Rational Response Squad accuses creationist group of perjury

Brian Flemming reports that the Youtube account of the Rational Response Squad has been deleted in response to false copyright claims by a creationist group called Creation Science Evangelism Ministries. The Rational Response Squad, an activist group of so-called New Atheists, had been posting videos that discussed claims by the creationist group. These videos included quotations of videos by Creation Science Evangelism Ministries. Presumably the DMCA complaints center around these quotations.

Atheists are a repressed minority in the USA. According to a recent study they are the least trusted group in the country (the researchers had originally included them as the neutral choice, in the mistaken belief that nobody would have a negative opinion of atheists). They cannot get high-profile jobs such as political offices, and there are plenty of stories known about atheists and non-Christians who get raw deals from the courts.

The DMCA is a section of American copyright law that provides a so-called safe harbour to providers that respond quickly to copyright complaints. In order to make sure that this safe harbour provision is not abused by those who want to leverage the might of the state to silence critics, the person who brings the complaint will have to swear on penalty of perjury that he is the proper copyright owner. Unfortunately this provision has so far failed to be succesful. Estimates reveal that about one third of all DMCA take-down notices are flawed. Providers typically lack the personnel to make this judgment though, and will take down even non-infringing works as soon as a DMCA complaint comes in.

In the USA it is generally considered fair use, that is: non-infringing, if you use quotations in a critique. (The Netherlands has a similar exemption in copyright law.)

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