Summary of Kent Hovind/Rational Response Squad Feud September 16, 2007

Summary of Kent Hovind/Rational Response Squad Feud

Brian Flemming has a nice summary of Creationist/felon Kent Hovind’s attack on the Rational Response Squad and anyone who speaks badly of him:

The facts as I’m able to determine them:

1. Kent Hovind, an evangelist for the crackpot Bible-based pseudoscience called creationism, distributes many videos advocating his position.

2. Hovind repeatedly and explicitly states that his videos “are not copyrighted” and encourages free distribution of them.

3. Critics of Hovind use his videos in a quotation context to build their arguments against his position; this usage of Hovind’s work is doubly protected free speech — as fair use (comment and criticism) as well as by Hovind’s own release of copyright in his work.

4. A few days ago, Hovind starts filing copyright-based complaints against his critics who use his videos in their works. He demands that YouTube take the videos down.

5. YouTube responds, Yes, sir! How high? Entire YouTube accounts –including scores of videos containing no disputed content whatsoever — are immediately shut down because of YouTube’s policy of responding like an enraged psychotic schoolgirl to any complaint that contains the word “copyright.”

A little more of the story:

[Hovind’s] organisation, Creation Science Evangelism Ministries, have produced many anti-evolution videos and unleashed them upon the world without copyright restrictions. All very good for propagating their Biblical message – until, that is, some bright graduate students going by the name of Extant Dodo Productions had the idea of editing them to insert rebuttals of each mendacious argument as it arose, and posted them on YouTube.

CSEM starting sending out threatening letters to Extant Dodo, and forcing YouTube to take down the critical videos by claiming the copyright that they had explicitly given away. Unsurprisingly, the no-copyright disclaimer has just recently disappeared from the CSEM website.

One more summary from RRS:

By now, you should be sufficiently pissed off.

Hovind is trying to prove his point by suppressing any criticism. It just makes him look weak. He’s not willing to answer the criticism, so he’ll try to suppress it. It’s the only hope Creationists have.

[tags]atheist, atheism, RRS[/tags]

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  • Is anyone surprised? Creationists make no sense in anything they do or say. Why would this be different? Now add into the mix Kent Hovind. ‘Nuff said.

  • Mriana

    What’s his name is insane! If he can’t make everyone believe in Creationism, he’s going to force it on them by shutting down those who criticise it? Sounds like the Dark Ages to me. 🙄 Surely it will be difficult to do that though. RRS will surely win.

  • That was the best rap song that I have ever heard.

  • Maria

    For once I’m totally behind RRS. This is ridiculous. The Hovid family should be ashamed of themselves. However, they’ve shown in the past that shame doesn’t seem to bother them………

  • grazatt

    Is Hovind doing all this from jail?

  • PAZ


    I’ve only been in the music industry for eight years but I’ve had enough exposure to copyright law to retain a basic understanding of its precepts.

    What surprises me, however, is that although I have seen much coverage regarding this CSE fiasco and the slimey tactics of Hovind et al, I haven’t read a great deal referring to what the law actually states. And there seems to be at least one misunderstanding when it comes to copyright that I would like to set straight within the blogsphere:

    In the United States, the author of intellectual property retains a copyright on his/her work the moment the work is authored. It is automatic and unavoidable. Thus it is fruitless for either Hovind OR anyone else to ever say the words “This material is not copyrighted” or anything similar.

    Firstly, “copyright” is not a verb. It is simply the right to copy and/or issue copies of an original creation. An author retains copyright on his original work of intellectual property automatically (unless he’s under contract that stipulates otherwise, but let’s leave that for now.)

    Now, the important part: although the author can’t refuse the actual copyright, he can express precisely what sort of copying, distribution, etc. he will allow. This is precisely what Hovind, CSE et al were doing for years through their statements both on their website (until recently) and in recorded lectures and public speeches. Since there is a great wealth of documented reference to this effect, it is likely that no court in the entire country would rule in favor of Hovind or CSE for copyright violation. YouTube should know this, but they are either too puny, weak, uneducated or simply afraid to say so.

    Understand the difference: No original work is copyright free… there are simply some works that the copyright holder has stated unequivocally can be freely copied, distributed, altered, cut up, sampled, mixed or mashed, etc. The Fair Use doctrine of the Copyright Act of 1976 protects for MOST of these already; now imagine when, in addition to that, the author states what Hovind has stated for years: “You can copy these, distribute them, do whatever you’d like, there’s no copyright…. etc.” Even though Hovind is incorrect about the fact that there IS a copyright on his works, his mistake only serves to make his position clearer: I as the copyright holder grant you the right to freely copy, edit and distribute my work.

    And there is language to support this. For a primer on copyright law, read this. Under the Exclusive Rights section, you will find one of the rights listed: “to sell or assign these rights to others.” In issuing statements such as Hovind’s, CSE assigns blanket rights to all those who view their materials to freely copy, edit and distribute.

    CSE is even FURTHER flawed now in trying to cover up their blunder by affixing a visible copyright symbol and date on their website. First of all,
    their hyperlink to the new copyright statement denotes “copyright © 2007 CSE MINISTRY” (you can see this at the bottom of just about every page on But click on that link and you’ll find the statement that “Copyright was placed on all Creation Science Evangelism materials (no matter the production date) effective January 1, 2005.

    This creates several problems:

    1. There’s a discrepancy here; is it 2005, or 2007?

    2. You can’t place copyright on original works whenever you’d like. Copyright is not a thing that you attach to intellectual property. It is something you, the author retain at the moment the work is transfixed upon a tangible medium.
    CSE needs to verify the original production dates of ALL their materials, and then place copyright notifications on each one according to the dates of their creation.

    3. Regardless of WHEN the materials were produced, if CSE has a long, documented history of allowing anyone to freely copy, edit and distribute their material, then any copyright claims on their behalf from the moment of production to NOW will never hold up in court.

    Final point: remember that CSE does retain the copyright, so they DO have the right to reverse their long-standing position on copying their works whenever they wish. It is entirely legal for them to issue a statement saying “We no longer extend the right to freely copy, edit and distribute our materials.” But this should not apply to materials that have already been copied and edited. It only applies from this moment on.

    So for all you bloggers who are posting video or text responses to this fiasco, please do not do the disservice of stating that your work is not copyrighted. You retain the copyright. You retained it the moment you created it. Instead, put something like this: “I, the author of this (video/article/etc), am the sole copyright owner, and as such, I grant EVERYONE the right to do whatever the hell you like with this material, including but not limited to copying, editing and distributing, in all territories, in perpetuity.”

    And in the future, if people are editing your material in a manner that acts to criticize your views, you can reverse that statement, just like the insecure pussies at CSE have done.

    Copy that.

  • Maria

    Is Hovind doing all this from jail?

    his family on the outside is behind most of it. Wow Paz, thanks a lot for all that. I learned a lot reading it.

  • Jeff

    Whether you believe in Creation or not, everyone should be able to get their message out to the world. The way I see it, i think CSE did a good job of getting their material out to the masses, and I think the other side should be told openly and freely also.

    its not really about what you do or dont believe, its about having equal time and mediums to do it in.

    love the rap song by the way lol

  • Gadren

    I’m confused, Jeff — it’s the CSE that’s trying to stifle people’s use of their videos when they have released them from copyright.

  • SkepticBanner

    PAZ, you are forgetting that it is possible to submit a video to the public domain. According to this:
    anyways. After submitting a video to the public domain, ownership is lost forever and throughout the universe. CSE explicitly state their videos are NOT copyrighted, which amounts to putting them in the public domain. They retain no ownership and people can do whatever they want. You actually CAN get rid of a copyright. You say it is not copyrighted and it enters the public domain.

  • Mriana

    A few years ago, I started putting a copyright symbol, my name, and date on every story or non-fiction I write and place on my website. Now this might not keep students from trying to steal my non-fiction writings (ie C. S. Lewis essays/research papers), but if profs use that new fandangle program that detects plagerism, they can tell if someone steals my work and said student will receive consequences. Thing is, it’s my website that I paid for and I haven’t given up copyright on anything.

    You don’t have to buy a copyright for such things, unless of course you are going to publish it for a book, recording, or alike that goes out on the market.

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