Alison Parker’s dad turns video of murder into NFT in bid to pull it from web

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Alison Parker’s dad turns video of murder into NFT in bid to pull it from web

The father of a TV reporter who was fatally shot along with her cameraman during a live broadcast turned the horrifying video into an NFT, or non-fungible token, in a “Hail Mary” bid to remove it from the internet.

Andy Parker, whose daughter Alison Parker was gunned down by a disgruntled former co-worker, has transformed the harrowing clip of her murder into an NFT in an effort to claim copyright ownership of it and allow him to sue social media outlets, the Washington Post reported.

“This is the Hail Mary — an act of desperation,” Parker told the newspaper.

Parker created an NFT of the murder video in December on Rarible, a marketplace that deals in crypto assets, the newspaper reported.

An NFT is a non-interchangeable unit of data — such as images, videos and audio files — stored on a blockchain that can be sold and traded.

Attorney Adam Massey of C.A. Goldberg, a law firm that has advised Parker, said NFTs could be used to claim the copyright of a video.

“For victims of horrific images being distributed on the internet generally, unfortunately and inappropriately copyright does end up being an effective tool,” he said.

Alison Parker shooting video still.
Andy Parker created an NFT of the murder video in December on Rarible.
Vester Lee Flanagan II/Twitter via AP

But ownership disputes have emerged and case law regarding their use is still limited.

Parker’s latest strategy is his most recent effort to prevent the shocking footage of the August 2015 shooting from circulating online, where it has become a painful reminder of his daughter’s death.

Despite assurances from top social media execs that it will be removed, the grisly video repeatedly resurfaces, according to a recent complaint filed by Parker and attorneys with the Georgetown Law Civil Rights Clinic.

Alison Parker.
WDBJ parent company Gray Television reportedly owns the copyright to the original video of Alison Parker’s shooting.
Facebook

The grisly video has been viewed millions of times on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other sites.

In October, Parker’s complaint to the Federal Trade Commission said “the reality is that Facebook and Instagram put the onus on victims and their families to do the policing of graphic content — requiring them to relive their worst moments over and over to curb the proliferation of these videos.”

Parker said at the time that he also wanted to see action from Congress.

Andy Parker.
Andy Parker said the circulating video of the shooting is a painful reminder of his daughter’s death.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

“Alison’s murder, shared on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, is just one of the egregious practices that are undermining the fabric of our society,” he said last year.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for stripping away some of the protections granted by a 25-year-old law — in a provision known as Section 230 — that shields internet companies from liability for what users post.

Facebook and YouTube said they have removed thousands of clips of the murders, but many have remained on the platforms, the newspaper reported.

Alison and Andy Parker.
“Facebook and Instagram put the onus on victims and their families to do the policing of graphic content,” Andy Parker argued.

WDBJ parent company Gray Television reportedly owns the copyright to the original video of the shooting.

Kevin Latek, chief legal officer for Gray, argues that the clip does not depict Parker’s murder since the “video does not show the assailant or the shootings during the horrific incident,” according to the Washington Post.

He told the paper in a statement that the company has “repeatedly offered to provide Mr. Parker with the additional copyright license” to call on social media outlets to remove the video “if it is being used inappropriately.”

Reporter Alison Parker and Adam Ward.
Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward were both killed in the shooting.
Facebook

But even if Parker’s strategy works, getting the copyrighted clip removed would not be enough because the NFT doesn’t cover a separate clip of the murder captured by the shooter, the outlet said.

“We remain committed to removing violent footage filmed by Alison Parker’s murderer, and we rigorously enforce our policies using a combination of machine learning technology and human review,” YouTube spokesperson Jack Malon told the paper in a statement.

Jen Ridings, a spokesperson for Facebook parent company Meta, said, “We’ve removed thousands of videos depicting this tragedy since 2015, and continue to proactively remove more.”

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