Hovindian revisionism

We’ve all heard how the Creation Science Evangelism, Kent Hovind’s organization, has been strongarming YouTube to suppress criticisms of his bad science. Well, check this out: now CSE has been caught red-handed revising their licensing. Where before they declared everything free and good to disseminate, now they are retroactively claiming copyright.

I take that as an admission that they can’t stand the heat.


  1. says

    Maybe it’s true what they say about the decline of religiosity and morals.

    Apparently, the mere existence of atheists is enough to turn God-fearing men into dishonest, cheating, swindling, undercover-cops-in-airports-fondling assholes.

    I never knew Christians were so devoid of integrity.

  2. Physicalist says

    In the interests of accuracy, I took a look in the wayback machine, and it seems to me that for the past couple years their website has claimed copyright. I’d still assume that parody is fair use, though. And they’re certainly still wankers . . .

  3. Moses says

    Tough times if you’re a creo, anymore. I think their deliberate malfeasance can be challenged/exposed, in writing, with video, in a persistent, impersonal manner over the Internet, which tends to give atheists and skeptics a level playing field when they get to public forums. I believe, in the end the strident-wing of the creo’s will hang themselves; their incessant need to prostelyze while lying and cheating just doesn’t work like it used to work when I was a kid.

  4. Hank says

    While the actions of the hovindians are annoying at best, the hysterical reactions are just plain silly. Is the pond really so small that removal of videos from a site spells the end of the world? There’s no need to get so emotional. It’s the internets, calling something like this a pogrom (really, a pogrom?) is just a sign of unwarrantes self-importance.

    Fix the problem, expose Hovind and friends, get the videos back up, yes. Flail arms and whine, no.

  5. says

    Hovind’s fans are hypocrites in and of themselves?
    My goodness, I would have never realized that.
    Next, I bet you’ll be telling me that water is wet due to the action of hydrogen-bonding.

  6. says

    (I’m referring to the passage that PZ quoted at length in his 9/11 post on this topic. Was that recently nabbed from a Hovind site, or had PZ grabbed it a few years ago?)

  7. says

    By the way: As was pointed out here, once a work enters the public domain, it’s there forever. So while Hovind can assert copyright over stuff he creates now, anything he created back in his copyright-waiving days cannot be pulled retroactively under the copyright umbrella.

    Oh, and by the way: Even if it could, using mere snippets instead of the whole thing is OK under fair-use laws. So there.

  8. says

    Hovindism and compulsive lying seem to have a high rate of comorbidity.

    Yes, and standing under a falling grand piano has a tendency to negatively impact one’s health.

  9. says

    Man… CSE and Hovind are some pretty slimy bastards, aren’t they? I feel like I need to to take a shower just after reading about them.


  10. remy says

    Thanks Corey,
    I think godtube is going to be one of my favorites.
    I just fagged Eric Hovinds anti-evolution clip as inappropriate.

  11. firemancarl says

    I wonder how Hovind can claim copyright AFTER THE FACT? I have watched a bunch of the videos ExtantDodo has. In many of them, they play the waiver that Hovind ans his homies uses to “spread the word and change lives”. So, after their claims get throughly trounced and flayed open, they claim right of copyright to keep the news from getting out. It is patently obvious that the CSE has something to hide otherwise, they’d ignore what ExtantDodo has done. Besides, isn’t god and jebus gonna help them out?

  12. Soldierwhy says

    Does anyone think that anything will come of this? Reading the Rational Responders site they seem quite clear that sending false DMCA notices is a felony.

    Can we expect to see another Hovind in the dock?

  13. Anthony says

    It’s obvious what the best solution is. Make a website that plays the original video and along side play all the responses to it. Let it pause the original video as needed while making points. Then they cannot take down the video for copyright reasons since the original video is simply untouched. Problem solved.

  14. Tulse says

    Make a website that plays the original video and along side play all the responses to it.

    I am definitely not a lawyer, but my guess would be that playing the original video unedited would be far dodgier from a copyright perspective than playing a version that has the commentary edited in. The latter looks much more like fair use than simply making the original available.

  15. Steven Carr says

    ‘Hovindism and compulsive lying seem to have a high rate of comorbidity.’

    And Popes tend to be Catholic, while bears often perform activities of defecation in wooded areas.

  16. jfatz says

    “I take that as an admission that they can’t stand the heat.”

    …and are participating in illegal copyright claims?

  17. says

    @Physicist #4

    Compare (present-day)

    with Wayback-Machine’s archive here:

    You’ll notice the text is basically identical except that one sentence has been snipped from this paragraph:

    One outreach of Creation Science Evangelism is Dr. Kent Hovind’s Creation Seminar, now given by three speakers (including Dr. Hovind) around the country and even around the world! The creation seminar, along with debates, public school presentations, and our children’s ministry, Dinosaur Adventure Land are supplemented by our line of creation related materials, to help others gain a better understanding of the creation/evolution subject and to help them spread the word. (None of the materials produced by Creation Science Evangelism are copyrighted, so feel free to copy those and distribute them freely.) Our web site is another facet of our ministry, provided to help spread the truth into all the world.

  18. Doug says

    Aside from the fair use issue, I don’t believe the copyright issue is clear cut. Yes, on one page it was written:

    …(None of the materials produced by Creation Science Evangelism are copyrighted, so feel free to copy those and distribute them freely.)

    But on that same page, on the bottom, and on all drdino pages, it was written:


    I don’t know which one takes precedence. Obviously pre-2005 the second all-caps copyright did not take effect.

    I believe the furor is over the recent CSE copyright notice::

    All information and or content provided by Creation Science Evangelism’s website (unless otherwise stated) is protected by copyright laws and is owned by Creation Science Evangelism. This information and or content includes, but is not limited to, graphics, images, photographs, audio clips, video clips, text, articles and products.

    Copyright was placed on all Creation Science Evangelism materials (no matter the production date) effective January 1, 2005. Permission is given to duplicate and distribute our products – within the following guidelines:

    1. Materials are to be copied, unedited, unaltered and distributed absolutely free of charge.
    2. Under no circumstances are copies of our videos / DVD’s / Printed Materials to be sold for any price.

    Acceptance of Terms of Use:
    The use of the Creation Science Evangelism website is subject to the terms of use as defined and governed by this copyright policy, which constitutes a legal binding agreement between you and Creation Science Evangelism. By using this website you hereby acknowledge that you have read, understood, and are in agreement to be bound by the terms of use as defined and governed by this copyright policy.

  19. Doug says

    Thanks Corey,
    I think godtube is going to be one of my favorites.
    I just fagged Eric Hovinds anti-evolution clip as inappropriate.

    So much for the moral highground.

  20. says

    Actually it looks like they added the copyright tag, after April of 2005. It says that effective January 2005, they are claiming the copyright to all of their materials from the beginning of time.

    So they retroactively are claiming 4 months back that they retroactively are claiming any work they produced in the last 6000 years (since God created the day in 6 literal days).

    With legal minds like these it’s no wonder they can get out of paying taxes… oh.

  21. bernarda says

    Maybe someone has already mentioned it because I am sure it is going to be popular. Here is a law suit we might get behind.


    “Chambers lawsuit, which was filed on Friday in Douglas County Court, seeks a permanent injunction ordering God to cease certain harmful activities and the making of terroristic threats.

    The lawsuit admits God goes by all sorts of alias, names, titles and designations and it also recognizes the fact that the defendant is “Omnipresent”.

    In the lawsuit Chambers says he’s tried to contact God numerous times, “Plaintiff, despite reasonable efforts to effectuate personal service upon Defendant (“Come out, come out, wherever you are”) has been unable to do so.”

    The suit also requests that the court given the “peculiar circumstances” of this case waive personal service. It says being Omniscient, the plaintiff assumes God will have actual knowledge of the action.”

  22. Dirk Diggler says

    I am sorry if this video has been posted previously, but it is so effing funny that I couldn’t help it. It’s called:

    “Science, evolution, and creation: Ali G vs Kent Hovind”

  23. says

    Well, there are several major problems with this attempt at retro-copyright:

    a) There is considerable evidence (available via Google’s DejaNews Usenet archives and the Wayback Archive) that as early as 1996, Hovind was expressly claiming all videos were in the public domain and multiple non-Hovind maintained archives existed (specifically made by Hovind sympathisers).

    In addition, up until roughly early 2006, there is evidence Hovind himself was distributing the videos in full in RealMedia format on his website (in early 2006, the video download page was changed to a redirect to his bogus $250,000 challenge).

    b) As others have noted, public domain is pretty much forever; the *ONLY* known cases of works being un-public-domained in the whole of US history are in regards to copyrights that were seized from people during time of war (under the Trading With The Enemy Act) and held in the public domain until the end of hostilities.

    There are probably better discussions elsewhere, but I’ve noted here where Eric Hovind is apparently confusing public domain with open source copylefting; copylefting (such as licensing under the GPL or BSD licenses, the Creative Commons license, the Open Gaming License, Mozilla License, etc.) *does* allow one to allow copying but restrict distribution and maintain creative control, whereas public domain releases pretty much are a formal revocation of all copyright claims.

    Where Hovind gets in serious trouble is that you *cannot* legally re-copyright works that are in the public domain (based on the new terms of release, they seem to be attempting to retroactively “Creative Commons License” their entire library). You can release something that was formerly under an open-source license into the public domain, but *not* vice versa; companies that have tried it have gotten burned in the courts for it (one of the most notorious smackdowns of this sort being with the SCO Corporation, which ended up going bankrupt; in essence they tried to retroactively close BSD-licensed material in practically all *nix and *nix-clone operating systems and demand licensing fees, which blew up very messily in their faces when IBM and the like countersued).

    c) It’s also interesting that Eric Hovind is now trying to prevent companies from charging for the tapes and DVDs (I honestly expect this move was being done as a specific legal maneuver when it became apparent that Kent Hovind *was* likely going to prison–specifically in an attempt to show there were no profits or assets).

    It is especially interesting in light of the fact that Kent Hovind was apparently a ghost-writer for some Jack Chick tracts (and a consultant for a number of others, mostly relating to dominionist demonisation of natural selection); Hovind has a very prominent place on Chick’s website and the Chick Tracts website not only carries the videos but charges quite a bit more than it costs to press them. (One wonders when Eric Hovind is going to sue Jack Chick for violation of copyright…)