Watch for Updates

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GDC Link to Story:

https://plus.google.com/+Agrippa7/posts/65T8U6mKa91

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Despite prior problems in using the image of SpongeBob Square Pants in his commercial performances, after which he quit, Kent Hovind returned to using the image and referencing the image in recent performances.

That attracted, again, those concerned with Kent’s illegal use of the image.

The following correspondence was posted to the Google GDC page which memorializes the current state of affairs and the removal of a number of commercial broadcasts which were recently posted to Kent Hovind’s YouTube channel.

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Correspondence #1

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From: 260336 RAB <elmgan12@gmail.com>

To: Doc Fog <docfog@docfog.com>; Kent Hovind <drdino@drdino.com>

Sent: Sunday, October 28, 2018 1:37 PM
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Subject: Continued unauthorised use of Spongebob(R) merchandise and name
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PENDING LEGAL ACTION FROM VIACOM
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This is serious and for the IMMEDIATE attention of the Board members of CSE.

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Dr Hovinds continued use of the Spongebob image in videos as a prop has again been flagged by Viacom IP Managrment section for action.

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I understand from my inside source at Viacom NY that action will be taken within the next 2 weeks for unauthorised use of a registered trademark once video evidence is collated and will include a DMCA take down notice for YouTube. As this is the 2nd time I’m not sure I can short circuit this one at Viacom.

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Please do not ignore this. Please remove the image and instruct Dr Hivind to publicly record a small apology and explanation . Viacom have been known to take down channels and secure significant punitive damages against far smaller and far greater YouTubers than DALand CSE.

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I would hate to see the channel deleted over Hovinds stupidity and arrogance and the Board of Directors mired in a range of litigation.

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Thank you and God Bless.
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Bob Burns

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Correspondence #2

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From: Kent Hovind <drdino@drdino.com>

To: IT Department <tech@drdino.com>

Sent: Monday, October 29, 2018 1:48 PM
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Subject: FW: Continued unauthorised use of Spongebob(R) merchandise and name

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Correspondence #3

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On Mon, 5 Nov 2018 at 13:48, IT Department <tech@drdino.com> wrote:

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Dear Bob,

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Please review this link.

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https://www.youtube.com/yt/about/copyright/fair-use/#yt-copyright-resources
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzkyYukW8G0 .

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I look forward to reading your response. It is not our intentions to violate any law. There are for more people on YouTube who use more images and clips than we do and are well within legal rights.

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So please sir or madam, where have we violated any law?

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Good Luck and God Bless,
Steve
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P.S. Sending an email from a Gmail account is not very professional. Why doesn’t Viacom say anything? You would think if they had a problem with it then they would have at least given us a heads up. This email seems more like a person trying to cause trouble than trying to notify us of an actual issue.

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Correspondence #4

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On Tue, 6 Nov 2018 at 08:34, 260336 RAB <elmgan12@gmail.com> wrote:
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Dear Steve.

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Take the advice or not.

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You have left this a bit late to action now. I have a close friend in Viacom senior management in New York. They never announce copyright or trademark actions. They have too many. There is no point trying to argue with me or convince me.

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This is a trademark infringement not copyright. You are not protected under DMCA. Your links are meaningless.
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They, like other majors, have very sophisticated monitoring systems across all media globally and take seriously ANY unauthorised use of their trademarks. Your tax status and size is irrelevant. They deal in hundreds of these infringements a week world-wide. The first notice you will get will be a legal letter/injunction and a claim for damages based on their review of your channel. Your channel is monetised and you actively seek donations with their trademark visible and the use of their name spongebob.
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Viacom have a long messy litigation history with Google and YT and are very focused on any creator using one of their marks.
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Do you understand how trademarks are managed and enforced? I repeat. This is not copyright and from what I have seen you have been using their registered trademark on a commercial channel without approval.
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All I know is your channel has been flagged internally after one previous flagging for unauthorised use of their trademark. I assume you stopped using the trademark and not sure why you started using it again.
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It is up to you. I have done all I can and given you a warning. If you choose to run the gauntlet that is your call. Not mine.
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Sorry you dont like my gmail account. Not sure if that is relevant nor is questioning a global corporation’s internal management processes, systems and professionalism. You can’t be that naive.
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I don’t work for Viacom. As this is a trademark issue not copyright the fall out will be to advise YT of the action and that will result in YT being instructed to take action on every one of your videos where the TM is visible or mentioned. It is likely that YT will just delist the channel as it will be for multiple stikes.
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Again it is up to you brother
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I can’t do more than warn the ministry and its management. A quick proactive public video apology to Viacom and stop using the image immediately may halt the actions. No guarantees but that will help mitigate. You are in their system now. It maybe too late.
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Seems a risky position to have ignored advice.
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You are using their registered trademark in videos that are monetised without their approval. .

Ignorance of trademark law is not an excuse.
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Up to you and the Board what action you take. I’m sure you would do the same if your IP was being commercially used without your approval.
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Regards
Bob

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Correspondence #5

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From: 260336 RAB <elmgan12@gmail.com>

To: IT Department <tech@drdino.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 2:45 AM
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Subject: Re: FW: Continued unauthorised use of Spongebob(R) merchandise and name
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FYI. Trademark Infringement on YouTube
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https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6154218?hl=en-GB

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Correspondence #6

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On Tue, 6 Nov 2018 at 12:18, IT Department <tech@drdino.com> wrote:
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Thank you for that response. I do feel this would be a lengthy battle and they would have to have it proven in a court of law as YouTube doesn’t mediate that stuff. Therefore it would need to go to court before a strike could be levied against the ministry on YouTube. I would like to point out that I think it would be tough for them to prove though.

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By definition they are not doing anything wrong. This is copied from 2nd paragraph of that link.
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Trademark infringement is improper or unauthorized use of a trademark in a way that is likely to cause confusion as to the source of that product.
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They are definitely NOT doing that.
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Anyway, I will pass this on to the board. Saying sorry only admits guilt of doing something wrong and would just be evidence to use against the ministry.
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Thank you for the heads up.

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Correspondence #7

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From: 260336 RAB <elmgan12@gmail.com>

To: IT Department <tech@drdino.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 10:33 AM
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Subject: Re: FW: Continued unauthorised use of Spongebob(R) merchandise and name
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What you feel is irrelevant unless you are an IP lawyer. There won’t be any battle. The evidence on your videos is overwhelming.

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You have been using a TM without authorisation.

Fact.
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There is so much evidence of this I find your head in the sand attitude rather strange. Hovind had an award using spongebob and he continues to display the trademarked image and reference it. You are aligning their brand to your monetised channel narrative without authorisation or license agreement.
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It does not have to even go to court to affect a YT decision to delist. You will have multiple TM strikes against your channel with evidence of unauthorised use and evidence of legal correspondence. YT under their terms will stike the channel and then delist it. Their algorithms will do it automatically and until a court case is completed your channel will be off line with no recourse. Do you understand what mediate means? This means YT won’t decide if an infringement has commerical penalties. They will delist based on the owners of the TM advice or they will also be liable.
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If you want to play bush lawyer that’s fine and your call. A strange call but yours never the less.
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You have done something wrong. Just this correspondence is evidence of this as you didn’t even know what the likely breach was until I told you.
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Please don’t rely on web page legal advice.
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Use of TM infringement varies and is not black and white from a YT or other web page.
There is no “definitely not” position in IP law.
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Again this is your call. A simple apology does not set any precedent in commercial law in fact it shows you have acted positively to rectify a situation. I would also delete those videos in the past that reference spongebob
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And announce you have done so.
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Again I state. If this was your TM what would be your reaction? Why do you think a business that makes billions out of their TM won’t act and protect their IP? They do npt tolerate any misuse. If they did it sets a precedence in the market.
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If you wait for the legal correspondence it will be too late and you will be in court. I have given you my advice. As you have no IP lawyer on staff or on the board just a disbarred junior solicitor your legal team is not best equipped to provide any legal advice and neither are you.
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Your opinion on what is likely or not is naive at the least. Good luck. You are going to need it. Viacom are considered one of the most litigious corporations. Based on Hovinds past failed legal engagements it will be a pity to lose a channel doing the Lords work over an IP issue.
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With regards

Bob.

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Correspondence #8

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An update. The correspondence.
Notice how the Aron Ra videos have been taken down
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From Steve at DAL

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I want you to know that I do take this very serious. I have advised him to stop using it and that he should do what you suggested. I know this must be confusing because of the way I responded. I want to point out that I get so many bogus emails it is hard to tell what is what. You are right I am not a lawyer and I know nothing about this. I have actively tried to get him to stop using anything that we don’t create. I am told otherwise by other people and I am in no position to make those decisions. I can only advise them and I have advised them against iit always.
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So please forgive me if I seemed like I didn’t care. I play the devils advocate sometimes just to poke holes in the story if they are there. It was by NO means admitting to that I think it is ok. I will admit though that I was being told and showed so many things that I think I started to believe it was ok.
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I have instructed DR. Hovind to remove all images.

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We have demonetized the channel completely.

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He is going to do an apology tonight and the board is going to call Viacom directly.

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Thank you for the emails and again I apologize for coming off as whatever. I really thought this was just another petty attack and time waster.

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That is not the case now.

Please forgive me.

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Lord Bless,

Steve

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Link to just one of the related videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1pAQqYFjHs

What’s at the above link now:

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Update November 8, 2018

Rumor has it that Kent Hovind will not be making any public statement resembling an apology of any kind for his misuse of the SpongeBob image.

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Update November 9, 2018

Kent put back up some of his videos after taking them down, but he never publicly apologized and pledged to not do it again, and left other videos featuring SpongeBob.

Then, today, zappo; a bunch of videos disappeared again.

The following message provides some insight into what is going on with that………stay tuned to Kent Hovind’s channel and this page to see what else might develop.

Clear Copy Link:

https://twitter.com/BatyvHovind/status/1061045917329977345

TEXT of Above

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Bob,
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Hope the flight was ok.
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I met with the VP of our IP group.  The review of the Hovind channel case has shown no effort at all to remove TM from view on most videos or any sort of public apology as your contact indicated was to be provided “in the next video”.  They will be proceeding with filing the appropriate injunctions and commencing down the litigation path.
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I may be able to convince the VP to halt this if you can get the Hovind people to apologize publicly on air and make an undertaking never to use the mark again within 24 hours.  If not it is clear that Hovind and his group had every intention to use the mark without authorisation or agreed compensation and punitive damages will be sought as per Company policy.
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Beyond me why this simple step was not undertaken as promised.
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This is the last time using my internal back channel.  Sorry, but even I can’t overrule internal systems of another department as I’m sure you understand.
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Enjoy Tokyo and say hi to Takahiro for me.
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Best,
XXXXXXXXXXXX, President
Viacom LLC

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Update November 10, 2018

https://www.facebook.com/groups/kenthovindsworstnightmare/permalink/1101813399987788/

Bwahahahahaha!

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https://youtu.be/yvQ4jfmsl70?t=1210

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Update November 11, 2018

I just checked again and cannot find where Parts 1-4 are posted and there is still a 10 day period between October 16 and October 27 where no videos are shown on Kent’s channel.  Who knows what is up with all of that!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxiEtqPja47nnqsJNrdOIQQ/videos

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