Video Tombstone Blues: Wait until you hear what they are saying about you down at the Graveyard
This is about some of the interesting free speech issues that will happen when video tombstones start appearing in cemeteries on a regular basis. What kinds of things would you say from your very own video tombstone...and will it be truth or lies?
IF YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD PROBLEMS WITH THINGS THAT THEY SAY ABOUT YOU ON THE INTERNET...WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE WHAT THEY MIGHT BE SAYING ABOUT YOU FROM VIDEO TOMBSTONES DOWN AT THE GRAVEYARD.
THOUGHT YOU HAD A FEW WELL KEPT SECRETS...MAYBE NOT ANYMORE...WHO KNOWS WHAT KINDS OF SECRETS WE MAY HEAR FROM VIDEO TOMBSTONES?
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY FROM YOUR VIDEO TOMBSTONE?
Video tombstones may create a tremendous amount of controversy
according to Robert Barrows, the inventor of a video tombstone called The Video
Enhanced Gravemarker (U.S. Patent #7089495), because who knows people might say
from their video tombstones?
“What kinds of things would we hear from your video tombstone? he asks. Would you say sweet things to loved ones? Would it finally be time to tell your side of the story? Would it be time to make amends? Or would it be time to say everything you never had the guts to say nor the opportunity to say while you were still alive?”
Imagine the controversies that will arise when video tombstones start appearing in cemeteries on a regular basis.
For one, it will make cemeteries fascinating places to visit because who knows what you might hear from some of the video tombstones, and cemeteries will come “alive” with all kinds of stories that might be told through video tombstones.
“And imagine the controversy over the free speech issues” says Barrows.
“The Video Tombstone will create some landmark free speech issues, because how can you control what someone might say from beyond the grave?” he asks.
*And will it be truth or lies?
*What if someone confesses to a crime or makes an incrimination?
*What if they say something slanderous?
*What if they say something hurtful and cause emotional stress?
*What if they say something anti-governmental?
*Do the dead have free speech rights, too?
*And what can you do if they say something that is true or untrue or not so nice about you?
*How can you pull the plug, and whom can you sue?
*Worse yet, how can you collect?
Generally, cemeteries have the right of refusal over what kind of tombstones
can go into their cemetery, and they also have the right of censorship regarding what
can be said in an inscription on a tombstone. It is quite possible that censorship of
video tombstone messages may develop into first amendment lawsuits that might
go all the way to the Supreme Court,” says Barrows.
“The Video Enhanced Gravemarker will also have some interesting implications on
some major aspects of civilization,”
Here are some of the social implications:
It will change the way we look at life and death.
When you start recording your own obituary while you are still alive, it will force you to examine things about your life that you may not even have considered before.
2) It will change the way that history is told.
Now you will be able to go to video tombstones and get the story from the people themselves. (Of course, it will indeed be their side of the story, and depending on what they say, and how they view things, that may also create some interesting controversies.)
3) The advent of the video tombstone may also create changes in estate law so that people may have to specify that yes, they do want a video tombstone, or no they
do not want a video tombstone. (The late Jeff Zaslow of the Wall Street Journal covered this angle of the invention in his April 7, 2005 Moving On column.)
And Barrows adds, “ If the person doesn’t make a video prior to death, or if they don’t specify who may make a video and what people can say in a posthumous video,
will survivors be able to to make a video to be played in their tombstone, and will
there be limits on the content of the messages?”
4) “It will also create a whole new genre of storytelling...with all kinds of stories that may be told through video tombstones. The video tombstone is an incredible storytelling device that is likely to inspire countless tales that will be told through video tombstones,”
The video tombstone is an ideal storytelling device for everything from horror movies
to love stories to historical pieces, and it is perfect for all kinds of literary, film and
While Barrows was working on his patent application, he also wrote a novel
called “Cemetery of Lies.” Cemetery of Lies is a collection of intimate secret confessions, as told from beyond the grave, through video tombstones. The stories are about life and love, sex and romance, good and evil, success and money, truth and lies and Heaven and Hell, with insights and advice about almost every aspect of our lives,” according to Barrows.
“What kinds of secrets would you divulge for playback (or payback) after you
are gone?” asks Barrows. And if you knew you were going to die today, what kinds of things would you say for your own video tombstone?” he asks. That is what
Cemetery of Lies is about, and it is an easy read for a mass audience, and the writing
is sexy, provocative and humorous, too.”
Publishers, literary agents and producers interested in taking a look at
Cemetery of Lies may request a copy of the manuscript by contacting Robert Barrows
at R.M. Barrows, Inc. Advertising and Public Relations in San Mateo California
5) In addition, the advent of the Video Tombstone will also create two new industries:
A) Manufacturing Video tombstones, and
B) producing content for use in video tombstones
6) “Video Tombstones will also make cemeteries fascinating places to visit,” according
to Barrows, “because who knows what kinds of juicy stories might be entombed in the
video tombstones of both celebrities and ordinary people? And who knows who was doing what with whom?” he adds. Perhaps we shall find out from their video tombstone?
Video tombstones will also create some major new revenue opportunities for many sectors of the funerary industry including monument builders, funeral homes, perpetual care fund providers and cemeteries.
Companies that would be interested in acquiring the rights to manufacture or market the Video Enhanced Gravemarker should contact Robert Barrows at R.M. Barrows, Inc. Advertising and Public Relations in San Mateo, California.
Companies that would be interested in becoming suppliers of some of the weatherproofed electronic equipment that can be housed in the video tombstone should contact Barrows as well.
Barrows came up with the idea for this invention through two different avenues.
One, he is a sculptor who works in stone and “When you are chipping away at a
rectangular block of stone,” he says, “you can’t help thinking that you are carving
your own tombstone.”
Realizing the ghoulish implications of the video tombstone, Barrows
filed his patent application on the Video Enhanced Gravemarker on Halloween in 2002. The patent (U.S. Patent #7,089,495) was issued on August 8, 2006.
To find out more about the Video Enhanced Gravemarker and "Cemetery of Lies," contact Robert Barrows at R.M. Barrows, Inc. Advertising and Public Relations in San Mateo, California at 650-344-4405.
In addition to the novel, Barrows has also written a treatment for possible television and film adaptations of "Cemetery of Lies."
If you are looking for something with mass appeal and tremendous television and film potential, take a look "Cemetery of Lies."
Literary agents, producers and publishers may request a copy of the manuscript for "Cemetery of Lies" by calling Robert Barrows at R.M. Barrows, Inc. Advertising at
Barrows is also working on some song lyrics called "Video Tombstone Blues."
Page Updated Last on: Jul 06, 2012