I too can see Sea World removing any of the videos posted online. I don't blame them. No one needs to see that... I agree that it's just like the Georgian Luger, or any other fatal accident. It's something you can't unsee.
This is a little different than posting a video of the Haunted Mansion or the Tower of Terror. This is the Death of a human being!
If the video is released, then the family and friends of the girl are appalled, and the general public gets to see it in all its horridness.
On the other hand, if the video is not released, it's another loss of public domain to the man (yeah, I said it) on behalf of preserving an image. I'm sure SeaWorld has some good intent on behalf of the family, but their main goal is protecting themselves.
I respond: I disagree. By relinquishing the video to the police, Sea World acknowledged that it was aware that the video would become a matter of an investigation and thus become PUBLIC record. Certainly Sea World had the opportunity to refuse to hand the tapes to the police (under the contention of loss of copyright). The cops could then take action getting a court order (which Sea World lawyers could have challenged on the copyright grounds).
As for suppressing its release, I could not disagree more. Not because I have any desire to witness the tragedy, but rather because the process should defer to transparency. How can the public be certain that a VERY LARGE multi-national corporation is not getting special treatment in a police investigation if any evidence (which by statute is public record) is atypically suppressed?
The video may be heart-wrenching and terribly unsettling, but the process should be maintained.
(R. Niles - Apologies for the duplicate post ... forgot to sign in).
SeaWorld has no choice but to hand over its video, but continues to have whatever copyright claim it would have had over the republication of that material had it not been part of a sheriff's investigation. (FWIW, I have studied media law.)
The fair use exemption for newsworthy content will be the critical factor here, though, once the public has access to the material via the sheriff's office. Theoretically, the public would have had the same fair use right to snippets of the video if the sheriff hadn't gotten it, but in practice the public wouldn't have been able to access the video, since presumably SeaWorld would not have made it available without either a subpoena or the (implied) threat of one.
The sheriff's investigation forced SeaWorld's hand, so I think this will ultimately come down to a judicial decision over whatever amount of republication would be newsworthy fair use by whatever sleazy publication might attempt to republish the video or a screen grab of it. SeaWorld's preemptive legal action is an attempt to influence the court to take a very restrictive view in that decision.
I respond: Absolutely wrong! They have due process and could fight that demand in court. Not saying they would have won, but any concerns they have over losing copyrights because of the tapes being released as a part of the public record could have been advanced BEFORE they handed the them over to the cops.
And I'm not saying they don't have a chance to claim copyright, but I have not read any report indicating that they expressed any such concerns before handing over the tapes.
TH, I think you overlook how any park like SeaWorld would want to assist in an official police investigation, and cooperate with officials. I also think you overestimate how long the due process you spoke of would take- honestly a warrant can not take that long to obtain. I think I understand your point about the immunity of large corporations (I would extend it to wealthy citizens also). In those terms I agree with you- nothing and no one should be immune from the law.
I would like to stress that there is a HUGE difference between the public having the right to view the footage, and broadcasting it on national television. I hope that copy right laws do apply here, and anyone that wishes to view the footage can do so in private only.
Is there something printed on your entry ticket stipulating that all media taken at the Park is their property ? If not then Seaworld, or any other body, may have great difficulty in exercising any pressure to prohibit publication of " home movies".
We witness ,almost every day,cases in the Courts where one party is trying to sue another ( usually the Press ! ) for taking photos or movies of the claimant. The stats on the success of such litigation would make interesting reading.
In any case would Seaworld risk such poor publicity ?
While I do agree that it should be available to the public, it shouldn't be on the internet. Just like any investigation, there should be sufficient reasoning to watch the video. A person died and there's no reason a regular "joe schmoe" should watch it. That's like wanting to see video of someone dying at a Cirque du Soleil show from a stunt gone wrong. Or seeing a fatal car accident that you had nothing to do with on a different freeway.
How is that educational? Unless you have intentions to develop more safety features in a show without sacrificing theatrical effects, there's no reason to watch.
"How is that educational? Unless you have intentions to develop more safety features in a show without sacrificing theatrical effects, there's no reason to watch."I suppose there's no reason to watch a nature documentary, either, then? A video of this actually happening would teach people about the world they live in. It can help to answer questions, such as whether it's worth putting an animal in captivity, for amusement, when something like this could happen to a human being.
The more visceral you can make an event for people, the more it matters to them. There is no reason to stop the spread of information. It's not anyone's right to deem what is and is not beneficial to know. Personally, I like to know as much as possible. It may not be as beneficial for me to see this, as it is to someone who is interested in working with these animals, but who's to say I won't have a Steve Irwin-esque child someday to whom this video would illustrate the risks involved?
If I had a video of my dad dying in that motorcycle crash, intoxicated, the right thing to do would be to share it with the world. If seeing his imploded skull was enough to save any one person's life, by getting them to NOT do what he did, it would be worth it.