Wednesday, April 09, 2008

EXPELLED: EXPELLED for plagiarism

This was Kevin Millers ('writer' for EXPELLED) response to my question, "Who made your animation?"

Who made our animation? Some nondescript place with no sign called "Plagermation." Seemed legitimate to me...
Lets see if that holds up in court.
Dear ____:

This letter will constitute notice to you, as Chairman of Premise Media Corporation, of the copyright infringement by your corporation, and its subsidiary, Rampant Films, of material produced by XVIVO LLC, in which XVIVO holds a copyright.

It has come to our intention that Premise Media and Rampant Films has produced a film entitled “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” which is scheduled for commercial release and distribution on April 18, 2008. To our knowledge, this film includes a segment depicting biological cellular activity that was copied by computer-generated means from a video entitled “The Inner Life of a Cell.” XVIVO holds the copyright to all the models, processes, and depictions in this video, and has not authorized Premise Media or Rampant Films to make any use of this material.

We have obtained promotional material for the “Expelled” film, presented on a DVD, that clearly shows in the “cell segment” the virtually identical depiction of material from the “Inner Life” video. We particularly refer to the segment of the “Expelled” film purporting to show the “walking” models of kinesic activities in cellular mechanisms. The segments depicting these models in your film are clearly based upon, and copied from, material in the “Inner Life” video.

We have been advised by counsel that this segment in your film constitutes an actionable infringement of XVIVO’s intellectual property rights, as protected by federal statutes, including Section 106 of the Copyright Act, the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, and the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998. Each of these statutes provides for judicial enforcement of their provisions, with substantial civil penalties for their infringement.

We have also obtained legal advice that your copying, in virtually identical form, of material in the “inner Life” video clearly meets the legal test of “substantial similarity” between the copied work and our original work.

This letter will also serve as notice to you that XVIVO intends to vigorously and promptly pursue its legal remedies for your copyright infringement, unless and until Premise Media, Rampant Films, and their officers, employees, and agents comply with the following demands:

1) That Premise Media, Rampant Films, and its officers, employees, and agents remove the infringing segment from all copies of the “Expelled” film prior to its scheduled commercial release on or before April 18, 2008;

2) That all copies of the “Inner Life” video in your possession or under your control be returned to XVIVO;

3) That Premise Media notify XVIVO, on or before April 18, 2008, of its compliance with the above demands.

We have been advised, by a telephone conversation with Mellie Bracewell of Premise Media on April 8, 2008, that an e-mail transmission of this letter to her will be promptly forwarded to you. A hard copy of this letter, on XVIVO stationary, will also be sent to you today by express delivery.

We are sure that you will want to avoid legal action in this matter, and urge you to promptly notify us of your compliance with the above demands. You may do so by return e-mail, directed to _____, followed by a hard-copied letter indicating your compliance with the above demands.

I cant wait to find out who made their Frankenstein copy. Im sure the Usual Suspects had *nothing* to do with it.


Edited to add-- Wes has a nice, non-legal observation that EXPELLED cronies might want to think about, considering Dembski and the Discovery Institutes history with 'Inner Life'.

And, Premise Media people reading my blog *whispers* I can see yoooooou LOL!!! LOSERS!

161 comments:

Tyler DiPietro said...

Can't wait for the spin and damage control to start, I'll have rolling shorters at my place just like the last time.

Dan said...

But... but... but... They're "Christians," Abby. They wouldn't lie, cheat or steal. They're bastions of morality. They...

Man. It's tough keeping that up for any length of time.

Good work, Abby. You pretty much rock harder than granite.

Bill said...

The original release date for Expelled was Feb 8, but it was unexpectedly pulled shortly after the copyright problem regarding "the cell as a city" was revealed.

Apparently, Expelled scrambled to produce a "like copy" of the material hoping to get around copyright.

I'm speculating, here.

Obviously, it wasn't enough. Since the "intelligent design" cult doesn't have any real scientists all they could hope for was to produce a knock-off in different color and hope it passed muster.

It didn't.

We're talking about Epic Fail Losers here. Loserville, population Discovery Institute. Mayor Behe of Loserville presiding.

William Wallace said...

Yawn,

More PT-mafia shakedown tactics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB6G9GD2KFk

The above youtube may also be infringing on the copyright (more directly).

Martin Wagner said...

That's the spirit, William. That doggone reality isn't going to get the best of you!

Rich Hughes said...

William Wallace - The nugget from UD? My goodness. Could you tell us what the theory of ID is, WW?

Tyler DiPietro said...

Yes, indeed, my paisans at XVIVO are certainly in cahoots with the "PT-mafia". We have a very, eh, close-knit operation, if ya know what I mean.

Smokey said...

Great timing...

Bill said...

Dear William Wallace,

You can use material produced by another agency, intelligent or otherwise, if you receive permission and give credit where credit is due.

Otherwise, it's stealing.

Right, William Wallace? It's stealing. You agree with that, I'm sure since you're an upright, Christian fellow.

So, all Expelled had to do was obtain permission and give credit. Is that right, William Wallace? Yes? Correct?

Otherwise, it's stealing. We're clear on that point I assume. Would you agree that stealing is bad and getting permission is good.

My moral worldview says that's the case. How about yours?

William Wallace said...

A few minutes on google: "Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself; it does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work."

See also Title Title 17 Circular 92 Chapter 1 § 107

Threatening letters are cheap. Anybody want to wager if the footage stays?

Tyler DiPietro said...

Welcome to another game of grasp at straws for dear life. Your host, William Wallace:

"Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself..."

Which, of course, would include the particular artistic depiction of the (factual) cellular mechanisms that Expelled clearly pilferred.

Smokey said...

... especially if the ripoff includes the inaccuracies of the original expression.

Maybe WW can tell us what was inaccurate about the representation of kinesin, for example, as it's highly relevant to the IDers yammering, 'It's like a bunch of designed machines, therefore it must have been designed!'

Probably not.

Anonymous said...

How can this be? I just listened to Expelled Producer Mark Mathis whining about how Judge Jones supposedly plagerized 90% of the Dover decision from the ACLU over on the Sci Am podcast.

Surely he's against plagerism, right?

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=a-conversation-with-mark-mathis

-Siamang

Pleco said...

giggity

monado said...

It's about time that the researchers, programmers, and developers who worked to produce the scientific film got served notice that they won't stand to have their work copied.

Artfulskeptic said...

[quote] A few minutes on google: "Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself; it does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work."

See also Title Title 17 Circular 92 Chapter 1 § 107

Threatening letters are cheap. Anybody want to wager if the footage stays?[/quote]

Ah, but XVIVO is talking about "the particular way an author (in this case XVIVO) has expressed himself." There is no legal issue as to whether the processes depicted in the film are real and factual.

What is at issue is whether Rampant's cheap knock off is different enough from XVIVO's sleek production in terms of its presentation to avoid copyright protection.

If Rampant simply redid the XVIVO production in more or less the same order with more or less the same animations, wording etc, then the cheap knock off probably fails the plagiarism test.

William Wallace said...

Search "inner life of a cell" @ youtube: 70 results.

Many of them direct copyright infringements (unlike the fair use by Expelled).

What would be a good friendly wager?

Bet: Either the footage in question will be pulled as a result of these legal threats, or damages will be paid and appeals, if any, will be lost or abandoned.

Amount: $100 to the U.S. registered non-profit of the winner's choice paid by the looser of this bet.

Any takers? ERV?

I did not think so.

* * *
Rich Hughes, Intelligent design may or may not be science, but all I claim is that it is a valid and rational counter-claim to the T.o.E. (Nice photograph, by the )way.

Gary said...

Expelled For Plagiarism = More Epic Fail For ID

Beautiful stuff. I'm really looking forward to seeing this play out.

Rich Hughes said...

Hi William. So you don't know / don't think ID has a theory? So it isn't science?

I'd agree. So then why are you so vested in it?

Tyler DiPietro said...

"I did not think so."

Well, whatever helps you sleep at night.

Though I am curious as to how "Expelled's" replica of Inner Life falls under "Fair Use".

Allen MacNeill said...

I’m curious; isn’t there a commandment about stealing in there somewhere? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

Rich Hughes said...

I think there's one about telling the truth as well, Allen.

monado said...

All you have to do is look at all the different ways a class of art students draws a bowl of fruit to realize that two people indpendently contemplating the same thing don't all have the same perspective. Two drawings of the same bowl of fruit is OK. Two concepts of molecular motion is OK. Copying someone else's drawing is not.

monado said...

Expelled isn't "fair use." It wasn't a review of the Harvard video. It didn't show a snippet and direct people to get the whole thing from Harvard. It didn't acknowledge the authors nor get permission.

Can we get some stills from the two videos to show the similarities? And maybe from an unrelated video so people can see what independent development looks like?

Forthekids said...

"Rich Hughes... (Nice photograph, by the way)."

snicker...yeah, ain't he a cutie?


You just have to wonder how many Darwinists are out there racking their brains trying to find some way to sue the producers of Expelled. It's been highly entertaining watching you folks fall all over yourselves trying to discredit this film.

I'm sure you'll come up with something to slap them with a lawsuit over. It'll be something ridiculous like the Dover plaintiffs suing over four paragraphs that were to be read in science classes before the unit on evolution was taught. Four tiny little paragraphs that took less than a minute to read.

If Darwinism can't stand up against something that insignificant, then you guys are in deep shit after this film hits the big screen.

*smiles*

Bill said...

Sorry, William Wallace, but you are morally wrong on this point. Do you have any moral compass at all, my friend?

The YouTube copies are not for profit.

Expelled the movie is a FOR PROFIT enterprise that is using material without permission and without reference.

That is WRONG, William Wallace. Morally WRONG.

Legally wrong.

Do you not agree? And if not on what moral basis do base your judgment?

Folk Face said...

FtK glad to see your moral equivalency function is still up and running.

You still punishing Mr FtK for chores well done?

Anonymous said...

2nd paragraph:

Should be - It has come to our attention (not intention).

Jay said...

Thou shall not steal, unless you are a talentless hack and you do it in the name of Christ. Amen.

Tyler DiPietro said...

"It's been highly entertaining watching you folks fall all over yourselves trying to discredit this film."

LOL! We're the ones falling all over ourselves? What a fucking riot!

We aren't sweating over the task of discrediting the film, FtK. The "Expelled" crew apparently has that covered all by themselves.

monado said...

Wot, didn't DI already say that they made the new animation with their own little resources? They are in sh!t up to the neck.

Rich Hughes said...

Do you think Darwin caused Hitler, FtK?

Gary said...

Allen et al: I see they took your advice and pulled the cell picture from Expelled at UD...

Guilty conscious boys?

dochocson said...

I have this vision of Mathis, Stein, Miller et. al. frantically trashing hard drives, purging e-mail archives and shredding documents, with FtK keeping watch at the door.

monado said...

BTW, off topic a bit but I'm currently reading Michael Shermer's "Why Darwin Matters" and it is a really good book, breezy but well-researched. Shermer is a former creationist who spent years bending the ears of everyone within reach with the standard creationist arguments. Then he actually looked into the nature of scientific evidence and realized that the creationist version of evolution was a cardboard cutout that had no relation to reality. That the piles of evidence from multiple sources all converge on the same answer. And of course, that trying to prove God by science is really blasphemous. God should be taken on faith or not at all. And now he's a happy evolutionist. Recommended.

Gary said...

Thanks to Rich, I must retract my post that UD was smart enough to take down their copyright infringed picture. My pc did not load the page 100%, and I did not see the fail to load sign earlier.

I apologize for any and all confusion on this matter, and to repeat and clarify, UD IS NOT SMART ENOUGH TO TAKE DOWN THEIR ILLEGALLY COPIED PCITURE.

That is all.

William Wallace said...

"Bet: Either the footage in question will be pulled as a result of these legal threats, or damages will be paid and appeals, if any, will be lost or abandoned.

Amount: $100 to the U.S. registered non-profit of the winner's choice paid by the looser of this bet.

Any takers? ERV?

I did not think so.
"

Duly noted that we have no takers.

Food stamp pimps one and all.

The Factician said...

I can't *wait* to see how this story ends.

RBH said...

Which side of the bet are you taking, William?

Rich Hughes said...

Argumentum ad wager?

Sorry, but creobots just don't pay up.

Single malt, anyone.

Siamang said...

It's just one epic fail after another for these bozos.

Pass the popcorn!


Besides, I heard that cellular processes is what led to the Holocaust. Think about it, no cells, no people. No people, no Holocaust.

Cellular processes were necessary, if not sufficient. That is undeniable. Why Ben Stein and his crew would ever risk the incredible social danger by educating people about factual processes inside the cell is beyond me.

I think we're better off telling kids that they're made of mud and God's breath, and leave it at that!

Forthekids said...

"LOL! We're the ones falling all over ourselves? What a fucking riot!"

Well, yeah. I've been watching you folks for weeks trying to come up with different angles in which you might be able to slap a lawsuit on the production.

I've not seen anyone from the ID community freaking at the level you folks are.

Rich writes:

"Do you think Darwin caused Hitler, FtK?"

I'll only answer that question if you get rid of Borat.

folk Face said...

Hey FtK!!! There is a woodpecker! Git it!! Quick before it multiplies!!! Hand me that there BB gun skippy and tell your daddy to finish mowing the lawn or I'll reward him!

Jim Lippard said...

William Wallace:

I don't think your bet makes sense the way you've expressed it. Are you suggesting that one of two options will occur--that either the footage will be pulled, or Premise Media will pay damages to XVIVO when they sue, yet if there are appeals (and why would there be appeals if Premise Media agrees to pay damages?), they will be abandoned or lost by XVIVO?

I'm happy to bet you $100 (paid to U.S. tax-exempt nonprofit of the winner's choice, with the restriction that it must be a 501(c)(3) that files Form 990s with the IRS and is in good standing as a nonprofit at both the federal and state level) that either (a) the cell footage will be removed for the February 18 release or (b) a settlement will occur between Premise Media and XVIVO (which may or may not require a lawsuit to be filed first, and will likely occur out-of-court and confidential). That is, I claim that (a) or (b) will occur, and only lose the bet if neither occurs.

The difficulty is that it may take some time for (b) to be validated, especially if a lawsuit is filed and it goes to trial--that could take a couple of years, easily.

Do you want to offer a different formulation?

BTW, if you're William Dembski, then I won't take a bet with you, since we already know Dembski doesn't pay up when he loses his bets.

Tyler DiPietro said...

Nice try FtK, with all the egg the "Expelled" folks have gotten on their collective faces you can always be relied upon to try to spin their screwups as a victory for them. It's sad, really.

"I've not seen anyone from the ID community freaking at the level you folks are."

If by "freaking" you mean "laughing our asses off", as per the reality of the situation, there may be a reason for that.

Martin Wagner said...

It's been highly entertaining watching you folks fall all over yourselves trying to discredit this film.

The movie discredits itself. It requires no effort from us. We merely point out how it discredits itself, and laugh.

It'll be something ridiculous like the Dover plaintiffs suing over four paragraphs that were to be read in science classes before the unit on evolution was taught. Four tiny little paragraphs that took less than a minute to read.

Yeah, and which side lost that suit again?

How's that koolaid tasting, FtK? Must be well past its shelf date by now, I'm sure.

Bill said...

Yeah, just what I thought, William Wallace.

Nor moral compass. No sense of right or wrong.

And a gambling habit to boot.

You are a sad, sad person, William Wallace.

Rich Hughes said...

FtK writes:

"I've not seen anyone from the ID community freaking at the level you folks are."

Well, I WAS going to call Homeland security..

I like Borat.

The Factician said...

FtK,

Do you think plagiarism is wrong? Or is it only wrong if "the other side" does it?

Divalent said...

Mr Wallace,

I haven't seen the "new" DI/Expelled version, so I cannot be sure it is an infringement. But I will trust those who have seen it "and the original" and propose an alternative wager:

You win if the released version of the movie has the version of the video scenes that were in the preview version of the movie and is apparently on the promo DVD they released, *and* no action by XVIVO or anyone else having rights to the original is successful in stopping continued screenings and/or being awarded damages for infringement, *and* Expelled people do not license the rights to the XVIVO video.

I win if they substantially modify that segment of the movie to remove the infringing parts, or if they license the rights to the XVIVO video, or if they lose a suit (or settle such a suit on any but neutral terms) brought by XVIVO (or assigns).

I'll also concede to you if Expelled settles for nominal damages paid to XVIVO (i.e., a "nuisance" settlement).

Loser donates $100 to the general fund of St Judes Childrens Hospital in Memphis, TN.

You take?

Forthekids said...

"Hey FtK!!! There is a woodpecker! Git it!! Quick before it multiplies!!! Hand me that there BB gun skippy and tell your daddy to finish mowing the lawn or I'll reward him!"

ROTFLMAO

Now, that there is funny...

Forthekids said...

"How's that koolaid tasting, FtK? Must be well past its shelf date by now, I'm sure."

Hey, man, it's nothing compaired to the stuff you guys have been slurpin'.

The Factician said...

This needs to be reddited. Vote it up here.

http://reddit.com/info/6f8mt/comments/

Fourlittleparagraphs said...

I'm sure you'll come up with something to slap them with a lawsuit over. It'll be something ridiculous like the Dover plaintiffs suing over four paragraphs that were to be read in science classes before the unit on evolution was taught. Four tiny little paragraphs that took less than a minute to read.

Really bugs you, doesn't it, those "four tiny little paragraphs" at Dover?

Should have been a doddle for the big guns of ID to draw a bead on the plaintiffs case and blow it out of the water.

Strange how they all suddenly found good reasons to be elsewhere come the day of the trial.

All except one pitiful little popgun. And the only thing he could hit was his own foot.

Intelligent Design - the podiatrists' friend

Ftp (fourlittleparagraphs)

Rich Hughes said...

William Wallace has a moderation queue at his blog. How creationist..

William Wallace said...

Divalent and Jim Lippard,

Please negotiate here.

Either I screwed up a previous post, or ERV's blog has filtered one of my contributions.

In any event, this could be fun. As far as I can tell, neither of you are members of the PT-mafia, however. But I doubt I will get any takers from more established members of the PT-mafia--not until Godmother Scott bestows her blessings.

Forthekids said...

"Do you think plagiarism is wrong? Or is it only wrong if "the other side" does it?"

The Harvard clip has been "plagiarized" all over the Internet and God knows where else. The only time anyone ever bothered with it was when Teh Evil Dembski used it in a lecture (a non profit lecture). Oh noes!! Those damn ID proponents are using our clip too!!!! Can't have that! Sue 'em, sue 'em!

I have no clue how much the Expelled cell resembles the Harvard cell and neither do any of you, but don't let that stop you from gaggling and gossiping like a bunch of teenage girls.

I've been thoroughly enjoying myself trying to guess what kind of nonsense you guys will come up with next.

Rich Hughes said...

"or ERV's blog has filtered one of my contributions."

Bites lip with Myrth.

FtK. You might want to research "Copyright" and "fair use"

Rich Hughes said...

Wow, Fangirl FtK. You've not even seen Expelled! Would that make you a hypocrite?

skullsinthestars said...

William Wallace said: "Duly noted that we have no takers.

Food stamp pimps one and all."

What is it about creationist types that requires money be involved in every discussion and interaction?

"He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him" (Proverbs 28:22).

Ya see, William, most of us aren't interested in making a bet because we don't feel it necessary to make offerings to demonstrate our "faith".

Leroy Jenkins said...

"LEEEEROOOOYYYY JENNNNNKIIIIINNNNNSSSS!!!!!!"

Forthekids said...

Of course I haven't seen Expelled. I wasn't invited, and unlike so many of you Darwinoids I'm not a gate crasher.

Speaking of lawsuits...can you just imagine what, say Wes, or Genie would have done if Dembski had broken in on a phone conference? From what I understand, there could have been grounds to press charges on 'ol PZ.

But then, he's an atheist, so I don't suppose having any moral fiber is expected of him. It's just guys like Dembski that are expected to live up to a certain standard.

Hell, at least we don't see Dembski proudly beating his chest about his "aim to misbehave". Dembski apologized for using the clip even though it was probably in his rights to do so.

PZ, OTOH, strutted around bragging about his indiscretions.

Ah well....par for the course.

Ebonmuse said...

Who made our animation? Some nondescript place with no sign called "Plagermation."

Holy cow. That was really one of the Expelled writers who said that?

If so, I'd say the appropriate response is "Laugh this one off". And I hope the owners of the Antievolution board (Wesley Elsberry, right?) have some good records with IP address and all. That remark could well come in handy in court, if it comes to that.

Rich Hughes said...

But you keep banging on about expelled. Double standard, no?
The DI should sue PZ. They're whizzes in court, and PZ could enjoy his settlement money.


Ah, atheist = no morals. The morality offered by the 'lying for jebus' crowd is laughable. Sort your own camp out before you wag your finger.

hey look - all my comments go through, straight away. What a novel idea!

Rich Hughes said...

Hola Ebon Muse. I liked your "religion as a memetic virus" piece.

Martin Wagner said...

That's a wacky alternate universe ForTheLies lives in, isn't it?

William Wallace said...

"Ya see, William, most of us aren't interested in making a bet because we don't feel it necessary to make offerings to demonstrate our "faith"."

The looser of the wager would have to donate $100 to a presumed repugnant (to the loser) non-profit. E.g., if an evolander won the wager, they might specify that I donate $100 to the abhorrent National Center for "Science" Education, and if I won, I might specify Pro-life action ministries

This "offering" would demonstrate courage, not faith. The value, $100, was nominal. If ERV can only afford $10, I'd be willing to give her 10:1 odds.

I would loathe having to fork over $100 to the NCSE. Most evolanders would loath supporting organizations that work to save unborn human children from being aborted.

Rich Hughes said...

I'll cover Abby's $10. She's a poor student trying to make the world a healthier place, by removing things that you may think are divine punishments for "the fall"..

RBH said...

Rats. Lippard, my question about which side Wallace was going to take was supposed to be a lead-in to a similarly worded offer on my part, but you beat me to it.

RBH of the PT Mafia

RBH said...

FtK wrote

The only time anyone ever bothered with it was when Teh Evil Dembski used it in a lecture (a non profit lecture).

You mean that Dembski wasn't paid for his lecture? Bullshit. Pure, unadulterated, knee-deep bullshit.

Rich Hughes said...

$200 per hour special witness Dembski? Honorarium Dembski?

Gary S. Hurd said...

Yeah Baby,I dig you baby! The Expelled bad guys are crushed. Shag Me Baby!

(I just cannot do Austin Powers monologue. Sorry).

Will the Expelled creatos release their home movie on April 18th? Will the universe notice?? Will it matter if it does???
Tune in for the thrilling deflation of DiscoBallon!!!!!11111!!!!1oneoneeleven!!

Bob O'Hara said...

Who made our animation? Some nondescript place with no sign called "Plagermation."

Holy cow. That was really one of the Expelled writers who said that?


It was a joke. I thought it was rather funny.

I don't think Miller has anything to do with the animation - he was only one of the writers. The poor guy has been hassled on his blog and at AtBC about parts of the film he didn't have anything to do with.

He's also been hassled about the bits he was involved in, for which I have rather less sympathy towards him.

Jim Lippard - I would be tempted to take that bet, if only because February 18th is my birthday. I'd change it to April 18th, quick.

BWE said...

Another one. Abby, you are da bomb.

When you graduate, I hope you keep writing.

Larry Fafarman said...

For the following reasons, it is hard to take the letter seriously --

(1) XVIVO has no right to demand the return of copies of the video. BTW, the video is available right here.

(2) There was no demand for payment of purchase or royalties in lieu of deletion of the segment. Discrimination against the producers of "Expelled" in regard to sale or rental of the video could involve restraint of trade issues. For example, US law says about price discrimination,

Section 13. Discrimination in price, services, or facilities

(a) Price; selection of customers

It shall be unlawful for any person engaged in commerce, in the course of such commerce, either directly or indirectly, to discriminate in price between different purchasers of commodities of like grade and quality, where either or any of the purchases involved in such discrimination are in commerce, where such commodities are sold for use, consumption, or resale within the United States or any Territory thereof or the District of Columbia or any insular possession or other place under the jurisdiction of the United States, and where the effect of such discrimination may be substantially to lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly in any line of commerce, or to injure, destroy, or prevent competition with any person who either grants or knowingly receives the benefit of such discrimination, or with customers of either of them . . . . .


Also, the video was created in collaboration with Harvard University, which may have received government support for the project, so the video could be in the public domain. What does XVIVO's contract with Harvard say? Arguably, anything co-produced by Harvard is in the public domain because of all the general government support that Harvard gets.

Also, did the video have a copyright notice?

You folks are ignoring or overlooking some important legal questions here.

Trish said...

INAL (I am not a lawyer), and it doesn't seem that you are either. The issue is copyright, in particular plagiarism, not trade restraint. You simply can't copy a work produced by Harvard and use it for your own purposes without attribution. I would also bet my bottom dollar that if Harvard thinks there is a legal issue, there is a legal issue.

Stephen Wells said...

Okay, Larry FahFahFahFahFah has weighed in and thinks XVIVO is in the wrong; so we now know for certain that XVIVO is right.

Larry Fafarman said...

Trish said...

>>>>> Trish said...
INAL (I am not a lawyer), and it doesn't seem that you are either. <<<<<<

I am not a lawyer either, but I know quite a bit about the law and I know how to look up what I don't know.

>>>>> The issue is copyright, in particular plagiarism, not trade restraint. <<<<<<

If XVIVO sells or licenses the video to others but refuses to sell or license the video to the "Expelled" producers on the same terms, IMO that is trade restraint.

>>>>> You simply can't copy a work produced by Harvard and use it for your own purposes without attribution. <<<<<

The work was not produced just by Harvard -- it was produced by Harvard in collaboration with XVIVO. As for attribution, the "Expelled" producers could easily give Harvard and XVIVO credit for the segment, though I don't know how hard it would be to insert a credit notice into the film now.

Interestingly, the arts and science faculties at Harvard now have an open access program for posting finished research papers online free.

>>>>>> I would also bet my bottom dollar that if Harvard thinks there is a legal issue, there is a legal issue. <<<<<<<

We haven't heard a peep from Harvard -- it was only XVIVO that accused the "Expelled" producers of copyright infringement.

Damian said...

From Peter Irons on Pharyngula:

"From what I know of the movie business, and what the XVIVO people told me, it would cost the Expelled producers a mint (at least $100K) to recall and remaster all copies before they go to theaters. So they have to choose a) between that cost, b) delaying the film's release, and c) keeping the segment in and risking a lawsuit. XVIVO does have a really good copyright lawyer from a big firm in Boston, so it's not just an idle threat."

Immorality: For The Kids.

Larry Fafarman said...

Stephen Wells driveled,

>>>>>> Okay, Larry FahFahFahFahFah has weighed in and thinks XVIVO is in the wrong; so we now know for certain that XVIVO is right. <<<<<<

I have good reason to believe that XVIVO is in the wrong, bozo, though I have no proof yet. Has XVIVO sold or licensed the video to others? If so, then why didn't XVIVO offer to sell or license the video to the "Expelled" producers? Why did the "Expelled" producers decide to create a knockoff of the video? Did the "Expelled" producers ever try to buy or license the original video? Does XVIVO even own a copyright on the video? What does XVIVO's contract with Harvard say? Did Harvard and/or XVIVO have a contract with the government? Harvard gets so much support from the government that anything that Harvard produces should be in the public domain. Even Harvard is starting to think that way now -- as I pointed out, Harvard's arts and science faculties now have an open access program for posting free research papers online.

"I'm always kicking their butts -- that's why they don't like me."
-- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Larry Fafarman said...

Damian said...
>>>>>>From Peter Irons on Pharyngula:

"From what I know of the movie business, and what the XVIVO people told me, it would cost the Expelled producers a mint (at least $100K) to recall and remaster all copies before they go to theaters. So they have to choose a) between that cost, b) delaying the film's release, and c) keeping the segment in and risking a lawsuit. XVIVO does have a really good copyright lawyer from a big firm in Boston, so it's not just an idle threat." <<<<<<<

Why didn't XVIVO offer the "Expelled" producers the option of buying or renting the video?

Also, a) and b) are not separate options -- they are both parts of the same option.

$100K is not a big sum in the big-time movie business. "Expelled" is supposed to start on 1000 screens, so that is only $100 per screen. IMO the delayed release is a bigger problem.

Creating a knockoff of the original video cost a fair amount of money and supposedly carried the risk of a charge of copyright infringement, so why did the "Expelled" producers choose this option? Did the "Expelled" producers ever try to buy or rent the original video?

S_A_Wells said...

Larry, you were supposed to know the answers to all those questions _before_ you mouthed off. This is why we mock you.

Rrr said...

Hi all,
Funny thing is, so to speak, that both Pandasthumb.org and Antievolution.org seem to have fallen into a black hole. They were both there this morning (European time) but since just before lunchtime I haven't been able to update any of the pages. Traceroute ends somewhere at verizon-gni or whatever.
Hmm. Free speech? Expelled? Anyone?

Albatrossity said...

FtK seems to miss the point (again). She tells us that copies of the video are all over the internet, as if that excuses the behavior of the makers of this film. She ignores the fact that the makers of this film hope to make a lot of money from showing it, a fact which puts this incident in a different category as well. But mostly she ignores the hypocrisy of a bunch of religionists (and yes, even the hypocrite Rush Limbaugh recognizes that this film IS about religion). The final irony is this statement from her - It's just guys like Dembski that are expected to live up to a certain standard.

Yeah, they are, because as she told us on AtBC, she (and her fellow believers) have a moral code and the rest of us don't.

You can't have it both ways, FtK. If you have a moral code, you should have a problem with stealing. I do, and I do think that stealing is wrong, no matter how many other people do it.

The Factician said...

FTK says: The Harvard clip has been "plagiarized" all over the Internet and God knows where else.

Ahhh... I'll mark that down as a "it's okay because everybody's doing it".

Larry Fafarman said...

S_A_Wells said...
>>>>> Larry, you were supposed to know the answers to all those questions _before_ you mouthed off. This is why we mock you. <<<<<<<

How in the hell am I supposed to know the answers to those questions before asking them? And I have not gotten an answer to a single one of them.

Rrr said...
>>>>>> Funny thing is, so to speak, that both Pandasthumb.org and Antievolution.org seem to have fallen into a black hole. They were both there this morning (European time) but since just before lunchtime I haven't been able to update any of the pages. <<<<<<

That's typical -- they don't want people to find out the truth.

The letter's frivolous demand for return of copies of the video -- which is readily available on the Internet -- makes it quite clear that the letter is phony.

Jim Lippard said...

RBH: Sorry!

Bob O'Hara: Yes, I meant April 18, not February 18. (Feb. 18 is my dad's birthday, too.) Thanks for the correction.

William Wallace: Were you not really interested in such a bet? It looks like you've got at least three potential takers. And yes, NCSE would be my chosen charity. Pro-Life Action Ministries of St. Paul, MN appears to meet the criteria I required (it's a 501(c)(3) that files Form 990s).

Fafarman: "Also, did the video have a copyright notice?" That's not been legally relevant for works created after 1977 since the U.S. adopted the Berne Convention in 1989.

S_A_Wells said...

Larry, you're not supposed to know the answers before asking the questions; you're supposed to ask and answer the questions before opining that Premise are in the right. You're getting confused between what's true and what you want to be true again.

Tyler DiPietro said...

I encourage ID-advocates and anyone involved with "Expelled" to listen to Larry Fafarman.

(I apologize to Rich Hughes in advance for knocking-off some of his style.)

Larry Fafarman said...

There is evidence that XVIVO knew about this alleged copyright infringement for a long time, yet did not send the letter until just a few days before the scheduled release date for the movie. Failure to assert a right in a timely manner often results in forfeiture of that right.

Jim Lippard said...
>>>>> Fafarman: "Also, did the video have a copyright notice?" That's not been legally relevant for works created after 1977 since the U.S. adopted the Berne Convention in 1989. <<<<<<

Finally -- an answer to one of my questions. And it is one of my least important questions.

S_A_Wells said...
>>>>>> Larry, you're not supposed to know the answers before asking the questions; you're supposed to ask and answer the questions before opining that Premise are in the right. <<<<<<

The demand for return of the copies of the video is one of the biggest tip-offs that the letter is phony. Copies of the video are all over the Internet -- there is even a copy on an XVIVO webpage!

Tyler DiPietro wheezed,
>>>>>> I encourage ID-advocates and anyone involved with "Expelled" to listen to Larry Fafarman. <<<<<

Is that actually supposed to be funny?

Tyler DiPietro said...

"Is that actually supposed to be funny?"

Not if you're the target, dipshit.

BTW, you've done more than just "ask questions" here, you've made bare assertions, such as:

"XVIVO has no right to demand the return of copies of the video."

"Failure to assert a right in a timely manner often results in forfeiture of that right."

"There was no demand for payment of purchase or royalties in lieu of deletion of the segment. Discrimination against the producers of "Expelled" in regard to sale or rental of the video could involve restraint of trade issues."

What is the legal basis of any of these claims? What is the statute of limitations on a copyright claim? Why are they obligated, in the event of an infringement, to offer loyalty negotions rather than a simple removal of the infringing content? Why don't they have the right to demand the return of their copies of their IP? You cite few actual laws and make many assertions, not exactly impressive legal reasoning.

ArtK said...

Larry Fafarman demonstrates some basic ignorance of copyright, as do a few other people in this thread.

First, profit from a copied or derived work is not an issue. One of the great myths of copyright is that the copies must be sold for there to be a violation. This is not the case -- it's the copying and distribution of those copies that is the matter.

Second, Larry asks if there was a copyright notice. After the US adopted the Berne Convention (around 1976, I believe), it was no longer necessary to have an explicit copyright notice or registration. Copyright exists in a work whether these things are present or not.

Third, Larry tries to raise selective prosecution as an issue. The XVIVO folks can draw a bright line -- they can state that they are fine with non-profit, properly attributed distribution (i.e. copies on YouTube) while still prosecuting profit-driven, unattributed distribution (i.e. Expelled.)

As for restraint of trade? Here's a thought experiment for you, Larry. Create an animated character, call him, say "Marvin Muscus," give him, oh, blue pants with purple buttons; just for good measure, give him a duck buddy, "Edwin Eider" wearing a green sailor suit. Now, when Disney sues you for copyright violations, try counter-suing on a restraint of trade basis. Not going to work. Copyright is an acceptable restraint on trade.

Jim Lippard said...

Fafarman: "Finally -- an answer to one of my questions. And it is one of my least important questions."

And then you go on to ignore my answer. If the question was so unimportant (and I made the point that it is *completely irrelevant*), then why did you ask it?

ArtK said...

Another issue that Larry raises is timeliness. While it's true that failure to prosecute in a timely manner is a potential defense in copyright infringement, and has been used successfully so, I don't think it applies in this case. First off, it's usually a matter of years not weeks; a few weeks is near light-speed for legal matters. Second, we're not privy to all of the communications between the parties. We don't know that the XVIVO folks didn't make an informal call to the Expelled producers asking them to not use the footage.

Larry also opines that XVIVO "has no right to demand the return of copies of the video." Sorry, Larry, but they do. As the copyright holder, they control what happens to all copies (including derived ones) of their work. This is common boilerplate in copyright C&D letters.

Another argument from Larry is that XVIVO didn't make a "demand for payment." So? They are under no obligation to offer anything. If the copyright owners choose to not license their work to one person, while licensing it to another, that's their right. Of course, the producers of Expelled are within their rights to make such an offer, but XVIVO are also free to reject it. If you steal a watch from me and get caught, am I under any obligation to offer to sell it to you then?

Ric said...

Larry Fafarman, you are an idiot. Here's why:

>>>Has XVIVO sold or licensed the video to others? If so, then why didn't XVIVO offer to sell or license the video to the "Expelled" producers?

It doesn't matter. One is not required to sell something to anyone who asks to buy it. Plus, it is not the owner's responsibility to seek out people and ask them if they want to buy something. You need to prove that the producers of Expelled asked to buy the video and then were turned down.

>>>Why did the "Expelled" producers decide to create a knockoff of the video? Did the "Expelled" producers ever try to buy or license the original video?

If they did ask and were denied, and then created the knock-off, that's pretty clear evidence of plagiarism, now isn't it?


>>>> Did Harvard and/or XVIVO have a contract with the government?

What? Why would you even think that?

Harvard gets so much support from the government that anything that Harvard produces should be in the public domain.

Says who? Do you have any legal support for this? Didn't think so.

Even Harvard is starting to think that way now -- as I pointed out, Harvard's arts and science faculties now have an open access program for posting free research papers online.

Talk about a non sequitor. Certain members of Harvard's faculty posting free research papers online does not lead to the conclusion that anything Harvard produces is in the public domain. The logic here is laughable.

So, to sum up: Larry Fafarman, you are an idiot.

To all the other, more rational readers, let me ask you: do you think these Creobots know deep down they are rationalizing and grasping at straws, or have they become so self-delusional that they can't recognize it?

Ichneumon said...

do you think these Creobots know deep down they are rationalizing and grasping at straws, or have they become so self-delusional that they can't recognize it?

After watching their antics for many decades, I think the answer is "both".

They appear to be screwed up enough that they are both aware of their own mendacity, *and* able to delude themselves into not consciously facing it.

In short, part of them sees it, part of them refuses to see it. No wonder they behave so bizarrely. Google "Morton's Demon" for details.

Jim Lippard said...

Fafarman: "Harvard gets so much support from the government that anything that Harvard produces should be in the public domain."

Harvard is a private institution with a gigantic private endowment ($34.9 billion). Government support comes in the form of specific grants on specific projects, as well as financial aid to individual students. Those grants and loans have their own strings attached regarding what they fund for those that take them; they don't create any obligation to turn everything produced at the university into public domain works.

Ric said...

Thanks! That was a great essay.

Jim Lippard said...

ArtK: "After the US adopted the Berne Convention (around 1976, I believe)"

The U.S. adopted the Berne Convention in 1988, it went into effect in 1989. Works created after January 1, 1978 but before March 1, 1989 must have a copyright notice but need not be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Works created on or after March 1, 1989 do not need a copyright notice. (In my earlier comment I was mistaken in my "after 1977" reference--I was confusing the registration requirement with the notice requirement; the Copyright Act of 1976 removed the registration and publication requirements for copyright.)

Anonymous said...

A university using legal muscle to keep the masses from seeing the true of interworkings of a cell? I guess the little people just can't handle the mass in English, or the scared texts in the vernacular.

They've already lost.



-wnelson

Jim Lippard said...

I've posted a bet offer at William Wallace's blog (awaiting moderation).

I also posted this response to a misrepresentation he makes on his post:

[William Wallace wrote]: “because it uses footage that conveys ideas similar to those in Inner Life of a Cell.”

That’s incorrect. That’s not the basis of the threat at all. The issue is a claim of copyright infringement on the grounds that the film has created a derived work from “Inner Life of a Cell,” with the same shots, sequences, and angles.

Ideas are not copyrighted, only the form of expression of those ideas is copyrighted.

I also don’t think that the intent is to suppress the film, only to stop the alleged infringement–to prevent the unauthorized use of a derivative work.

Personally, I think that copyright law is in dire need of reform–that fair use rights are being eroded, copyright terms have been overextended, and licensing needs to be made easier (since many copyright owners may be difficult or impossible to find). But even after reforms along the lines that Larry Lessig advocates, I think XVIVO would still have a case here–this isn’t a case where the copyright owner is hard to find, or where the copyright term has been extended beyond reasonability, or where the creator of the derivative work has substantially transformed it into something new and different.

Janine said...

A university using legal muscle to keep the masses from seeing the true of interworkings of a cell? I guess the little people just can't handle the mass in English, or the scared texts in the vernacular.

They've already lost.



-wnelson

As usual, this person understands nothing. Anyone with computer access can see the animation. The objection is that the animation the Expelled is copy and is meant to be used in a film that the makers hope to make a profit from. It is not a censorship issue nor is is meant to keep the ideas of the inner workings of the cell away from the masses.

Gary said...

I for one, would pay money to see Larry Notforfun battle William Wallace for the coveted TardSpouter of the Year.

I'm willing to throw in one of Dembski's single-malt bottles.

oleg said...

Fafarman: "Harvard gets so much support from the government that anything that Harvard produces should be in the public domain."

Don't worry, Larry, things that are produced with support from government grants are in public domain. For example, the National Institutes of Health now requires that any scientific article describing NIH-sponsored research be posted on a public preprint server.

And XVIVO, LLC, is a private company in Connecticut. It is not related to Harvard.

Jim Lippard said...

Oleg: XVIVO produced the animation in question for Harvard, that's the Harvard connection. XVIVO retains the copyright.

Sean said...

FtK is not an actual human being, it's a piece of software that mocks human behavior...like ELIZA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA

Bayesian Bouffant, FCD said...

Who made our animation? Some nondescript place with no sign called "Plagermation."

Holy cow. That was really one of the Expelled writers who said that?

It was a joke. I thought it was rather funny.


Maybe it wasn't a joke.

Anonymous said...

Wow...This xvivo is really a cool site. I think I found another reason to procrastinate writing my dissertation for today.

Anyway, this was a great post I found on Uncommon Descent by commenter named Andrea. I wish I would have thought of it myself

JPCollado:
I think the irony is that the XVIVO authors claim that the very close similarities between the two animations are due to design, while ID supporters argue that they are the product of sheer chance. (To complicate matters a bit, in this case we would even know who the designer is, and how and why he/she acted, but the principle still applies.)

Thinking of it, perhaps Dr. Dembski may want to apply his Explanatory Filter to the case, so that we can compare the results to whatever the evidence presented at trial will demonstrate. That would be a first!

Rrr said...

From LarryNorm,anybody: Rrr said...
>>>>>> Funny thing is, so to speak, that both Pandasthumb.org and Antievolution.org seem to have fallen into a black hole. They were both there this morning (European time) but since just before lunchtime I haven't been able to update any of the pages. <<<<<<

That's typical -- they don't want people to find out the truth.

The letter's frivolous demand for return of copies of the video -- which is readily available on the Internet -- makes it quite clear that the letter is phony.

9:02 AM


I apologise if I was perhaps a bit unclear; then again, I'm not entirely certain what this Larry means by "they", either :)

As others have pointed out, the copyright owner has every right to control any copying and derived works, outside of the fair use doctrine. So if Premise did make unauthorised copies, they have no right at all to keep any of the protected (or derived) work. (AIUI; IANAL but I have read Groklaw and Lessig:)

Well, anybody can make an honest misteak once in a while, and I do not condemn Larry on this account alone, even though I am not otherwise a devout follower of Christian dogma. (And a tad suspicious concerning his honesty;)

What I meant to say was that possibly someone was throttling the Net access to these ID- and Expelled-critical websites for perhaps sinister reasons.

This has happened before, in the last few weeks in fact, when major US backbone service provider Cogent simply blackholed ALL traffic to and from Europe going through TeliaSonera due to an on-going commercial conflict between the two companies. This crippled, among others, ibiblio.org, groklaw.org and gaming site World of Warcraft for weeks, holding us users hostage.

It looks like whatever the problem today was, it is gone now, as both PT and AE are visible again. (I had to go out and off-line shortly after posting earlier.)

Oh, and: THANKS, ERV! <3

Kristine said...

Great job as always, ERV.

Of course I haven't seen Expelled. I wasn't invited, and unlike so many of you Darwinoids I'm not a gate crasher.

Speaking of lawsuits...can you just imagine what, say Wes, or Genie would have done if Dembski had broken in on a phone conference? From what I understand, there could have been grounds to press charges on 'ol PZ.

But then, he's an atheist, so I don't suppose having any moral fiber is expected of him...
Wah, wah, blah, blah.

ERV, you woke the baby. Maybe we'll just let it cry itself back to sleep this time. Sheesh. (Am I a gate-crasher too, by the way?)

And what is Larry Fafarman even doing here? He denies that the Holocaust ever happened! What sympathy is he going to have for Expelled?

Andrea Bottaro said...

Don't worry, Larry, things that are produced with support from government grants are in public domain.

Not really. Universities routinely patent stuff that is obtained from research supported by government grants, and they retain intellectual property. Even more troubling is that often private companies become involved at the later stages, and make a killing based on largely taxpayer-funded research.

Anonymous said...

"It has come to our intention"

Okay, fess up. Which genius among you mistakes intention for attention? ROFLMAO

Torbjörn Larsson, OM said...

HAHAHAHAHaHahaaheeheeheee....(snort)!

So Expelled flunks by publicly showing immorality, the very basis for its Hitler zombie strawman in the first place. And the full crowd of nutty creationists out to dampen their angst confirm this in spades - they know it, but they can't "know" it.

timeliness

And I don't think the basis for establishing copyright infringement has been public for very long. The movie itself hasn't gone public yet, the previews have been fairly restricted, and the web promo material has AFAIK been limited until recently.

I mean, in this very thread creationists are jesting that scientists are "gate crashing". (Ironically, since the preview lists were made public.) Damned by their own actions, as always.

So could XVIVO acted earlier? Perhaps, but I don't find it likely.

rrr:

It seems one can't post at PT though.

Rrr said...

Torbjörn:
rrr:
It seems one can't post at PT though.
2:40 PM


I believe you, Elsberry's "Expelled exposed" story seems to include zero comments still, after over 12 hours. I haven't tried myself, in fact all I did was check if one of the subpages from each site would update now, and they did. Probably some other problem then, if you can't even access the site at all that would tend to overshadow all else...

Oh well. Goes to show how in these latter days even teh Intarweb can mutate and evolve, I guess. ;-) Let's just hope it won't go extinct too soon.

Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>One is not required to sell something to anyone who asks to buy it. <<<<<<

>>>>>> If the copyright owners choose to not license their work to one person, while licensing it to another, that's their right. <<<<<<<

I am not sure of that. The restraint of trade laws are very complicated. "Expelled" can survive without the video, but sometimes a discriminatory refusal to sell to a business can put that business out of business, and that is presumably illegal. Anyway, if XVIVO insisted on charging the "Expelled" producers 90-percent-of-profit royalties while licensing the video to another entity for less, that could be illegal price discrimination.

>>>>> What is the legal basis of any of these claims? <<<<<<

I linked to and quoted a federal statute on price discrimination. Many of my other arguments -- e.g., my arguments about the demand for return of copies of the video -- are just common-sense arguments.

>>>>>> Larry also opines that XVIVO "has no right to demand the return of copies of the video." Sorry, Larry, but they do. <<<<<<<

As I said, the video is all over the Internet. In claims of copyright infringement of books, does the copyright holder demand the return of copies of the book? And if the "Expelled" producers delete the segment at issue, then why would it matter if they retained copies of the video?

>>>>>> What is the statute of limitations on a copyright claim? <<<<<<

Did I say that there is a "statute of limitations" on a copyright claim? (BTW, there is such a statute of limitations, but it does not apply here) My point is that XVIVO apparently deliberately chose a very inconvenient time (for the Expelled producers) to try to enforce the alleged copyright. The attorney, pettifogger Peter Irons, even gloated about the trouble and expense the "Expelled" producers would have in trying to comply with the demands.

>>>>>> First, profit from a copied or derived work is not an issue. <<<<<<<

Sheesh, I didn't say that profit is an issue.

>>>>>> Third, Larry tries to raise selective prosecution as an issue. The XVIVO folks can draw a bright line -- they can state that they are fine with non-profit, properly attributed distribution (i.e. copies on YouTube) while still prosecuting profit-driven, unattributed distribution (i.e. Expelled.) <<<<<<

Sheeesh -- you just finished telling me that profit is not an issue and now you say that XVIVO is allowed to discriminate between for-profit and non-profit users.

XVIVO's letter did not mention the issue of attribution.

>>>>>Fafarman: "Finally -- an answer to one of my questions[i.e., did the video have a copyright notice]. And it is one of my least important questions."

And then you go on to ignore my answer. If the question was so unimportant (and I made the point that it is *completely irrelevant*), then why did you ask it?<<<<<<

I did not ignore the answer and I did not say that the question was "so unimportant" as to be "completely irrelevant." (your words)

>>>>> If they did ask and were denied, and then created the knock-off, that's pretty clear evidence of plagiarism, now isn't it? <<<<<<

If I like the way a neighbor's house is painted and ask the contractor to paint my house the same way and he refuses and I then do the job myself, is that plagiarism?

>>>> Did Harvard and/or XVIVO have a contract with the government?

What? Why would you even think that? <<<<<<

So you are saying that it's 100% impossible?

>>>>> Talk about a non sequitor. Certain members of Harvard's faculty posting free research papers online does not lead to the conclusion that anything Harvard produces is in the public domain. The logic here is laughable. <<<<<

I didn't say "is" in the public domain -- I said "should be" in the public domain. And what you call merely "certain members of Harvard's faculty" are the entire arts and science faculties -- and faculty members have to expressly opt out of the free access program if they don't want to participate. You are laughable. Anyway, we still haven't heard Harvard's opinion about this alleged copyright infringement. And I still want to know what XVIVO's contract with Harvard says.

I have never seen such a bunch of fallacious and straw-man arguments.

Sorry (not!) to rain on your parade, Darwinists.

"I'm always kicking their butts -- that's why they don't like me."
--- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

ArtK said...

@JimLippard

Thanks, Jim, for correcting my dates on the Berne Convention and the other copyright changes. I find that I deal with works that are either much, much older, or much newer, so I didn't really pay attention to the adoption date.

Robert O'Brien said...

If they created the animation on their own from "scratch," (i.e., coded it themselves) then I have no problem with it, even if it does follow the previous video.

Ric said...

Larry said:

>>So you are saying that it's 100% impossible?

Are you kidding me? Whether something cannot be absolutely ruled out has nothing to do with anything. What matters is what we have reason to believe is reasonably likely. No one has any reason to believe that anything you have said in this entire thread is likely or even germain.

Geez, what am I doing? Arguing with someone who has no grasp of logic, nay, arguing with someone who is in fact a retard when it comes to logic, is a waste of my time.

This whole thing is shaping up to be strikingly similar to Dover: it's obvious to any neutral onlooker that the creationists are guilty of what they've been accused of, yet their lackeys spin and spin, attempting to deny the obvious, if only to convince themselves. Let's take it to court and see what happens...

Rrr said...

Quoth the Larry:
I have never seen such a bunch of fallacious and straw-man arguments.


Oh Larry, why do you keep asking all these questions and then just ignore the good answers?

Copyright is not really very complicated in its basic principles, although it can get pretty hairy at the edges.

Put in simple, layman terms, the creator of a work of art (which might need to be a bit more original than a lick of paint upon a house or a picket fence) more or less automatically owns copyright to it, i.e. has the sole right to control who gets to copy his work and what they have to pay for so doing. Exemptions are limited ("fair use") and not applicable to this case of commercial use.

So you see, Larry, the copyright owner can simply say "no" to anyone, for basically any reason or none at all, in the general case. This leaves that person without any legal way at all to make use of his work, since it is only available by permission. And by stealing the work and thus violating the copyright, the producers here seem to have forfeited any rights to possess any copies, or make or keep derived works, at all, which must, ergo, be returned to the owner or destroyed.

Now, that wasn't so hard to grasp -- or was it? One more time: The copyright owner does get to more or less dictate the terms for any and all copying and derivative work.

Frankly, it is beyond me how you manage to misunderstand so much, so often. My guess: it is willful or due to insanity. Sorry, Larry. This is my honest layman's opinion. In other words: I am not a lawyer, nor a psychiatrist.

Bill said...

RobbO squeaked:

If they created the animation on their own from "scratch," (i.e., coded it themselves) then I have no problem with it, even if it does follow the previous video.

Nobody gives a rats ass what you or I think. All that matters is what transpires between the lawyers and court, should it go that far.

Tell you what, RobbO, why don't you create from scratch, i.e. code it your own self (I have no problem with that), some greeting cares with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and the gang and sell them on the Internet. Very shortly you'll be served your ass on a plate by a Disney lawyer.

Be sure to tell them I said it was OK.

Zmidponk said...

I also posted this on the blog of 'William Wallace'.

Hmm, it seems that, as well as misrepresenting the truth, creationists see nothing wrong whatsoever in blatently plagiarizing someone else’s work. Regardless of any legal issues, do you not agree that stealing someone else’s work is morally wrong?

I am actually relatively new to the whole creationism ‘debate’, but, so far, the creationism/ID side is not very impressive - it seems to be a collection of bad science, misrepresentations and people committing not very Christian acts, which is heavily ironic considering the whole creationist idea has it’s roots in Christianity.

Robert O'Brien said...

Regardless of any legal issues, do you not agree that stealing someone else’s work is morally wrong?

If they created the animation themselves, even if it is a "knockoff," then I do not see it as "stealing."

Anthony said...

Robert O'Brien said:


If they created the animation themselves, even if it is a "knockoff," then I do not see it as "stealing."


Sure. Just like if you get a band together, cover the most popular song on the radio, record it, and sell it, it's not stealing. After all, you created the music for the cover yourself, right? You played it yourself, didn't you? I mean, is this really what you are arguing?

Ichneumon said...

Robert O'Brien said...
If they created the animation on their own from "scratch," (i.e., coded it themselves) then I have no problem with it, even if it does follow the previous video.


I'll be sure to alert the media.

If they created the animation themselves, even if it is a "knockoff," then I do not see it as "stealing."

Of course you don't.

The courts and the copyright holder, however, are not bound by your own loose view of intellectual property.

I do, however, encourage the producers of Expelled to retain Mr. O'Brien as their consultant on this matter. The bigger this trainwreck gets, the more popcorn-worthy it is.

Kristine said...

Don't worry, Larry, things that are produced with support from government grants are in public domain.

Not likely.

Anyway, does “an audience of Pepperdine University students,” that Ben Stein is shown in the film speaking to, also exist in the public domain? Because if not the producers of Expelled plagiarized that, too! I’m kidding about “plagiarism” here, but it turns out that those opening and closing scenes from Expelled (and I did see the movie) is just a phony speech to a phony audience.

According to a provost at Pepperdine as quoted by Michael Shermer:

“Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, opens with the actor, game show host and speechwriter for Richard Nixon addressing a packed audience of adoring students at Pepperdine University, apparently falling for the same trap I did.

“Actually they didn't. The biology professors at Pepperdine assure me that their mostly Christian students fully accept the theory of evolution. So who were these people embracing Stein's screed against science? Extras. According to Lee Kats, associate provost for research and chair of natural science at Pepperdine, ‘the production company paid for the use of the facility just as all other companies do that film on our campus’ but that ‘the company was nervous that they would not have enough people in the audience so they brought in extras. Members of the audience had to sign in and a staff member reports that no more than two to three Pepperdine students were in attendance. Mr. Stein's lecture on that topic was not an event sponsored by the university.’ And this is one of the least dishonest parts of the film.”

What a bunch of losers!

Rrr said...

Ro'B: If they created the animation themselves, even if it is a "knockoff," then I do not see it as "stealing."

Congratulations. Anything else you do not see? Yes, probably. And unless you get to be the judge in whatever court of law this case is bound for, nobody much cares what you think. Yes. Really.

Robert O'Brien said...

Sure. Just like if you get a band together, cover the most popular song on the radio, record it, and sell it, it's not stealing. After all, you created the music for the cover yourself, right? You played it yourself, didn't you? I mean, is this really what you are arguing?

The situation you described above is not parallel. However, I would not describe your hypothetical as "stealing" either.

Kristine said...

rrr and Robert O'brien, do you mint your own money, too? Just wondering.

Robert O'Brien said...

I do, however, encourage the producers of Expelled to retain Mr. O'Brien as their consultant on this matter.

My good hayseed, I did not claim to be offering a legal opinion. I was addressing the "ethics" side, which is also under discussion.

Robert O'Brien said...

And unless you get to be the judge in whatever court of law this case is bound for, nobody much cares what you think. Yes. Really.

Right back at you, Bubba.

Wesley said...

Re: PT troubles. There was a big storm in the DFW area last night. The server was offline for several hours until a sysadmin could sit down at the console and work on it. Unfortunately, while pages were being served, there was a database problem that took longer to find and fix, therefore comments were not available for longer.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Rrr said...

Kristine: rrr and Robert O'brien, do you mint your own money, too? Just wondering.

Um, no I don't, though I did get to put a personal photo on my credit card :-) Can't speak for Robert here, of course.

So why do you ask? Maybe I was none too clear again, although to be honest I guess Robert unlike yourself saw what I meant, this time:

[quote]And unless you get to be the judge in whatever court of law this case is bound for, nobody much cares what you think. Yes. Really.[unquote]

Right back at you, Bubba.

Rrr said...

Glad to find a natural explanation. Thanks! Now I can sleep... :-)

Re: PT troubles. There was a big storm in the DFW area last night. The server was offline for several hours until a sysadmin could sit down at the console and work on it. Unfortunately, while pages were being served, there was a database problem that took longer to find and fix, therefore comments were not available for longer.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Jack said...

Attn: William Wallace

I'll fade ERV's $100 and, if you're willing, will bet another $100 against you. My charity is Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (http://www.jpfo.org).

Jack

Olorin said...

Actually, here's what happened. The producers had piled up so much ninth-commandment usage for the lies in Expelled that God gave them a bonus for some eighth-commandment theft as well.

Jim Lippard said...

Rrr: "Exemptions are limited ("fair use") and not applicable to this case of commercial use."

Commercial use doesn't preclude fair use. One factor of consideration for a fair use defense is whether the use has an impact on the potential market for the copyrighted work. Another is the purpose for which you're making use of the work. But it's perfectly possible to take a copyrighted work, transform it or excerpt it, and commercially gain from the distribution of a derivative work within fair use guidelines. You fall outside of fair use if you don't transform the work and add value by adding new expression and meaning, if you copy too much of the original work, if you cause an adverse impact to the potential market for the original work, or otherwise go the wrong way on the "four factors" of fair use.

The factors which are in "Expelled"'s favor are that they used a published work rather than an unpublished work, they did do some transformation of the content (though probably not enough), and they probably will have little negative impact on the potential market for the original work. The main factors against them are that they took a substantial portion of the work (was it the whole thing?) and added little to no new information, meaning, or value to it.

Perhaps they claim "parody" as a defense.

Jim Lippard said...

Rather, perhaps they *will* claim parody as a defense.

Larry Fafarman said...

Ric said,
>>>>>Whether something cannot be absolutely ruled out has nothing to do with anything. What matters is what we have reason to believe is reasonably likely. <<<<<<

Wrong -- what matters is what we have reason to believe is reasonably possible.

The involvement of Harvard increases the possibility of government funding. And we are dealing here not just with the question of government policies (if government funding is involved), but also with the policies of Harvard. I want to know what XVIVO's contract with Harvard says.

Anyway, did XVIVO offer to sell or license the video to the Expelled producers, and if not, why not? Doesn't XVIVO want to make money from the video?

Your silence in response to these and other reasonable questions is not satisfactory.

rrr said,
>>>>> the copyright owner can simply say "no" to anyone, for basically any reason or none at all, in the general case. This leaves that person without any legal way at all to make use of his work, since it is only available by permission. <<<<<<

This is not just a matter of "permission." The issue I am raising is that discriminatory practices in the sale or licensing of the video could be restraint of trade.

Also, if the videos consist of realistic images of cells, then I don't see how there is any plagiarism there. It is not copying a creative work of art -- it is just copying what exists in nature. If, for example, someone produces a video of the wonders of a national park and I produce a knockoff copy, is that plagiarism? No.

Smokey said...

Larry Fafarmoron wrote:
"Also, if the videos consist of realistic images of cells,..."

Neither one does, you dolt. A realistic image would be unwatchable. For starters, are you so pig-ignorant as to think that proteins and membranes come in a rainbow of colors?

"... then I don't see how there is any plagiarism there. It is not copying a creative work of art -- it is just copying what exists in nature."

The animation being copied IS a work of art. The unequivocal proof of plagiarism is that the copy contains all of the MISrepresentations of the original (especially the massive number of omissions of things that would make it realistic and indecipherable).

William Wallace said...

Only ERV gets the 10:1 odds. ERV has to agree to the bet.

Others, please negotiate alternative bets here. One thing I have to do is investigate your online presence to see if making any of you others eat crow-pie would be fun.

Also, be more creative with your non-profits. "Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership" sounds like something I would support anyway. Thanks for the tip on that group.

John said...


Your silence in response to these and other reasonable questions is not satisfactory.


They have been answered, you just can't be bothered to understand.

In any case, your questions are irrelevant. Your ignorance of copyright law is stunning.

Janine said...

Ha ha ha. Sad silly, Little Willie, going off as if he has something to say, something to contribute.

What I find really funny here is this, Little Willie dislike evolution because he thinks it negates his god filled world. Yet he is willing to "let his money do the talking" and teases those who refuses to take his bet.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhh

But what about the rest of the movie. This is, as they say a technicality, and NOT critical to the point of the film. Eh????

Janine said...

Nameless one, have you not paid any attention. People have been all over the content of the ideas in the film. People have pointed out the it is a poorly make film. This deal with the cell animation is merely one more way that the makers of the mockumentary get everything wrong. If you doubt me or just want to find out for yourself, go to Expelled Exposed.

Larry Fafarman said...

Hokey Smokey drivels,
>>>>>>Larry Fafarmoron wrote:
"Also, if the videos consist of realistic images of cells,..."

Neither one does, you dolt. A realistic image would be unwatchable. For starters, are you so pig-ignorant as to think that proteins and membranes come in a rainbow of colors? <<<<<<

You mentally-challenged beetlebrain, adding the colors was necessary to distinguish the different structures. That doesn't make Premise Media's video an act of plagiarism.

Thomas S. Howard said...

Laughable Larry sez: "You mentally-challenged beetlebrain, adding the colors was necessary to distinguish the different structures. That doesn't make Premise Media's video an act of plagiarism.
"

Too right, Larry. I mean anyone can see they used
different colors.


Sheesh.


Anyway Larry, in the future, you may want to be more careful when accusing others of overlooking the dead fucking obvious. Hint, Hint.

Rrr said...

Jim Lippard said...
"Rrr: "Exemptions are limited ("fair use") and not applicable to this case of commercial use."

Commercial use doesn't preclude fair use. - - - perhaps they *will* claim parody as a defense."


You may well be correct, Jim... Let's leave it to the lawyers actually involved to duke it out.

And then Layman Farrman said:
This is not just a matter of "permission." The issue I am raising is that discriminatory practices in the sale or licensing of the video could be restraint of trade.

Also, if the videos consist of realistic images of cells, then I don't see how there is any plagiarism there. It is not copying a creative work of art -- it is just copying what exists in nature. If, for example, someone produces a video of the wonders of a national park and I produce a knockoff copy, is that plagiarism? No.


Again, I think you miss the point by some 90 degrees. Trade in your example would concern tangible goods, rather, I believe. Copyright means ownership to copying (an intangible, "intellectual property") so basically permission is needed (generally). Film the same mountain? Fine. Knockoff (I guess you mean hack-a-copy) a cartoon? Onoyoudont. (As ERV has mentioned, Dembsik admits they even stole the music, too!)*

But again, let the court decide upon the evidence. Lying alone will not past the bar take you.

*IIRC, John Cage has the copyright to 4'16 silence, for another 50 years or so. No good removing the score too. (Any other duration would still be derivative, see?;) Trapped again, oh noes! Or wait, maybe Dembski could recycle the farts?

Larry Fafarman said...

This just in -- Harvard is a holder of the copyright on the XVIVO video -- see this comment on Uncommon Descent.

Larry Fafarman said...

rrr driveled,
>>>>> And then Layman Farrman said: <<<<<

Wnat's this "layman" shit -- that has nothing to do with the validity of my statement.

>>>>> Trade in your example would concern tangible goods, rather, I believe. Copyright means ownership to copying (an intangible, "intellectual property") so basically permission is needed (generally). <<<<<<

The law against price discrimination says "commodity," which can mean anything.

Larry Fafarman said...

BTW, I never said that I am not an attorney or that I don't have legal training.

Anyway, this "layman" crap is just ad hominem bullshit.

Thomas S. Howard said...

Lackluster Larry sez:
"Anyway, this "layman" crap is just ad hominem bullshit."

But it's OK when you call someone a mentally-challenged beetlebrain, eh?

Personally, I'm fine with that. Insult away. Obviously, it helps if the insult is factually correct. Or really funny.

Still, you know, the hypocrisy is a little irritating.

Anthony said...

Robert O'brien said: The situation you described above is not parallel. However, I would not describe your hypothetical as "stealing" either.

Alright. Thanks for making it clear that your opinion is to be totally disregarded because it is as ridiculous, apparently, as is your morality.

Midnight Rambler said...

Larry Fafarman said...
"BTW, I never said that I am not an attorney or that I don't have legal training."

Let me remind you of your second post of this thread (so long ago, I know):

"I am not a lawyer either, but I know quite a bit about the law and I know how to look up what I don't know."

Forgetfulness, willful ignorance, or lie? You decide!

Robert O'Brien said...

Alright. Thanks for making it clear that your opinion is to be totally disregarded because it is as ridiculous, apparently, as is your morality.

Variegation may tax your bumpkin cognition but there is nothing ridiculous about my distinction.

Larry Fafarman said...

Midnight Rambler said...
>>>>>> Forgetfulness, willful ignorance, or lie? You decide! <<<<<<<

The problem is that trolls too often accuse me of having no legal training without knowing whether I do or not, so I can never be sure whether someone who accuses me of not having any legal training has any basis for making that accusation. For all I know, the troll who called me a "layman" never saw that comment where I said that I am not a lawyer.

Anyway, my statement that it has no bearing on the validity of my arguments still holds.

Rrr said...

Larry Fafarman said...
For all I know, the troll who called me a "layman" never saw that comment where I said that I am not a lawyer.

1. I am that "troll".
2. How did you know my title?
3. Where did I state what you are a layman of?
4. If we want to really go into ad-hominems, feel free to pronounce that as lame-man.

Anyway, my statement that it has no bearing on the validity of my arguments still holds.

To the exact same degree as your other arguments do, now that you have proven you don't even know yourself, or care, what you have stated. Thanks for playing.

We shall see how the drama plays in the judicial system.

Ojalanpoika said...

I think an analogous documentary film should also be made out of the DINOGLYFS or dinolits:
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/dinosaur.htm

It seems that the ancient man not only saw but also documented the last megafauna (gigafauna, I should say, really!)

pauli.ojala@gmail.com
Biochemist, Finland
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Expelled-the-Movie-Evolution-Intelligent-Design-ID.htm

Rrr said...

So Larry, or Kevin, I take your cricket-chirping silence as tacit proof of your subjugation to my humble pistol-whipping style. You lose. Again. Ha. Take that! And remember to take the pill.

(It does get confusing, all these secret aliases from ABC to XYZ, Larry and Farceman. Even though I have a ... uh wait ... triple-digit IQ. I done beat you fair and square. So there!)

PS. Mr Ojala, put the cork back in the bottle and go back to sleep it off in your pörte.

angrynight said...

Yes, um it looks like the folks at Expelled are looking for a fight.

angrynight said...

OOPS! You knew about that, silly me, so behind the times I am. Now I just feel foolish. That does it, no more comment posting after four AM.

David Mabus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.