“This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Discovery Institute”

We have another point of correspondence. Remember how Kent Hovind's organization was bellowing and bucking about to block criticism on youtube? Now the Discovery Institute is up to the same shenanigans, trying to silence criticism by shutting down their youtube critics.

It's a good video that also nicely explains Dembski's Harvard/XVIVO fiasco as an ironic counterpoint.

The Discovery Institute's attempts to launder their internet presence have reached ridiculous levels — they've even asked Les Lane to remove a photo of Casey Luskin — "copyright infringement," don't you know — which is simply bizarre, unless you figure that they're smarter than we think, and eradicating embarrassments like Luskin is one of their new tactics.

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Afarensis and PZ note that the Discovery Institute is trying to hide Youtube videos criticizing their pet dachshund, Casey Luskin. Luskin Someone at Disco. has apparently been hitting his their own product, a danger in the Disco. scene. He or she thinks that they have a copyright claim on video…
Peter Irons has again been having way too much fun with creationist shenanigans. Irons, you may recall, is a hot shot west coast lawyer who had a grand time with the Pivar situation, and has lately been nudging Dembski on the case of his misuse of the Harvard/XVIVO animation. Would you believe that…
We're now into the third day of the brouhaha that was sparked by Casey Luskin's misuse of the "Blogging About Peer-Reviewed Research" icon. Casey posted a few responses to criticisms in the discussion thread over at the BPR3 blog, then packed his bags and went home because Dave Munger didn't…
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But... but... the Discovery Institute and ID advocates in general are in favor of freedom of speech and free expression, aren't that? I mean, that's what it says in Expelled so it must be true, right? Right?


That den of insanity, the discovery institute(lower case)
is one of the biggest and pernicious purveyors of insane
drivel to afflict all that is reasonable in our country.
We must devise some logical method to rent this shit hole
of that demented rabble in any legal way possible.
What is to be done? Perhaps incite the muslims to destroy
it on the pretext that they are disseminating anti-muslim
tracts in all manner possible? Something has to be done to
eliminate this pox on reason. Any suggestions?

It's a tough balancing act to put the stupid out there on the internet for consumption by idiots, while doing their best to prevent intelligence from pointing to their stupid and laughing.

Well hey, scammers have their difficulties, too. It's not all just duping the gullible and raking in royalties, they have their problems.

Glen D

Duh, I meant "aren't they."

I can't see the video, can someone offer a brief review?

Easy way around it.

Just put some MST3k style guys down the bottom of the screen and have them tell jokes about the content.

It becomes a parody or satire (depending on how you do the commentary) at that point which is protected under fair use.

Neat, but this video is wrong about one thing. The DI isn't borrowing a play from Kent Hovind; it's borrowing from Scientology. Which probably enforces a copyright on copyright infringement.

This is a common technique used by scammers and cults.

I know a fellow who created a website highlighting quotations from "The Watchtower", showing their contraditions and ridiculous statements in their own words. The Jehovah's Witness organization went to great legal lengths to get him shut down. They didn't have a legal case, but basically threatened to bankrupt him with legal fees.

However, the good guys won anyway. Other people had downloaded his site and everytime they shut it down, it pops up again somewhere else in the world.

By runningman (not verified) on 28 Jan 2008 #permalink

Ahhh, that's teh stuff!

Post this guy a "Molly"!

If the takedown was done under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, then there is a clear procedure to respond laid out in the act. Essentially, if the original poster believes in good faith that the material is not infringing on copyright (including because of fair use), then if they formally notify the service provider (e.g., YouTube), " the service provider must then promptly notify the claiming party of the individual's objection. If the copyright owner does not bring a lawsuit in district court within 14 days, the service provider is then required to restore the material to its location on its network."

As nasty as the DMCA may be, this "put-up-or-shut-up" feature is extremely powerful, and unfortunately little-known.

So we have Laskin trying to stop pictures of himself appearing on the net, and the disco crowd trying to take their vids back... Maybe they are packing up their tents and carpet bags and moving on to the next fraud...?

OT, and just because it's all that's out there now, here's the report on the Hitchens debate.

Judging from that, I'd say we were about right, that Hitchens did well on the atheism, not so well on ID. I did like his question of Richards if he believed in the resurrection and virgin birth (IIRC), and subsequent dismissal of such opinions which obviously don't rely on science.

Nonetheless, it was another forum for the flagellum and clotting cascade drivel, with no one pressing the egregiously dishonest Richards to explain why the Great Imitator couldn't actually design a damn thing without plagiarizing (as predicted by evolution, in contrast). The good thing is that Richards is (I believe) an ex-DI IDiot, once again admitting that "the designer" (real name: Crass Imitator) is God. These guys are going to have a hell of a time trying to convince any court that they're really "just interested in science," after the flood of admissions that it's religion.

Glen D



And just to tie my last post somewhat into what people have been saying about ID and copying, well just think about it. If God can "create" by self-plagiarizing endlessly, why can't Dembski, God's servant and savant, plagiarize lesser mortals?

It's all the same, after all. The Crass Imitator who "designed" everything can't do anything original, so why should Dembski be creative? Just rip off the designs of others, and he's being God-like. For imitation is the sincerest form of divinity, the clearest expression of the derivative nonsense that makes up ID beliefs about their evil imitator that they worship.

Glen D

ERV's wingnutcreationist911truther caps lock is on

It's so ridiculous that all the crazy organizations like Scientology or the Discovery Institut can let these movies remove because of 'copyright concerns'.

MORONS. And if they didn't have anything to hide they wouldn't be so scared that EVERYONE saw these things, not just the sheeple.

That's one of the "Why do people laugh at Creationist" series of videos done by the same guy. They're all really great. Watch them all!

Runningman, could you share a link to that blog?

By Triphesas (not verified) on 28 Jan 2008 #permalink

If you go to youtube and search Icons of Evolution, you can actually find the entire thing on there in multiple parts. Not even commentary on it, just the video. I guess if you want to spread the material without criticism then it doesn't count as violating copyrights.

I'm just waiting for something akin to the Vatican calling copyright infringement on any video critical of Christianity. "Use of the Crucifix, the likeness and name of Jesus, or the Bible without the expressed permission of The Church is a violation of copyright."

Has the Discovery Institute finally taken a page from the Scientology playbook? Which is to say, copyright everything, require non-disclosure agreements and sue, sue, sue?

I have to laugh. Here's my take on this strategy. Please, please, please feel free to forward this to Mr. Luskin personally....SH

...eradicating embarrassments like Luskin...

Well, that's a start, anyhow. Perhaps they'll all eradicate themselves eventually.

Remember to spay or neuter your DI Fellow!

Is there some niche to be filled here by a law firm that can defend skeptical websites/criticism and make a profit via a counter suit?

Apropos of the latest in ID, everyone's favorite ID "propentist" Sal Cordova is back to blogging, now with great insights like:

1) Darwin was stupid shallow and by his own admission sucked at algebra in school, unlike Sal.
2) It turns out that Kimura's neutral Theory refuted evolution in molecular genetics.
3) It turns out that God actually makes "Darwinists" have sex with animals so that he can punish them for it.
4) John A. Davison is an unsung genius.
5) Sal didn't grow up in a trailer park, so there Darwin!

Not even commentary on it, just the video. I guess if you want to spread the material without criticism then it doesn't count as violating copyrights.

Actually, if I remember my copyright and trademark class correctly, use of a source material as part of a critique or analysis is generally a fair use of that material, up to a certain point. Reposting (without permission to do so) without any such commentary is much more likely to be a copyright violation.

But somehow I don't think it's the copyright infringement itself that they're really upset about here.

OT, and just because it's all that's out there now, here's the report on the Hitchens debate.

Read the comments section; it's really really frightening. There are a lot of people who appear to swallow the 'atheism is a religion' canard hook, line, and sinker. Teh stupid burns strong at Stanford!

And Ben Stein is anxious to join the illustrious company of this band of whiny litigious losers, AKA the Discovery Institute? Okay, Ben...

By Bubba Sixpack (not verified) on 28 Jan 2008 #permalink

As a photographer, I always get a kick about image takedown requests from subjects since the time I got one at the moment I took a photo. I took a shot at a public place and a guy came up to me, affected a forceful manner and told me he did not want to see his image (he was in a couple of my shots) published anywhere. I didn't know this clown from Adam so I politely told him to go pound sand and if he didn't want his picture taken to just never appear in public. Luckily he wasn't any bigger than me, and I had my big old all-metal camera ready to swat him if needed. He didn't seem to understand that the picture was mine to do with what I wished, since I was the photographer. Luskin apparently has this same lack of understanding, so if he ever comes out this way and I can get a picture of him (in a suitably public place, of course), I'll be happy to put it up and dare him to try a DMCA takedown request on me.

He didn't seem to understand that the picture was mine to do with what I wished, since I was the photographer.

Actually... no. You can't publish somthing that is an invasion of privacy. The legal line on where that is vary from place to place, but just appearing in public does not give a photogrpaher a free pass.

Everytime I watch a video by this Thunderf00t fellow, I find myself wishing I had one of those cool giant foam fingers to wave around, or an airhorn or something.

He is my Captain Planet. I mean, but not... not in a weird way. In a cool, manly way.

By October Mermaid (not verified) on 28 Jan 2008 #permalink

About photography, appearing in public means that others can take your picture. They can not use that image commercially, however. There are exceptions for people "in the public eye", and possibly something that allows news organizations to use crowd pictures without having to get a release from everyone in the crowd, that sort of thing.

As to this video, I love that he basically taunts the DI, inviting them to try to get his videos blocked and threatening to sick Pepper Hamilton on them. That cracks me up.

About photography, appearing in public means that others can take your picture. They can not use that image commercially, however.

But you CAN use it editorially. While some magazines etc will ask if you have a model release, to avoid the possibility of a groundless lawsuit, many won't, because it's unnecessary. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever had a magazine ask if I've had a model release for a people shot. Stock agencies and the like want a model release, but that's so they can sell the photo in commercial as well as editorial contexts (rates are far lower for editorial use so if there's no model release, they're not interested).

So you're right when you say ...

possibly something that allows news organizations to use crowd pictures without having to get a release from everyone in the crowd, that sort of thing

Though the "crowd" can consist of a single person.

Of course it's common good manners to tell people why you're photographing them, if you can.

The commercial use restriction protects one from having one's image used for advertisement, etc, without permission (or payment). Technically covers the sale of images in galleries, etc, too.

BTW pretty much the same rules apply to private property. Using the Coca Cola HQ building in an ad for Pepsi without their permission is probably going to get you in trouble :)