Reed A. Cartwright posted Entry 3318 on September 12, 2007 03:31 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/3302

From reports that we are getting, starting yesterday a user account on YouTube, called cseministry, began fraudulently claiming that any video which criticized the felon, cheat, liar, fraud, huckster, etc. Kent Hovind violated the copyrights of the Creation Science Evangelism.

Under the draconian DMCA, CSE can use such false claims to silence their critics, with little legal risk to themselves. Once a claim has been filed, YouTube is required by US Law to remove the content immediately and without any review. The real copyright holders then have to jump through hoops to get their content back on YouTube, that is assuming that they haven’t already been falsely banned.

Hovind’s critics have a strong case against CSE’s DMCA claims because CSE’s own website waived copyright: “None of the materials produced by Creation Science Evangelism are copyrighted, so feel free to copy those and distribute them freely.” That waiver appeared in the About Creation Science Evangelism page as recently as yesterday. It looks like they’ve scrubbed their site today, after this waiver was pointed out to them. Apparently, CSE is trying to retroactively remove their productions from the public domain. (They can’t legally do this, but has the Hovind Bunch ever acted within the law?)

But more infuriating to me is that several users have reported that CSE is claiming copyright to homegrown videos that contain no CSE content, and in many cases no content by anyone other than the YouTube user. They are issuing clearly fraudulent DMCA complaints to remove videos critical of their organization and the liar that ran (runs?) it. This type of behavior should land the rest of the Hovind Bunch in jail except that fraudulent infringement notices are not illegal under the DMCA.

Update: And Now a Video

 

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Comment #206665

Posted by Joshua Zelinsky on September 12, 2007 4:28 PM (e)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has dealt with precisely this sort of thing in the past. They should be contacted ASAP.

Comment #206666

Posted by Ross on September 12, 2007 4:30 PM (e)

Wait, under Fair Use act you are allowed to present portions of copyrighted materials if for the purposes of critique. I am sure of this.

They are not disclosing the full truth on copyright laws: satire and criticism are protected.

Comment #206667

Posted by Joshua Zelinsky on September 12, 2007 4:45 PM (e)

Following up on my previous post. The EFF has actually helped out with exactly this sort of situation. For a specific example see http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2007/05/11/you… . The EFF’s homepage is at http://www.eff.org/ . If they get involved Hovind and his ilk won’t know what hit them.

Comment #206668

Posted by Boosterz on September 12, 2007 4:50 PM (e)

Just a side note, but Hovind’s bunch clearly can’t handle criticism. All of their videos they’ve uploaded under that account have both ratings and comments disabled. It must suck to be a liar who’s lies are easily dispelled. :-)

Comment #206669

Posted by Kevin on September 12, 2007 4:59 PM (e)

Highly recommend reading EFF’s Blogger IP facts:
http://www.eff.org/bloggers/lg/faq-ip.php

Also, you might try getting some screenshots from the internet archive of the old non-copyright notice.

http://www.archive.org/

Finally, Chilling Effects has a form available that will generate the counter notices necessary to get stuff posted back. It takes awhile because it has to go via snail mail.

http://www.chillingeffects.org/dmca/counter512.p…

Comment #206676

Posted by Samuel Brainsample on September 12, 2007 5:42 PM (e)

“DMCA” (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) not “DCMA.”

Comment #206677

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on September 12, 2007 5:45 PM (e)

Fixed. I wonder what acronym is stuck in my head and made me transpose the letters….

Comment #206695

Posted by Jestak on September 12, 2007 7:04 PM (e)

Interesting tidbit–if you go to cseministry’s Youtube site (following Reed’s link above) you find that for every single one of his/her videos, it says “ratings have been disabled” and “adding comments has been disabled.” What a surprise.

Comment #206698

Posted by HDX on September 12, 2007 7:13 PM (e)

Funny short video on the copywrite status.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gd33m6iSSw&N…

Comment #206699

Posted by akg41470 on September 12, 2007 7:18 PM (e)

I have a small handful of videos critical of Hovind et al. on YouTube. So far they still exist (probably still under their radar)…

I usually go trolling for “creation vs evolution” videos to critique (in my own slightly-educational slightly-entertaining way), and I noticed a few days ago a new bunch of videos from a new account, “cseministry”. I couldn’t believe my eyes. These are new productions of videos, looks to be run by Kent’s son Eric. Most of them are only 1-2 minute “previews”, but the production values are MUCH better than they used to be. Looks like they’re still getting money from somewhere.

It was ACHING for commenting on, but, as you’ve noted, all comments *in all forms* are disabled. I’m not sure what they’re trying to prove with that, but it’s suspicious at the very least.

I think now the eyes need to be focused on ERIC Hovind at this point. He seems to have taken the reins, since Kent is out of commission for another 10 years or so.

Comment #206713

Posted by Dan Hocson on September 12, 2007 8:02 PM (e)

Not to suggest that anyone take action like this, but what prevents someone from filing a claim stating that cseministry’s videos violate a copyright?

Comment #206721

Posted by ruidh on September 12, 2007 8:30 PM (e)

Ummmm. Fraudulent DMCA notices *are* illegal. DMCA takedown notices have to be made under penalty of perjury stating that the filer represents or is acting with the authority of the copyright holder. If the law firm submitting the notices does not represent the copyright holder, they are very likely guilty of perjury.

Comment #206737

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on September 12, 2007 9:33 PM (e)

You are correct, ruidh, but that is a very limited requirement. CSE just has to assert that the videos infringe on their copyrights. They don’t have to claim that they own the copyrights to the videos. Their claims of infringement are not made under penalty of perjury, according to my understanding of the DMCA.

Of course, without seeing the actual takedown letters, we can’t know if they perjured themselves.

Comment #206758

Posted by jay boilswater on September 12, 2007 11:21 PM (e)

And you find this latest gambit in the wall of stupitity foisted on us all for the last 6-10 years surprising?
Why?

Comment #206762

Posted by Dale Husband on September 12, 2007 11:28 PM (e)

Gee, it’s clear that this is an outright attempt at censorship. Let’s remember that the next time Creationists whine about their views being “censored” from the science classrooms.

Comment #206794

Posted by Popper's Ghost on September 13, 2007 1:19 AM (e)

And you find this latest gambit in the wall of stupitity foisted on us all for the last 6-10 years surprising?
Why?

No one said it’s surprising. Congratulations on a moronic point-missing straw man.

Comment #206810

Posted by Justin on September 13, 2007 1:51 AM (e)

Ironically, Hovind also mentions in various *videos* that he didn’t copyright the material. Most of the videos put out by Hovind are still up on Google video. Many of these are the full 1 or 2 hours long, not just excerpts or advertisements. The newer vids on Youtube would probably have to be just excerpts as there is a very short time limit (10 minutes?) for YT vids.

Comment #206811

Posted by Justin on September 13, 2007 1:59 AM (e)

Clarification… some on YT can post longer vids, but it is only in certain circumstances

http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer…

http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer…

Comment #206827

Posted by SnakeyEyes on September 13, 2007 3:26 AM (e)

Do i sence anger from the duty theist?

Comment #206839

Posted by snaxalotl on September 13, 2007 4:28 AM (e)

I’m presuming that this latest claim of “violation of copyright” is related to the pseudo-legal tax/law/reality denier gambit of claiming your own name is copyrighted, and therefore anyone sending you a bill/subpoena/etc. owes you money for violation of copyright

in the land of jeebus, reality is whatever you want it to be

digressing, if I were a mindless worshipper of some sort, I’d probably call my kid Kneel, too

Comment #206840

Posted by Dr. Eve on September 13, 2007 4:29 AM (e)

I found a Dr.Dino mirror which they may have overlooked and which still has the “feel free to copy” notice.

http://www.godrules.net/drdino/about.htm

Comment #206855

Posted by Ginger Yellow on September 13, 2007 5:50 AM (e)

In 20 years time, people will look back on the DMCA as one of the worst pieces of legislation enacted since the Sedition Act. It may not have the emotional and human impact of a Military Commissions Act, but it is profoundly harmful to intellectual freedom and technological progress. In less than 20 years the business models it was designed to protect will be all but forgotten, and all that will be left is the censorship and retarded economic development it fosters.

Comment #206876

Posted by Steverino on September 13, 2007 7:27 AM (e)

It’s knda funny how Kent Hovind didn’t see himself as subject to the laws of the state or gov….but only to God….Now tries to twist the laws he claims to shun, in his own favor.

Comment #206919

Posted by C.E. Petit on September 13, 2007 9:36 AM (e)

I sort of feel like an ACLU lawyer defending a neo-Nazi’s right to free speech on this one.

This time, Hovind et al. may well be in the right, for three reasons:

(1) One cannot “commit a work to the public domain.” It’s an unfortunate loophole in the Copyright Act of 1976. A copyrightable work enters the public domain only upon expiration or copyright or creation by the United States government. Anything short of that is merely a promise not to sue, which can be unilaterally withdrawn at any time. I think this loophole should be fixed, but that’s the way the law is at present.

(2) Fair use is a defense against a particular claim of infringement, not a right. That is, the burden will be on the party claiming fair use to demonstrate fair use by a preponderence of the evidence. I think the fair use claim is probably a good one, but it is not certain (and yes, I have looked at the videos in question). That means that the party that holds the copyright in the allegedly infringed materials is perfectly within its rights to object to the alleged infringement.

Side note to comment 206666: No, satire is not protected as fair use; parody is. For some value of those two terms, which lawyers — unfortunately — define differently from (and almost incompatibly with) literary critics and the public at large.

(3) The DMCA (17 U.S.C. § 512) does not require that all assertions of copyright come from a registered copyright. Thus, whether Hovind et al. have registered their copyright is completely irrelevant. The DMCA only requires that someone have an exclusive right under the Copyright Act, not the present ability to file suit.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear, though: I am tremendously amused by the “infringing” videos and think that they do fall within fair use, and that they do perform a valuable public service. However, it’s not my right to make that determination for Hovind et al.; it’s theirs. And if they object to being debunked in this fashion, copyright law — as a content-neutral statute — provides them certain tools to enforce their rights, among them the DMCA.

Comment #206929

Posted by Ed Darrell on September 13, 2007 10:20 AM (e)

Anything short of that is merely a promise not to sue, which can be unilaterally withdrawn at any time.

I think the videos criticizing Hovind have two firm pillars to stand on here.

First, Hovind specifically waived the copyright. This is different from just a promise not to sue. Part of his shtick is to encourage copying of the materials. As a pragmatic matter, there is no way to call back such a claim today. Hovind would need to track down every person who copied the work and notify them. Unworkable.

Second, I’d argue constructive contract. The makers of the videos have acted on a promise from Hovind, and they have detrimentally relied on Hovind’s promise not to sue. Hovind may be able to retract his copyright waiver for future users if he can reasonably put them on notice that the rules have changed (which I don’t think he can, but that’s a different matter). But I think he should fairly be estopped from making a copyright claim in this matter where he expressly waived copyright, and others detrimentally relied on his promise.

Hovind could buy his way out of that agreement – he owes the creators of the rebuttal videos some substantial fees in that case. If I created the videos, I’d get an injunction instead to keep him from complaining, and an order to YouTube to put ‘em back up.

Comment #206947

Posted by delphi_ote on September 13, 2007 11:04 AM (e)

Uri Geller has been doing something similar. http://www.boingboing.net/2007/03/30/uri-geller-….

Someone definitely needs to contact the EFF.

Comment #206991

Posted by Lou FCD on September 13, 2007 12:53 PM (e)

My favorite “You’re a FuckTard” Hovind video from the contest.

Enjoy.

Comment #206998

Posted by Justin on September 13, 2007 1:13 PM (e)

The bans have continued over the past 24 hours, as user accounts like RationalResponse has been suspended. The RationalResponse account was also suspended for a time over claims made by Gellar, though they fought back, and they are also going through the proper channels to fight back against this as well. I’ve never been a big fan of the RRS’s tactics, or research and conclusions for that matter, but I’m glad that they’re aggressively trying to bring an end to the illegal activity.

Comment #206999

Posted by Motorhomes on September 13, 2007 1:14 PM (e)

My goodness, it’s clear that this is an outright attempt at censorship. Let’s remember that the next time Creationists whine about their views being “censored” from the science classrooms.

Comment #207008

Posted by C.E. Petit on September 13, 2007 2:03 PM (e)

Ed (206929), I think you’re confusing retrospective remedies with prospective remedies. Your arguments that the disclaimer of copyright operated to grant a license would work powerfully against a claim that past distributions of the altered video via YouTube cannot support a claim of infringement, or at least those distributed prior to the withdrawal of the disclaimer. They very well might limit any damages claim for future infringements to nominal damages of $1 and cause denial of attorney’s fees. However, the Hovindoids would still be entitled to an injunction against any further distribution of the video… precisely because copyright is not a mere contract right that can be contracted away without certain formalities.

Of course, all of that assumes that fair use failed as a defense; it probably wouldn’t, but that’s not at issue when a DMCA notice gets sent.

Comment #207023

Posted by Tim Fuller on September 13, 2007 3:21 PM (e)

I’m thankful for the controversy. It’s the only way I’d ever take the time to even remember this *unktard idiot in the first place. I’m sure that’s the case with many lurkers who never post. I’m not that shy.

Honestly, now I’ve got to make room in my aging brain for a “Hovindoid category”, when I’m just now starting to remember the names of the last three contestants on Big Brother.

I’ll give it to you guys though. With so many asshats to keep track of it’s alway an amusing visit to pop in over here.

Enjoy.

Comment #207041

Posted by WeiSein on September 13, 2007 4:38 PM (e)

C.E. Petit. Remember that the CSE also filed DMCA for video that they DON’T owe the rights to. For example the audio tapes of Hovind in jail and that parody song. Surely there is no loopholes in the law to allow someone to do that!!?!

Comment #207081

Posted by Ravilyn Sanders on September 13, 2007 6:13 PM (e)


Slashdot
is reporting the story of youtube responding to the counterclaim. Quite an interesting story there. Viacommm pinching a youtube video and broadcasting without bothering to acquire permission from the maker of the clip. When the poster posted a clip of the broadcast to brag about it, Viacomm had the gall to serve a DMCA take down notice. It appears the original poster got his clips back on line after filing a counterclaim.

According to slashdot postings many people don’t know that they have the right to file counterclaims under DMCA. Let us fire some counterclaim and see what the goons do.

Comment #207253

Posted by ndt on September 14, 2007 4:30 AM (e)

Ummmm. Fraudulent DMCA notices *are* illegal. DMCA takedown notices have to be made under penalty of perjury stating that the filer represents or is acting with the authority of the copyright holder. If the law firm submitting the notices does not represent the copyright holder, they are very likely guilty of perjury.

While that’s true on paper, in practice, as long as you can afford a lot of lawyers, you can send fraudulent DMCA takedown notices with impunity. Just ask Viacom.

Comment #207413

Posted by Lou FCD on September 14, 2007 1:25 PM (e)

Crap, guess I messed up my linkage. That’ll teach me to preview.

Oh well. Dr. Plait from BadAstronomy has also picked up the story:

Kent Hovind Creationist Liar and Evil, Evil, Evil

Comment #207443

Posted by Gary Hurd on September 14, 2007 2:45 PM (e)

Pete Seeger told how he once “owned” the copyright to the National Anthem. “I wanted to put it on a album, but there was no recorded copyright. The Folkways lawyers were worried- so they copy righted the song for me.”

Has any copyright been filed on the Hovind videos?

Comment #207857

Posted by GuyJ on September 15, 2007 7:35 AM (e)

CSE have announced their entry into YouTube on their blog site.
http://www.cseblogs.com/?p=85

They mention nothing about removing the videos in the blog entry, but it is brought up in the comments.

Comment #208279

Posted by Desertphile on September 15, 2007 9:55 PM (e)

The cult fraudulently DMCA-ed two of my videos, and YouTube removed them.

Comment #208571

Posted by Jason Spaceman on September 16, 2007 3:02 PM (e)

There is a video at YouTube that contains footage of Hovind himself stating that none of their videos are copyrighted, and encouraging people to copy them.

Comment #208619

Posted by Corey Schlueter on September 16, 2007 5:43 PM (e)

You can comment on the videos at GodTube.