The turbulent aftermath of the Woodstock '99 festival continues, as news organizations, state police, and Web vigilantes spar over online evidence and tips about suspected criminals.
New York State Police removed 14 photos from their Web site Friday after several news organizations, including the Associated Press, complained that their copyrighted news photos were being used without permission. Five of those photos still appear in a collection on the Syracuse Online site, with titles like "Burning down the house" and "Peace Wall comes to a violent end" -- but they've been replaced on the police site by nine new photos.
A Virginia-based Web site is also seeking input from concert-goers on five reports of sexual assault which are currently being investigated by New York State Police. "It is our belief that individuals exist who are aware of the perpetrators' identities but have not approached the police with that information," the site announces. Though they indicate they will turn over all information to the police, they "feel that these people may be more inclined to tell FANS EVERYWHERE what they know." Additional pages indicate they've already applied for 501(c)(3) status from the IRS and hope to offer rewards for information.
The Washington Post reported that, when asked about reports of rapes, one festival promoter countered that the reports hadn't been confirmed -- then added, "What about 199,000 kids that came and had a great weekend? Everyone is ignoring them." But while at least one freelance photographer is publicizing his own photographs of the festival's peaceful early days, the post-festival focus seems to have shifted to the quest for accountability.See also: Have You Seen These Looters?
David Cassel is Interactive Media Editor for GettingIt.