Ergun Caner, the highest profiled Christian evangelical liar about Islam is back in the news. Ergun Caner has hired a lawyer in order to remove some of the evidence that has damaged his career and reputation. I guess he wants to get a job similar to the one which he had prior to the scandals which saw Ergun Caner exposed as a deceiver.
I'm not too sure about the videos which Jason Smathers is featuring but if he is simply posting them 'under fair use' (i.e. for commentary etc) then he is fine but the dispute here seems to be regarding who owns the copyright. It doesn't seem Ergun Caner owns the copyright any way!
In 2009, Christian blogger Jason Smathers published a series of posts on his Witnesses Unto Me blog that revealed discrepancies in the testimony and stories told by popular evangelical speaker Ergun Caner. In his public speaking engagements, Caner declared that he was raised overseas and was trained in jihad before moving to America as a teenager and coming to Christ at 18. Smathers, however, discovered evidence to the contrary. Associated Baptist Press (ABP) reports:
Smathers tracked down legal documents showing that Caner, author of books including Unveiling Islam who told the conversion story in numerous venues including the Southern Baptist Convention, emigrated to the United States with his family at age 2 and grew up in Ohio in custody of his Lutheran mother after his parents’ divorce. . . .One of the videos posted by the blogger showed Caner “conducting two training sessions on cultural issues for United States Marines in New River, N.C., before they were deployed in 2005.” In the video, Caner claimed the following:
Court documents copied and posted online by Witnesses Unto Me indicate that Caner’s parents were married in Sweden and had lived in Ohio six years by the time Caner was 8. A 1978 divorce decree awarded custody of their three minor children to the mother and visitation rights to the father.
“I knew nothing about America until I came here when I was 14 years old,” he said. “Everything I knew about American culture I learned through American television. . . .”Now a Texas attorney is claiming that Caner has ownership of those videos, and has brought charges of copyright infringement upon Smathers. According to ABP,
“My madrassa (Muslim school) in Istanbul, Turkey; my madrassa in Cairo, Egypt, there’s no question of what the doctrine of jihad was,” he continued. “It is only when we come to America and hear westernized Islam we hear that ‘Oh, Islam means peace.’”
“I was sworn to jihad,” Caner told the Marines. “At the age of 9 until I was 18 years old and I became a believer in Jesus Christ, I was sworn to jihad. I followed the protocols. I knew the three waves. I understood what you do before you take the death plunge, as we call it.”
Smathers said he obtained the video from the Marines and that any attorney practicing in copyright law would know that his client does not own U.S. government work. He accused the lawyer of abusing the law in an attempt to erase past lies, and said he had filed a grievance with the Texas State Bar Association. SourceWitnesses Unto Me provides its own commentary on this latest activity, noting that
Bloggers have been reporting that Caner has been asserting copyright claims on any video where he lied about his past having them removed via the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). . . .Caner’s contract as dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary was not renewed in 2010, following an investigation that concluded that he had made “factual statements that are self-contradictory.” In 2011, he “became provost and vice president of academic affairs at Arlington Baptist College, a Texas school aligned with the World Baptist Fellowship.”
The DMCA requires that videos be restored after ten days if a proper counter-notification is sent. Witnesses Unto Me filed such a notice, and these videos should be restored at the end of the ten-day wait unless Caner chooses to file a lawsuit, which could keep them offline longer. In the meantime, the videos have been reposted on YouTube.