YouTube should have been allowed to show NJ toll plaza death video

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority's video cameras captured a fatal crash earlier this month in which a 52 year-old New Jersey resident crashed into the roadway's Great Egg Harbor Toll Plaza.Not long therafter, video of the crash wound up on YouTube as well as on two other video sharing sites.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority's video cameras captured a fatal crash earlier this month in which a 52 year-old New Jersey resident crashed into the roadway's Great Egg Harbor Toll Plaza.

Not long therafter, video of the crash wound up on YouTube as well as on two other video sharing sites.

Now, incredibly the NJTA is suing YouTube as well as video sharing site break.com for copyright infringement for showing the video. More specifically, for direct copyright infringement by public performance, public display and reproduction, as well as inducement, contributory and vicarious copyright infringement.

As of May 22, the video had been viewed nearly 25,000 times on YouTube alone, and nearly 17,000 times on break.com. A third site, LiveLeak.com, showed the video nearly 215,000 times before it voluntarily removed the clip.

Just checked YT and break, and it appears the offending video has been removed as well.

OK, what shakes here?

First, I don't understand how a video assembled from footage taken by a camera from a public agency, on a toll plaza that collects public funds, along a highway built and maintained with public funds, should be subjected to copyright laws. Even though the footage came from public video cameras, this sets a dangerous precadent against the public using digital media to distribute eyewitness news.

Second, I have to admit I don't understand what sicko would want to watch what amounts to a snuff film. I mean, if you are that thirsty for video bloodshed, just watch news coverage of today's latest car bombing in Iraq.

[poll id=71]