Father of TV reporter shot live on air turns clip into NFT in ‘Hail Mary’ effort to remove it from the web

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The clip of at TV reporter and videographer being shot has been turned into an NFT by the father of one of the victims.

WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and videographer Adam Ward were both killed in in 2015 when they were shot and killed by a former colleague, Vester Flanagan., while they were live on air.

Since then, copies of the video showing the shooting pop up on social media and video hosting sites. Many of these sites have implemented steps to prevent it from being made public or flag it for removal, but it’s likely difficult to keep up with all the uploads that happen.

Flanagan also live streamed the shooting from his perspective, but it’s the station’s clip that Andy Parker, the father of Alison, turned into an NFT, or non fungible token.

Files marketed as NFTs are assigned a unique digital “fingerprint” to a digital file that can later be authenticated to help determine ownership.

Andy Parker, who is running for Congress in Virginia, told The Washington Post that his goal of turning the video into an NFT in December 2021 “is the Hail Mary — an act of desperation.”

He’s been leading a years-long fight to prevent the video from spreading but it’s unlikely the NFT status will have much effect on the spread of the clip, though it may

The copyright for the clip likely belongs to Gray Television, which is the parent company of WDBJ. The copyright of Vester’s streaming clip would likely have transferred to his estate when he killed himself in the hours after killing Alison Parker and Ward. 

Virginia does have a so called “Son of Sam” law that attempts to prevent criminals from profiting form the sale of intellectual property related to their crimes, though it would take legal experts to determine if it’s applicable in this case.

Gray told The Post that is has “repeatedly” offered to provide Andy Parker with an “additional” copyright license that is often required to compel digital platforms to remove the clip, though the statement appears to indicate it still considers itself the primary owner of the copyright, which could have an effect on the NFT status.

It’s not immediately clear if Andy Parker had the legal right to turn the clip into an NFT.