It occurs to me that the discussion about intellectual property law which came up with the Digg debacle, is made more complex when you examine cases like that of David Hasselhoff.
The story, briefly is that a video of a the Baywatch star out-of-control drunk and eating a hamburger off the floor has be posted on YouTube. It turns out the video was recorded by his daughters for use in a sort of mini-intervention to get their dad, who is a recovering alcoholic, back on the road to recovery.
Certainly Hasselhoff employs remarkable PR staff. His public statement says that he regrets the incident but hopes that the video can serve to help demonstrate to others the pitfalls of drinking. He is not asking for the video to be removed.
The truth is that any attempt to remove the video would do nothing but draw attention to it. Obviously things are complicated by the fact that the video was created by a relative. But surely we’re moving into a difficult area here. Journalists would not have written stories about this sort of stuff – exposing people’s alcoholism, sexual habbits and the rest of it. Who’s going to enforce such kindnesses online? Being true is not always a good enough defence for the race to publish.