch."

It seems hard to understand, given that Ritchey credited the Dispatch, why the paper had YouTube remove the video.

Could it have been because someone at the paper thought they'd get more traffic to the paper's own site by claiming copyright? Which seems an interesting logic.

Even the Dispatch's own readers seem confused.

A commenter with the handle "Unbelievable" from Reynoldsburg, Ohio., offered: "You should think about starting your own Youtube channel, not finding ways to irritate the public. But what the heck, they are just your future customers, not the senior citizens who look through your paper every day for the obits."

I contacted the paper, and have yet to receive a reply.

Perhaps the Dispatch--should it start its own YouTube channel--might offer Ted Williams some voiceover work. Perhaps, though, he will be too busy by then.

 

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