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“”I am NOT thunderf00t! I just want all his subscribers!!!
dprjones is a vlogger known for his religious and philosophical videos. He has around 3 million total views and 40,000 subscribers. He presents The Magic Sandwich show on Blog TV along with Thunderf00t, AronRa, c0nc0rdance and DonExodus2. In 2011 he shared the stage with Richard Dawkins among others at the World Atheism Conference in Dublin.
He has also been involved in a quest to remove Peter Popoff from UK television, as he is in breach of various Ofcom (the UK television regulatory body) rules on charlatans. This came after dprjones spotted Popoff plying his trade on The God Channel. Knowing that Popoff had previously been banned from selling his faith healing crap on UK television a few years earlier, dprjones tried to get to the bottom of it. This first involved calls to Sky TV, who run the actual satellite service. And then to the Gospel Channel, which turned out to be run from somewhere in Iceland, which doesn't have such broadcasting rules (those places that let us have fun things like Wikileaks are a double-edged sword, you know). Finally dprjones contacted the regulatory body Ofcom, which was powerless to control the Gospel Channel because its license was issued in Iceland. After several emails, including to the CEO of Sky and the Icelandic and British ministers in charge of broadcasting, it was clear that no one seemed interested in getting back to dprjones over the Popoff issue. He released the relevant email addresses (obtained legitimately) and emails publicly and asked his subscribers to take up the issue with him. So far there still has been no follow up.
The first video was removed from YouTube for "content violation", but no other information was provided. Curiously, a user that mirrored the video was offered a form of revenue sharing from it by YouTube Guests, proving that YouTube bringing down videos is as consistent as ever.
Each year, dprjones organises a charity event in the form of a 24 hour long Blog TV show. This has been in support of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or Doctors Without Borders), a noted secular humanitarian organisation. While primarily featuring others from the Magic Sandwich Show, the League of Reason and the usual YouTube suspects, the 2011 line-up includes representatives from MSF, the National Center for Science Education, and PZ Myers and James Randi.
VenomFangX vs dprjones
Towards the end of 2009, VenomFangX filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint against dprjones - approximately 30 "DMCAs" were served in total. VenomFangX claimed the videos in question were causing hatred towards him and his family, thus putting them in danger. Regardless of whether this was true or not (it wasn't), VFX's actions were a misuse of the DMCA laws - which only apply to protecting copyright and taking care of copyright infringement on the web. On the 6th of January 2010, dprjones gave VFX 10 days to terminate his YouTube account and exile himself for a year or he (dprjones and others who'd been "DMCA'd") would contact YouTube and inform them of his actions. Unlike the Thunderf00t scandal of 2008 - in which VFX was forced to apologize publicly for his abuse of the DMCA - dprjones openly stated he would not accept an apology, presumably because this was the second time VenomFX had knowingly abused the DMCA. This activity in early 2010 was fast paced and highly dramatic, cumulating in VFX (who by this point was mostly being referred to by his IRL name, Shawn) disassociating himself from the VenomFangX name and persona and promising to get help with his problems.
- 6th of January; VenomFangX made a video replying to dprjones's ultimatum. In the video he claimed that (bizarrely) atheists are trying to censor him and are acting due to Satan (although he never stated that it was Satan's hand, it was in the video description section), that atheists were abusing him and were after "blood". Regarding the DMCA laws, he claimed that he owned the intellectual property to dprjones videos (many video responses to VFX tend to sample his videos in order to make responses), even though the dprjones videos fall under the fair use criteria. He then moved on to the faulty assumption that if he removed the videos that dprjones had taken sections from, fair use laws and the copyright provided by Youtube's terms of services could not apply. He ended the video by basically asking his subscribers to be ready for him to ask for donations to fight a legal battle.
- 7th of January; VenomFangX published an apology to dprjones stating he filed the DMCAs without proper knowledge of the issue and the legal aspects of the act itself. VFX claimed that he only ever intended to protect his family and himself.
- 8th of January; VenomFangX posted a new video in which he stated that he would be closing his account, within "24 hours", "by request of [his] family, for their safety."
- 9th of January; VenomFangX posted a video entitled "Final Farewell", in which he accused dprjones of being a pedophile (for looking at the breasts of a 27 year old woman on blogtv, providing a link to an allegedly doctored video of the event.), called all atheists evil and encouraged his subscribers to go after dprjones by contacting child protection agencies. Ten minutes later he deleted his account, although quick acting YouTube watchers managed to mirror the "Final Farewell" video.
- 11th of January; VenomFangX issued an estimated 200 or more DMCA's to various videos, including most of the mirrors of his "Final Farewell" video (FundieVideoHell's copy was DMCA'd as well). Dprjones' channel (as well as his backup) was temporarily suspended as a result, as well a quite a few other users and videos. The accounts were later restored, and dprjones posted an updated, annotated version of the video where he says that after a conversation earlier that day he was willing to accept that this newest round of DMCAs did not come from VFX. It was at this point that he and another user, named jordanowen42, revealed that they had been in contact with VFX/Shawn's father for several months.
- 17th of January; Following a behind-the-scenes intervention by dprjones, Jordanowen42 and Thunderf00t - which included numerous emails between Shawn's father (which had been going on for several months at least), and finally a skype conversation between dprjones, Shawn and both his parents - Shawn posted his final final farewell. In the video he admits that he had done much wrong over the previous few years and that he really has no idea about copyright law. Another key point in the video was his expressing the wish to end the VenomFangX "persona", possibly meaning that his "ministry" was also at an end.
- 27th of January; dprjones posted a video of a skype conversation with Shawn and his father, as well as the presence of jordanowen42, Thunderf00t and FactVsReligion as observers and advisors. The aim of the conversation was to recap and provide closure for the series of events that dominated these users for the early part of 2010.
While the video of the 27th was designed to draw a line under the whole thing, it hasn't stopped speculation outside the immediate parties involved. One user, sablechicken, has suggested that jordanown42 was in fact a satanist and was counseling VFX's father in satanism during his several months of contact. With this grade of truly unhinged support, it is no mystery why Shawn himself became so crazy towards the end of his time as VenomFangX.
An associate of Thunderfoot, he's said some pretty fucked up things about Rebecca Watson as a result of "elevatorgate", accusing her of being a professional victim and stating he doesn't understand why she shows up at cons at all anymore, given that inappropriate or inappropriately timed advances or harassment may be an issue. Because, you know, instead of doing something about harassment or having horny dipshits gain the magical power to estimate whether the environment in which they hit on someone could possibly be threatening, if them broads don't like it they should just just piss off.
- The Magic Sandwich Show
- dprjones' Removed Peter Popoff Video (Mirror)
- Update on Peter Popoff
- Facebook - DPRJones MSF Charity Show
- VenomFangX - terminate your account within 10 days, or ...
- VenomFangX - To dprjones, [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvWKaLaiy5A VenomfangX apologies to dprjones, funny! (Mirrored)
- Thunferf00t - How DMCA abuse could affect YOU! Comment ca. 1:05, mirrored as some of TF's videos have "stopped playing" for some reason.
- www.youtube.com/user/VenomFangX - no longer functioning.
- FundieVideoHell's mirror of VenomfangX's "Final Farewell:" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im748akeo70
DMCA'dclaim was dropped.
- A message from Shawn
- dprjones - A message from Shawn and his father
- sablechicken - Did VenomFangX's father know of JordanOwen42's Satanic hatred for his son?
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asJHTrg2m1Y Excerpt from Magic Sandwich Show in which he addresses this specifically