Fake ‘Ex-Terrorist’ Loses Copyright Case

Ergun Caner, a fake “ex-terrorist” who was fired from Liberty University when his harrowing tale of his evil past was thoroughly debunked, has lost a copyright lawsuit he filed against another Christian who used video of him speaking in a Youtube clip criticizing him. Fair use FTW.

A federal judge has dismissed a Georgia Baptist college president’s lawsuit against a blogger who posted video to support allegations that a famous “Jihad to Jesus” testimony is bogus.

A U.S. district judge in Fort Worth, Texas, ruled April 17 that Jason Smathers, a Southern Baptist pastor in Arizona who blogs at Witnesses Unto Me, was entitled to post government videos he obtained through the Freedom of Information Act under the “fair use” doctrine of copyright law…

U.S. District Judge Terry Means, however, said Caner failed to make a case and that Smathers used the material fairly, as copyright law permits, for “purposes such as criticism, comment, [or] news reporting.”

“His sole purpose was to expose the inconsistencies in Dr. Caner’s biography and criticize a public figure,” the judge determined. If the unauthorized reproduction of his lectures caused Caner any financial loss, he continued, it was the result of “legitimate criticism” of his words.

This is actually important for free speech. The Fair Use Doctrine is extremely important in allowing for informed criticism, especially of public figures.

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  • I am glad the judge cited actual portions of the Copyright Act and not some lame “transformative” use analysis.

  • wesleyelsberry

    I remember a conversion tale told by a fellow my own age at my Boy Scout troop meeting one evening. He laid out a harrowing story of debauchery, drugs, and wickedness, followed by acceptance of Jesus and redemption. He told of how he fell in with a bad crowd several years previous, and that led him to his previous unfortunate circumstances.

    And maybe that would just have been another evening’s entertainment. But here’s the thing: He wasn’t a random fellow after all; we had been best friends between the ages of 10 and 13, and he was perhaps just 15 at the time of giving his conversion story to my Scout troop. What do you do when you know someone is making up utter falsehoods to embellish a story? I’m not sure what you do, but what I did was absolutely nothing, and he gave no indication of having recognized me. I think my reasoning was that at worst I wouldn’t be believed and quite possibly might be falsely denounced as one of those “wicked” fellows who led him astray. And in a “he said, he said” with someone already anointed as having forsaken darkness and taken up righteousness, I didn’t see my place as naysayer being greeted with any sort of welcome.

    It did rather sour me on the whole genre of conversion stories, though, which was a useful thing.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    wesleyelsberry @ # 2 – A web search could probably find your former Scouting colleague. By now I bet he has his own megachurch, and/or a position as an elected official.

  • brucegee1962

    Why give this guy a hard time? — he’s clearly just a loyal reader of Huck Finn.

    “He said it warn’t no use talking, heathens don’t amount to shucks alongside of pirates to work a camp-meeting


    Clearly Terrorist is just a modern substitution for Pirate.

  • grumpyoldfart

    He should stick to true stories like those told by mainstream Christians: virgin births, resurrections from the dead, angels from heaven, talking snakes; stuff like that.

  • freehand

    wesleyelsberry – Likely he remembers it as he tells it, and likely enough the telling of it has improved considerably with practice.

  • Michael Heath

    One introductory class to comparative religion should be sufficient to recognize the oblivious absurdity of conversion stories.

    That doesn’t mean one can’t empathize with the protagonists of many of these stories, I certainly have. But even in this context, pity and frustration is in play given the oblivious, ignorant, delusional thinking present in such stories. That relative to the hope people would actually achieve some emotional maturity and yes, wisdom.

  • dingojack

    “…a harrowing story of debauchery, drugs, and wickedness, followed by acceptance of Jesus and redemption…”

    Followed by an afternoon of telling everyone how seedy and hungover they are, followed by a meal and then another harrowing story of debauchery, drugs, and wickedness, followed by a long dawn session of talking to god on the great white phone…. rinse & repeat.

    Sounds like a typical weekend for some of the partyboys at my high school, of course most of those are dead now (that didn’t quit).

    🙁 Dingo

  • lorn

    Soooo sad.

    Yet another perfectly good story shot all to hell by reality.