Monday, November 26, 2007

Mr. Turtle, how many days does it take to get a Creationist to admit they plagiarized?

61, 62, 63... Oh I lost count, but *CRUNCH!!* At least 63. Theyre learning!!!

Though this story broke last week, this was something that me and multiple college students noticed at Dembskis presentation. We asked XVOV/Harvard about it ~24 hours later, and they contacted SW Baptist. Dembski had about 63 days to post "Wait wait wait this was a misunderstanding!" but he didnt. Look, the man is arrogant enough to call the entire scientific community idiots (and wont lower himself to our pathetic 'research'), and he was arrogant enough to play chicken with Harvard Law. Harvard won:

From now on, I will no longer use it and instead go back to using a clip from “Unlocking the Mystery of Life.”
Now, lets ignore the fact the original animation was posted on Uncommon Descent, William Dembskis blog, with the narration, and credits, nine months ago. And lets ignore how Dembski magically stumbled upon this Creationist-Pot-O-Gold that no one else can find 'on the Internet'. Lets ignored the closed comments. Lets ignore Dembski/Behes inability to speak my name. Lets ignore what AtBC calls "The Bart Simpson Defense":
I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything.
Or alternatively, "The OJ Simpson Defense":
Won't somebody help Dr. Bill find the real culprits?

Creationists are always talking about 'The Evidence'. Well, if any of you can find the credits Dembski posted a 'screen shot' of in the video posted here, I will buy you an EXPELLED T-shirt. I love the 'Big Science Academy' ones, myself, but any one you want! Show me the credits Dembski posted a 'screen shot' of, win a T-shirt.


When you find it, and youre all proud of yourself for winning a T-shirt, Ive got disappointing news for you.

I know we are all having a good laugh at this, but unfortunately there is a casualty in this particular fight against Creationism: Harvard is getting 'Inner Life of a Cell' pulled from YouTube and GoogleVideo. They said that since it was available on their website, where they could control it, there was no reason to let uncontrollable copies go on those sites, to be raped by Creationists.

But YouTube is the reason we uncovered this plagiarism. Everyone my age, YouTube is a part of our lives. We've seen every variation of "LEAVE BRITNEY ALON!" and every iPhone unboxing video and LEEEEEEEEROY JENKINS a million times. But YouTube is also a great way to spread knowledge, and millions of people who would not have found 'Inner Life of a Cell' on BioVisions site got to see it.

And like a terrorist putting explosives in their shoes, screwing it up for all of us, such are the actions of Creationists... *sigh* Ill try to convince them to keep it on YouTube, in some capacity...

EDIT 7.30 pm, 11/27/07-- Dembski has edited his original press release. He now says that his credits were dim, and compounded with the projector and lighting (and crappy hack job. he missed crappy hack job of the animation), it might not have been visible to the audience. You know, Im going to give him that. There is something very, very faint on that last screen, and maybe, since he was facing forward, he didnt see that we couldnt see it. Im going to swear to Dembskis god right now, that we were staring at a blank black screen when that animation stopped, and Vic Hutchison supports that:
I was at the lecture and looked for credits on Dembksi's film clip. I did not see one. I have also asked about 12 persons who also attended, including one student member of the Trinity church group, and none recalled any credit at the beginning or end of the clip. Others have also posted the comment that they were at the lecture and saw no credit. Since it is unlikely that all missed it, I conclude that the probability that it was not not there is fairly high.
None of my friends noticed the credits. But fine, Dembski 'intended' the final credits to be there. Hes in the same spot either way-- Harvard told him to stop showing it and delete all copies of the file, and are not amused at any of this, blurry credits or no. Dembski knew about the original animations, but chose not to use them. Dembski has alternate animations to use that he does have a license for, but chose to use one that didnt belong to him, altered, instead. Why? How? We may never know.


Brett said...

I'm going to play devil's advocate and ask if it isnt better that they pull the videos. Since so many people dont know how to see past the illusion of design, wouldn't leaving the videos up just feed into the ID mindset even more? rather than feed scientific curiosity?

Blake Stacey said...

You should tell them that they demean themselves by changing their actions based on what creationists do.

jaranath said...

Well, if I bang my head on the desk several times and then squint really hard at the black image at the end on the auditorium's washed-out screen, I can kinda sorta pretend I see some vague faint ghosty bluish lines that I can't swear AREN'T text.

Therefore, magic man done it?

Whatever. Either way, Dembski's still a twit and I'm still not worthy to delurk in your presence, ERV.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Blake; what they should do is just make sure they've documented what the ID twits did, and if there's any legal recourse to use, take it.

If not, just keep documenting every instance that those guys do something dumb. For instance, the fake Baylor letter Dembski made, the flash animation with farting noises, etc.

Maybe someone should put links to all that on a special site, or maybe just have a special link at the top of Panda's Thumb or something, just so it's easy to find all those screw-ups they do.

Not sure how "family friendly" this is, but for the hell of it, I found this on the web. I like to think maybe it could be ERV when she finally snaps and finally decides to give Behe something that he can't ignore!

Yes, I've been posting that everywhere.

Sick, I know.

Shawn Wilkinson said...

I think it may benefit Harvard to pull entire clips and such, but maybe introduce a trailer on YouTube with a link to the BioVisions site? That would be my suggestion.

Ed Darrell said...

This is a constant problem. Maybe a better solution: Harvard should put it out under Creative Commons license, or some other license.

Heck, even just tracking down abuses and complaining seems to be working well, doesn't it?

This is really a pretty hot and sometimes touchy subject. Larry Lessig at Stanford has a great presentation at TEDS about it. You can see it at my blog and get over to the TEDS site:

Forthekids said...

"Since so many people dont know how to see past the illusion of design, wouldn't leaving the videos up just feed into the ID mindset even more? rather than feed scientific curiosity?"

Okay, I haven't had time to follow this latest melodrama, so let me see if I have this straight.

Dembski used a clip easily found on the Internet, and he credited the source.

Now, Darwinists here and at Harvard are pissed because it was used in an ID presentation. Correct?

So, they are going to pull the clip because they are afraid that those damn "creationists" might continue to share with the public how intricate and complex cells really are. Right?

So, in other words, Harvard et. al. plan to remove the clip because they are afraid the general public might perceive this "illusion" of design as actual design rather than a result of pure Darwinian evolution?

If that's the case, then it is truly a shame that such a wonderful educational tool is being pulled merely because Darwinists feel threatened by ID and seem to fear that the public may actually take the scientific route and follow the evidence where it leads.

alloy said...


"Dembski used a clip easily found on the Internet, and he credited the source."

No, Dembski used a clip that had had it's credits stripped, and with a different narration.

He wanted people to believe that it was a product of the Discovery Institute.

This is theft, fraud and plagiarism.

The shame is that a wonderful educational tool's distribution is to be hindered because creationists have problems with commandment 8 "Thou shalt not steal." and commandment 9 "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."

The commandment doesn't read: "Thou shalt not steal except from Darwinists."

Anonymous said...

forthekids said:

Okay, I haven't had time to follow this latest melodrama, so let me see if I have this straight.

Dembski used a clip easily found on the Internet, and he credited the source.

Now, Darwinists here and at Harvard are pissed because it was used in an ID presentation. Correct?

Nope. Not even close. You should have taken more time to "follow this latest melodrama".

PZ Myers said:
So what would a group of good Christians with the aim of renewing American culture do? Simple. Steal the video. They've grabbed the video, retitled it, removed the biological explanations for the phenomena, dubbed in a really bad, unprofessional narration on top of it, and stripped off the credits. Now, in their various traveling patent medicine shows, they flaunt this unattributed, modified video ripped off from Harvard Biology, and use it in their generic argument from ignorance for anti-evolutionism.

Did you get the part about them removing the biological narration and stripping off of the credits?

Did Dembski only give credit once he was confronted?

forthekids said:So, in other words, Harvard et. al. plan to remove the clip because they are afraid the general public might perceive this "illusion" of design as actual design rather than a result of pure Darwinian evolution?
Well, when the original explanatory narration is cut out in order to help foster that "illusion", then yeah. It's dishonest.

forthekids said:
If that's the case, then it is truly a shame that such a wonderful educational tool is being pulled merely because Darwinists feel threatened by ID and seem to fear that the public may actually take the scientific route and follow the evidence where it leads.

Too bad that since they tore off the original narration that makes your statement about "following the evidence where it leads" to be complete bunk.

If those characters gave half a tinker's damn about following the evidence wherever it leads, they would have come out ahead in the Dover Trial. Instead their claims against evolution fell apart under cross examination, and they had nothing that could stand up to it. Where's their research that shows all this "evidence" that leads to ID?

Jon Voisey said...

FTK: It seems you have missed the story and are making up your own. Here's how it's played out:

Dembski found a clip on the internet he liked. He asked Harvard if he could use it. They said "No. It's not finished yet."

Dembski ignores the fact that he had not been granted permission to use it, "finds" another version of it with a creationist redubbing (yet he hasn't bothered to credit the source that did the redubbing and no one else has been able to find it yet, so there's suspicion that it was the DI doing the dubbing) and decides to use that in his presentation.

He claims to have cited the source (and posts a "screen shot" of completely unknown origin to "prove" it), but the people actually at his presentation don't remember it and the videos of the presentation don't show it either. So the claim that he was citing Harvard is largely in doubt. Either way, he also managed to forget to cite the source that did the redubbing. Oops!

Claiming that it's "ok" because it's "easily found on the internet" is a rather lame argument as well. It's rather easy to find movies from the theater on the internet as well, but if you go around showing them, you can damn well bet that the movie industry won't accept "well I found it on the internet" as a valid excuse.

And as you know by now (but conveniently forget), it's not the "scientific route" when it posits supernatural causation.

waldteufel said...

Looks like "For the Kids" has the same moral compass as Dembski.

Pathetic, disgusting thievery and lying seems to be their stock in trade.

Christian values, apparently.

Blake Stacey said...

reynold wrote,

If those characters gave half a tinker's damn about following the evidence wherever it leads, they would have come out ahead in the Dover Trial.

No. There never would have been a Dover trial, because they would all have become evolutionary biologists.

I do rather like that "Mad Daphne" picture.

blipey said...

Hey Ftk,

I know you hate questions, but I've got one for you:

As ERV asked, can you show us where Dumbski showed the class those credits? You know, the one that he said he showed at the end of the video. I watched the video (probably some other people have too, just a guess), there are no Harvard copyright notices.

You don't think Dr. Dr. could be lying do you? Thanks for playing, Ftk, now why don't you go home and play in your empty house?

ERV said...

I agree with jaranath-- I zoomed in on the video I have. This is the best screen shot I can find to support Dembski.

But compare that to this.

Not a believer, but open to new evidence, as the video I got is obviously low quality. It is theoretically possible that the biologists in the audience were so violently ill, they missed it. I know lots of OU students were at the presentation-- Does anyone remember credits? It would at least (somewhat) 'help' what Dembski did.

waldteufel said...

Sorry, Abbie . . .
I meant to also thank you for not letting Billy Dembski off the hook.

Your posts are incisive, factually correct, and frankly entertaining.

I'm sure that if you didn't have a future in science, you surely would have a future in writing.

Bad said...

FortheKids: are you the same person rapidly expending PZ's patience over at Pharyngula? Nice to meet you!

Some advice: remember that stories are so much more interesting when you leave in all the key details for the sake of accuracy.

ERV said...

Btw-- We're also trying to hunt down videos of presentations by Dembski and other DI 'fellows' who have reportedly used this animation. Written accounts of the events dont mention Harvard (nor did the attendees recognize the animation to call BS then and there), but maybe they will have more visible credits. Maybe credits will soothe Harvard a bit. Maybe it will make them more angry. *shrug*

Annyday said...

Why not put up an "official" version of the video on youtube with an XVIVO account, with credits and requests not to copy on the right, under "about this video"? I don't think that will be any easier to rip from than their site and it improves accessibility.

On another note: LEAVE DEMBSKI ALONE!!!!

Jon Voisey said...

Let's assume for a moment that Dembski did actually put the credits in that no one can seem to find. Does this still make it legal under "fair use"?

From Folsom v. Marsh (one of the cases establishing the framework for all fair use understanding):

[A] reviewer may fairly cite largely from the original work, if his design be really and truly to use the passages for the purposes of fair and reasonable criticism. On the other hand, it is as clear, that if he thus cites the most important parts of the work, with a view, not to criticize, but to supersede the use of the original work, and substitute the review for it, such a use will be deemed in law a piracy

Clearly, Dembski and all the other DI folks that have been using this video did so with the intent to supersede the original intent. As such, it's piracy. I suppose they should be walkin' the plank?

Anonymous said...

blake stacey said:
No. There never would have been a Dover trial, because they would all have become evolutionary biologists.

Good point.

I do rather like that "Mad Daphne" picture.

Thanks. I'd like to take credit but I suck as an artist.

Brett said...

Nice to see FTK attack what I said while conveniently leaving out that I had said I was playing devil's advocate. I don't think it's a good thing for those videos to be taken down, but people are going to interpret those dazzling animations any way they want.

Rhoadan said...

Actually after watching the clip on this post, it doesn't sound to me like they stripped the narration off. I very clearly heard music playing under the overdubbed narration, and that tells me that DI mangled the short version of the film which doesn't have the narration in the first place. The long version with narration doesn't have the music. I just went to Harvard's multimedia page and verified that. This does not, of course, change the fact that they plagiarized it.

Fred Ross said...

I tried to look for credits, really I did. But I had never heard Dembski speak before, and thirty seconds of it was frankly enough. I realize it's shallow and ad hominem, but does anyone else think the man sounds like a five year old trying desperately to win an argument with its parents?

Abbie, you're sitting through this stuff on tape and transcribing it? Your devotion is astounding.

Jens Knudsen (Sili) said...

Damn - blame the victim much, FtK?

alloy said...

Now I wonder why Comments are closed on this "Uncommon Descent" entry?

Torbjörn Larsson said...

I usually like it medium rare, but "well done" is an appropriate treatment of Dembski's ass.


Very funny. Dembski is the poster child for the weasel type of creationist, who throws up a lot of mischaracterization and erroneous facts, doesn't hold to a definition, and starts to outright lie when cornered. (The bully type who constantly transparently lie has of course its foremost proponent in Luskin.) And Dembski makes these silly and immoral actions so often.

More generally, creationism has constantly attacked science and especially biology, frantically so for the last two centuries, with negative criticism and mischaracterization instead of being a constructive member of society. Besides that the onus is on the crank and cultish crowd, imagine the relief when scientists don't have to uphold valuable scientific standards on the arena of scientific or public discourse, but once in a while can take the shirt off and start swinging in a fair fight for common rights.

Dembski had it coming.

rsht61 said...

I gather from what ERV writes that the video that we have seen in reduced YouTube quality was filmed by someone on Dembski's side, not ours. It is perfectly reasonable for a non-professional cameraman to record a lecture using auto-focus. Sudden changes in light will cause the focus to alter and it will not re-adjust properly in low light conditions. Yes, it is possible that there is something there in what looks almost completely black. The other frame ERV grabbed for comparison seems damning, but is not necessarily a clincher, for two reasons. a) there are different colors used there, which could have had an effect; b) if the camera had already focused correctly on something bright enough at that distance, it wouldn't necessarily jump out of focus just because of a change in the amount of light, i.e. if there are faint bluish credits at the end of the film, a possible reason for them to be invisible on the video is that the image had just changed at the end of the animation and the camera went out of focus at the end because the brightness dropped so suddenly.

If - big emphasis on "if" - that is the case, it's only mitigating for Dembski inasmuch as it permits him to claim that he made no deliberate effort to worsen the crime he'd already committed. All the rest looks very black for him. If Harvard wouldn't give it to him, for whatever reason or with whatever excuse, he had no right to make any public use of it, period. Had he legally obtained a copy and presented a much shorter clip, unaltered and with proper credit given loud and clear, he might have been able to get away with a claim of "fair use." But that's academic, because he did none of those. He took it where he could find it, without informing the rights-holders, from whom he claims to have requested it, it was presented as more than a short clip, it had an uncredited narration unauthorized by the rights-holders and, whatever brief and near-illegible credit might have been at the end, he did the opposite of making clear what the clip's origin was. He prefaced it with talk of Behe's research and praised the animation's technical level, without naming who did it. This is knowingly to mislead an audience into thinking that the ID community (whether DI or anyone else) was somehow responsible for what was about to be shown. Were that not the intention, all Dembski had to do was say that XVIVO had made it for Harvard. He can claim no excuses at this point; he had the floor and was not being rushed or heckled. He gave the impression he intended to and it was a false one.

I would say the ball is in Harvard's court; if they want to they can take action and Dembski won't have a leg to stand on.

As for comments being closed on his UD statement, so much for him not being hands-on enough there to know what's going on. If there had been blogs during the Spanish Inquisition, you can bet comments would always have been closed on Torquemada's. Since no one can ask Dembski for it at UD, I'll ask him from here: how about posting the complete video from which that frame came, with no omitted context?

Wesley said...

The captured frame is not out of focus. See the title across the top and the frame lines at the edges? They would be fuzzier if the camera were seeking at the time.

Asking Dembski to post anything that includes the Harvard/XVIVO content in any form simply doesn't work. If he did, it would be another instance of publication without permission, and open him up to statutory damages for that instance as well. He can provide such, if it exists, in court, if things go that far. I'm assuming that they won't go that far, but I've been wrong before.

Wesley R. Elsberry

rsht61 said...

Dembski writes: "Here is the screen capture of the final thing people saw when I presented the video"

Is that an assertion that the image he posts was taken at Oklahoma (if so, obviously from a different angle/second camera)?

I agree that these answers should properly be given in court and it would be unfortunate if circumstances were not to permit us to hear them.

Ipse Dixit said...

Muchos Kudos amigo. I referenced you in one of my own newsblog entries here, about the forthcoming movie Expelled you mention. I hope you like the blog. Hat tip for the subject.

Again, good eye.

Steven said...

Great work Abbie. These frauds need to be exposed every time.

Wesley said...

I have linked here and touch on a couple more weirdnesses concerning Dembski's notpology in this post.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Joolya said...

What the HELL is the narration over this blatantly plagiarized animation? It's AWFUL. It sounds like it was dubbed in one take by an stoned undergrad. No offense to stoned undergrads.
"The ribosome binds to the surface of the endoplasmic reticulum or the Golgi body"??? Really? Are they serious?

Ric said...

Hey, did anyone else notice how careful Dembski was to note that he personally didn't remove the copyright notice or add the voice over? Of course, he doesn't say anything about whether he knows who did (and of course he does, because it was the DI. In fact, it's likely that he was involved, though he may not have done the actual computer work). He's very careful to use the passive voice: "The version I used took the original soundtrack, which simply had music, and added a voice". Notice there is no subject performing any of these actions.

He is also very vague about where he got it. He says he found it on the internet and downloaded it, but he doesn't say where he found it or downloaded it from, because of course he found it on an intelligent design website, and he was probably provided the link by one of his associates.

It all reminds me of a time in 5th grade when I got in trouble for prank calling a fellow student. I swore up and down that by no means did I prank call anyone. Of course I neglected to mention that my brother did it at my behest. The principal bought it. Of course this is typical 5th grade stuff, and something for which I am now ashamed.

Lying by omission: Dembski is a stellar Christian, isn't he? Well, we at least know he has the ethics of a 5th grader.

-DG said...

I just wanted to say that I've never commented here on this blog (at least I don't think) but I'm a pretty big fan. As a fellow grad student I admire your tenacity in ripping apart the ID and creationist hordes. As a non-blogger I'm usually attempting to do the same over on in any related thread that appears. It is a challenge but blogs such as yours, PT, Pharyngula, etc provide a handy compendium of resources. I usually keep several posts bookmarked for easy reference to journal citations and explanations for aspects of evolution outside of my own research. Keep up the good work!

Dan Gaston

Odificil said...

I already posted this on Pharyngula,

You don't have to be much of a photoshopper to realize that the screen capture Mr.D is posting at UCD is taken from a computer screen. The camera is clearly visible over "Scientific" word, and on the upper right corner you can see few fingers holding it.

I can produce the modified image later, but I am sure there are lots of people that can do some CSI-work better than me. Explore.

What - of course - makes it funny is that D is providing those credits as a evidence for something what I hear never existed. However, that does not appear too authentic clipping from any presentation.. ;)

rsht61 said...

Right, now he's revamped his statement on UD (did anyone save the original version?). I think most of what has been changed is obvious. What's funny is he's obviously reading what we're writing (we know he knows who ERV is) and is trying to plug some holes while not answering some very important points.

He emphasizes he wanted to buy it (and adds he would encourage others to do so - he's must be quaking over Harvard's response), without saying whether he thinks owning a copy might have given him a right to use it in public.

He still says he found it on the net (does he not remember exactly where or is he knowingly trying to protect a source he knows to be guilty?)

He's hanging on desperately to the passive voice ric mentioned above (nobody did it, but it was done), but he reiterates that he had nothing to do with it, especially not the voice-over. Why does he want to distance himself more from the voice-over than the rest? Is that the easiest to prove? Is it an admission that, while it really wasn't his voice, well, maybe he did have just a teeny little bit to do with some other aspects of the alterations? Bluntly, why is he making different denials of different weight?

He admits the credits he provides are dim; all the more reason to have said something if he had really wanted it known who did the work.

So, a long, long time after the accusation was first made, Dembski finally formulates a fuzzy statement he hopes will take some of the sting away, with a suitably fuzzy illustration and the next day, having probably spent the whole time in between cringing at the lack of gullibility among his enemies, comes out with a new version of it, without explaining openly why he did so, without answering the really crucial questions of which he's very aware and without, of course, changing the "comments closed" policy on his post. What theory ever predicted a human could change into a weasel, before regressing to a worm (with profuse apologies to the latter two life forms).

Anonymous said...

This is the best screen shot I can find to support Dembski.

In this video you can see that if you mess with the contrast and color levels you can barely see what looks like a buncha words and stuff:


Unknown said...

Merely pointing out how complicated and intricate something is, which you creationists love to do, is not scientific evidence for ID. There is no scientific evidence for ID, there is no body of research work supporting ID, there is no theoretical framework and predictions to guide research in ID. You and your ilk are only trying to promote your Christian religion and destroy science and rationalism. Nothing more.

Unknown said...

I don't recall Dembski giving credit to anyone for the video. When I posted about the discussion on IIDB, I had to look up the video to get the actual name of it. Had he posted a "credits" slide, I wouldn't have had to spend so much time googling to find it.


jaranath said...

I don't see that it's terribly significant, but still, I'll also point out that Dembski's version of the video is not quite identical to the common short version such as ERV has linked. Play them in side-by-side windows and you'll notice that the Dembskiied version is strangely longer, by several seconds. I don't see any obvious edits. The video looks a little jumpy, so perhaps it's the result of those fits and starts...which only seem to be in the video, not the audio.

Which brings up another odd thing that's been bugging me. Our mystery narrator is awful, but he doesn't seem to say anything ID-ish, unless I'm not hearing him well enough...there are a few bits I'm not making out well. As others have said, even if Dembski's "it fell off a truck on the Intertubes" excuse is true, his "I took what I wasn't given" defense is remarkably stupid, even for him. But I do wonder just which truck this fell from. Possibly just some generic person's attempt at narration, or even a "rough cut" from Harvard/XVIVO?

steveh said...

What Dr. Dr. Demsbki's notpology tells us is that he had a doctored copy of the clip in his possesion which had end credits but no start credits.

The youtube video shows a clip which appears to have no end credits either. My design inference, is therefore, that the clip we see in youtube has been doctored a second time, making it a doctored doctered clip. Sadly, it can not explain who or what might have been responsible.

trrll said...

'Well, when the original explanatory narration is cut out in order to help foster that "illusion", then yeah. It's dishonest.'

Is it clear that Dembski actually cut out the narration? There was a shorter version with the music and without the narration.

Note that plagiarism and copyright violation are two different things; the former is a legal violation, the latter is an ethical one. Something may be in violation of copyright but not plagiarized, or the other way around. There is no such thing as "fair use" when it comes to plagiarism, which is a matter of giving proper credit, and does not depend upon how much material you appropriate or for what purpose. Plagiarism is a form of deception, and could cross over into being a matter of law if it rises to the level of fraud.

Copyright violation, on the other hand does not depend at all upon whether the material is credited or uncreditied. Whether or not a usage constitutes fair use is dependent upon

"1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."

Note that there is no mention of credits, although conceivably that could influence a court's decision regarding the purpose and character of the work. If it is for the purpose of education, then it is arguably fair use. On the other hand, if it is to perpetrate a fraud--e.g. to give a false impression of the amount or quality of research conducted by ID "researchers," then it probably is not.

Andrew T. said...


The "Fair Use" doctrine (and in particular the 'length' criterion) can be thought of as permitting, for example, "Ebert & Roeper At The Movies" to show a two-minute clip of the movie they're reviewing without permission and without violating copyright for educational purposes.

This analogy isn't perfect, but it's a pretty good rule-of-thumb.

The point is that NOTHING in the "Fair Use" doctrine permits someone to use the **ENTIRETY** of a copyrighted work for any purpose, educational or not. "Fair Use" is exactly what it implies; a brief "use" of copyrighted material, rather than stealing it in its entirety.

trrll said...

"The point is that NOTHING in the "Fair Use" doctrine permits someone to use the **ENTIRETY** of a copyrighted work for any purpose, educational or not. "

If they had actually used the **ENTIRETY** of the video, then it would not be plagiarism, as the entire video includes prominent credits.

Moreover, it is more accurate to say that NOTHING in the "Fair Use" doctrine specifically PROHIBITS somebody from using the entirety of a copyrighted work. The amount used is only one of the factors the courts are instructed to consider, and in fact there have been cases in which copying the entirety of a work has been held to constitute Fair Use, the best known being the celebrated "Betamax" case.

ERV said...

Guys, it doesnt matter about copyright or how much they showed or whatever. Harvard sent him cease and desist letters, Dembski is complying.

This is a win.

Go laugh now.

Blake Stacey said...

I see your 24 spoof video, and I raise you a Cosmos/Matrix mashup.

andrew said...

Missing/broken closing tag toward the end of the post causing some font weirdness.

I'm counting the day until you fix this, ERV!!!

Har har, me so funny.

Good work, once again. You are a superhero.

ERV said...


Monado said...

When it comes to finally flipping out and fighting back, I favour the image of Hothead Paisan with a fire axe, but only for imagining, of course.

steveh said...

A notpology. Having seen the "original" clip found by Greg Laden, it's pretty clear that Dembski did not make any alterations himself and it was remiss of me to imply that he might have. The credits were really faint and it's not surprising they didn't show up in a secondary video of the clip. I suspect that's why Dembs^W^W^W^W^W But he still shouldn't have copied and shown (in public) a film which had a copyright notice that he had obviously noticed.