14 February 2013
Rhode Island man looks to make profits over photo he took before 100 people died 10 years ago in nightclub fire
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. —
Folks, I made a huge mistake.
A few weeks ago, when I wrote a piece about the 10th anniversary of the death of 100 people at the Station Nightclub Fire in West Warwick, R.I., I posted with it a photo taken inside the club just as the fire started. (Click here to read the original piece)
I found the photo on Wikipedia, not realizing it wasn't in the public domain. Most of the time, there's fair use on Wiki photos — but this time, I was wrong. Click here to see the photo on Wikipedia — I wonder if Mr. Davidson made Wiki pay for the use of the photo or if he'll demand $100 for linking to his photo?
Fast forward to a few nights ago — I get an e-mail from Dan Davidson, of Wyoming, R.I., (yes, that's the name of a town there), who demands I send him a check for $200 for posting the photo.
Folks, I made an error here. I shouldn't have posted the photo (I could have easily used a screen cap from videos taken that night that are in the public domain). But I must admit — in 20 years of journalism, I've never been more disgusted than I am by what this guy is doing.
On Feb. 20, 2003, some 100 lives were lost in a most tragic way in West Warwick. And this man, Dan Davidson, is looking to score a profit over it.
I invited him to sue me. I took the photo down the moment he e-mailed me. I make no money on this blog. Though I would if I could, I've never sold an ad for it. And if he wants to tell a court of law he's suing for $200 because I used a photo that showed the last moments of people's lives before they were burned and trampled in one of the nation's most horrific fires, so be it.
But you deserved to know this story. There's a man in Wyoming, R.I., looking to profit over the deaths of 100 people.
If it gets more despicable than that, let me know.
Boy am I ever sorry I posted that photo.
Video below was taken the night of the fire, 20 Feb. 2003.