If you haven’t seen the video clip of the homeless man with the golden voice, you have missed listening to a rare gift. But in addition to his voice, this man has a story to tell that is heart warming. Ted Williams was homeless living on the streets in Columbus, Ohio and panhandling near a busy intersection. Mr. Williams admits that he had lost his way in life due to drugs and alcohol. But what was encouraging about the man was that he was now clean and had been for two years. Then there was that voice. As Mr. Williams stated, a rare gift from God.
After the video appeared on You Tube, the Internet made this man a sensation. He was flown to New York, cleaned up, and made an appearance on the Today show. Offers started to pour in with one offer being from the Cleveland Cavaliers and also the promise of a mortgage free home. This morning, Mr. Williams again appeared on the Today show and met with his mom, who he hadn’t seen for 20 years. It did appear that the 90-year-old mother had given up on her son, but that his newfound fame was something he cherished and would not throw away . Mom was thankful and the story ended on a happy note.
But now there is a sour note to the entire event. A recent story tells how the newspaper that originally reported the story has pulled the You Tube video of its original interview:
The newspaper posted the clip on its website, and it appeared a short time later on YouTube, copied “by an anonymous user,” the Dispatch said. Within hours, the YouTube clip exploded, driven by a flood of referrals from Reddit, Twitter and Facebook. And today — just three days later — a clean-cut Ted Williams appeared on the TODAY Show while entertaining voice-over offers from media companies, sports teams and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. The YouTube clip surpassed 12 million views.
Until it was pulled. Today, according to a message on YouTube, the clip has been removed “due to a copyright claim by The Dispatch.” Of course, there are copies floating around out there, and if you visit Dispatch.com, you’ll find the original clip along with a rich section of video and text coverage of The Man with the Golden Voice. (I’ve been unable to find any official Dispatch version of the clip on YouTube.)
If the video wasn’t put up on You Tube, would anyone would have seen it on the Dispatch website? I understand the copyright thing and why the Dispatch wants to protect its video, but the best part of the story is that Mr. Williams was noticed and found. He was helped and subsequently reunited with his mother.
So what do you think? Should the Dispatch have removed the video from You Tube?