Entertainment And News

Dad Of Reporter Shot Dead On TV Wants To Make An NFT Of Her Murder Video

Photo: Facebook
Alison and Andy Parker

In August 2015, reporting for Roanoke, Virginia’s WDBJ-TV, TV news reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot and killed live on TV by a former coworker who had appeared at the scene of an interview.

The shooter, who then turned the gun on himself, reportedly targeted the pair after believing he was the victim of workplace discrimination because he was a gay, Black man.

Shocking footage of the shooting can be found online, mostly recorded by the shooter himself, and has been viewed millions of times on Facebook and Reddit among other places on the internet.

Now, Alison Parker's father wants the video of her death turned into an NFT.

Andy Parker wants the shocking footage removed from the internet forever and has come up with a plan to make that happen.

An NFT, or a non-fungible token, is a digital asset of anything that can be found in the real world — like a video or a piece of art — that has a unique signature and can be legally owned through the blockchain, which is another subject in and of itself.

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The point is, NFTs are able to create an artificial scarcity that will allow the original owners to reclaim their possession were anyone else trying to use it, which is exactly what Andy is trying to accomplish by turning his daughter’s death into an NFT.

“This is the Hail Mary — an act of desperation,” Andy told The Washington Post

Andy has been fighting for years to get the video scrubbed from the internet, even issuing a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission about Facebook’s “glorification” of violence by spreading the video around the web.

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Andy’s complaint alleged that “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.”

In December 2021, Andy created an NFT on the website Rarible, a marketplace that deals in cryptocurrency assets of which NFTs are a part.

Attorney Adam Massey of C.A. Goldberg, a law firm that has advised Andy, 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.

However, the litigation regarding NFTs is still relatively new, considering the digital assets’ breakthrough into mainstream media only came about in the last few years.

According to a recent complaint filed by Andy and attorneys with the Georgetown Law Civil Rights Clinic, the video of Alison continues to resurface despite social media executives’ promises that the video would be scrubbed from their site, causing him continued grief.

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

However, according to Chief Legal Officer for Gray, Kevin Latek, the clip does not depict Alison’s murder since the “video does not show the assailant or the shootings during the horrific incident.”

He has elaborated that their company has repeatedly offered additional copyright licensing to Andy in order to call out social media platforms in taking the video down, but this doesn’t cover the copyright of the video taken by the shooter and not the news station’s camera.

Spokespersons for Meta, Facebook’s parent company, and YouTube have announced their continued support for Andy’s cause and have been proactively removing the videos as they pop up on their websites.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.