- Alison Parker’s dad turned the video of her 2015 shooting death into an NFT, The Washington Post reported.
- Andy Parker hopes doing so would allow him to claim ownership of the clip to get it taken down.
- Harvard Law School’s Dr. Rebecca Tushnet said there’s a “0% chance” this strategy will work.
Andy Parker, the father of Alison Parker, the television reporter who was shot and killed in 2015 by a former colleague, created an NFT of the video of the fatal shooting in hopes it will give him power to remove clips from social media, The Washington Post reported.
“This is the Hail Mary,” Parker told The Post in an interview published Tuesday, calling it an “act of desperation.”
Alison was 24 years old when she and videographer Adam Ward were fatally shot during a live broadcast. Her father has for years tried to remove the 17-second clip from online platforms, according to The Post, although clips still have remained on social media platforms, being viewed millions of times.
In 2020, Parker filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, accusing Google of breaking its own rules by not removing clips of the shooting.
“Google monetizes my daughter’s murder. It’s not in their interest to take it down — and I won’t tolerate it,” he previously told Insider.
Parker does not own the footage of the incident, which was broadcast live on WDBJ, the Roanoke, Virginia, CBS-affiliated television station where Allison worked, according to The Post. It’s owned by WDBJ’s parent company, Gray Television, which has refused to turn over copyright control to Parker, The Post reported.
In a statement emailed to Insider, Parker said Gray Television’s “denial of a co-copyright,” which he says would help him fight Facebook and Google. was “unexplained and reprehensible.”
Kevin Latek, the chief legal officer for Gray Television, told the Washington Post the footage did not show Alison’s murder because the “video does not show the assailant or the shootings during the horrific incident.” He said the network had “repeatedly offered to provide Mr. Parker with the additional copyright license,” according to the report.
Gray Television did not return Insider’s request for comment.
His plan now, The Post reported, was to turn the clip into an NFT, or non-fungible token, so he could claim ownership of it and use that to sue social-media companies to compel them to remove the videos.
Dr. Rebecca Tushnet, a professor of law at Harvard Law School whose work focuses on copyright, trademark and false advertising law, told Insider she believed “there’s a 0% chance that this will work.”
“I see no path forward through NFTs for this person who suffered an unspeakable tragedy,” Tushnet said. “I don’t know who encouraged this, but it is not going to give him what he wants.”
While Tushnet said she had not familiar with the specific situation, she said an NFT “can’t create ownership where there is none” and that while Parker’s NFT “may represent a particular copy of the footage,” it “doesn’t change the ownership status of other copies” and “the copyright.”
“I am in uncharted waters here,” Parker told Insider. “This is a strategy that has no precedent.”