- 18 April 2002 : Ava
- Notice of Copyright Infringement
Dear Ms. Palmer:
Our office represents Religious Technology Center ("RTC"), the owner of the confidential Advanced Technology of the Scientology religion and the holder of exclusive rights under the copyrights applicable to the Advanced Technology materials. The Advanced Technology materials are confidential, unpublished, copyrighted works. RTC's works include, among others, the individual works comprising levels known as "OT II" and "OT III". These works are registered with the United States Copyright Office under registration numbers: TXu 303 388 and TXu 290 496.
We have been advised that you have placed a substantial portion of RTC's OT II and OT III works on your web oage without the authorization of our client.
These copyrighted works can be found under the URLs:
Your actions in this regard constitutes an infringement of RTC's copyright in violation of United States copyright law and the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 ("the 1998 Act"). Accordingly, we request that these copyrighted works be removed immediately.
Our clients have obtained numerous permanent injunctions concerning Internet infringements of these same works. For instance, in May 1998, a jury in the United States District Court in San Jose, California assessed damages in the amount of $75,000 against a Mr. Henson for copyright infringement on the Internet. Mr. Henson was also permanently enjoined by the court against further infringements. A United States District Court in the state of Virginia granted judgment for damages, costs, and a permanent injunction related to similar copyright infringement. Permanent injunctions have also been entered in three additional U.S. cases.
Similar results have been reached in Europe. On September 14, 1998, a Swedish court enjoined a defendant who engaged in similar infringements, in addition to finding that his actions in placing our client's copyrighted works on the Internet violated the owner's rights under Swedish copyright law. He was also fined for his illegal actions and ordered to pay $161,000 in litigation costs. This judgment was appealed and subsequently affirmed on March 9, 2001. Thereafter, this same infringer was separately found guilty of criminal violations of the copyright act with respect to RTC's materials. In fact, the judgment went a step further by stating: "Since the purpose was to cause injury, the penalty imposed cannot be merely a fine. Accordingly, penalties are imposed of a conditional sentence plus day fines." That judgment became final on October 4, 2001.
On June 9, 1999, a Dutch court found an individual and numerous Internet service providers had engaged in copyright infringement by posting, or hosting, our clients' copyrighted works on their web sites. The court ruled that the service providers must remove such postings as soon as they are notified of them, subject to a penalty of $2,500 for each day on which they do not comply.
I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.
Moxon & Kobrin
3055 Wilshire Boulevard
Tel: (213) 487-4468
Fax: (213) 487-5385
- 24 April 2002 : Jennifer
- Dear sir/madam,
It has been brought to our attention that your website located at:-
is in breach of someone elses copyright because you have placed a substantial portion of RTC's OT II and OT III works on your website without the copyright holders authorization.
Therefore, please either remove the material or provide proof that you have permission to use the material, within the next five days. If we do not hear from you and/or you do not remove the material within the next five days then we will have no choice but to suspend access to you website until this matter is resolved.
Thus Legal Services
- 27 April 2002 : Anonymous
- Dear Catherine,
Thanks for removing the material from the website.
Thus Legal Services
RTC v Google re Information At My Site & Google's Cache
[quoted with permission from chillingeffects.org]
- 29 April 2002 : RTC
- Sender Information:
Religious Technology Center
Sent by: [Private]
Moxin & Kobrin
Los Angeles, California, 90010, USA
- Recipient Information:
Mountain View, California, 94043, USA
- Dear [private]:
In this matter we represent Religious Technology Center ("RTC") owner of the copyrights to the unpublished, confidential works (the "Advanced Technology" works) of the Scientology religion.
Please be advised that there are several postings containing RTC's copyrighted works in the Google usenet archive, which were posted without our client's authorization in violation of United States copyright law. We request that these postings be deleted. These postings can be located under URLs #23 - #24 below.
I have a good faith belief, and in fact know for certain, that the posting of these works was not authorized by my client, any agent of my client, or the law.
I declare under penalty of perjury that this information is accurate and that I am authorized to act on behalf of RTC in this matter.
Moxon & Kobrin
Los Angeles, California 90010
- 01 May 2002 : Wendy
- Thank you, we do appreciate the update on the status of cases in the Chilling Effects database. If you would like to send us the letter you received, we would be pleased to add that to the database as well.
As for quoting from the letters on our site, we do not claim any copyright in them, and take the position that copying them for the purposes of legal discussion or commentary is fair use. (If they were creative works, the letters would be copyrighted by their authors.)
- 20 April 2002 : Penult
- All I have to offer is that you appear to have the permission of Mr. Robinson to post his copyrighted text.
As for the rest of your web site that is between you and whomsoever you obtained the space from and their terms of service. Perhaps you should consult with them?
- 20 April 2002 : Barb
- Ah, I got an Avagram for having the same piccie of Hubbard's scrawl on my site. Although I took it down, I created an incredible facsimile to use in its place.
Email me if you'd like a copy!
- 20 April 2002 : Beverly
- Go to Dave Touretzky's page here: http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/. Click on all the URLs beneath his DMCA section. He has sure done a lot of good work there.
So Ava is stating the summary of the story is so very accurate it is objectionable to Co$ qualifying as copyright violation?
So Ava is verifying that this image is actually HubTOAD's actual handwriting and actual OT3?
So Ava is stating that the equivalent and summary are so very accurate that it qualifies under DMCA copyright?
I mean, she needs to be absolutely specific as to which items she objects to and why. That is the very least that should be done when claiming copyright violations.
She also should list which CST held copyrights that are being objected to and provide the actually CST held registration numbers for each thing on your site she is objecting to.
BTW, some very good stuff there, hope that it doesn't get taken down because of a threat.
Too bad Co$ is being successful and tearing down one by one, slowly but surely, websites that tell the truth they so desperately want hidden.
- 20 April 2002 : Beverly
- Well, you know, you have to do what you have to do, I'm sure you don't have the money, time or resources to fight this, and that is, after all, what RTC acting on behalf of CST rely on.
There have been enough people fed to the lions of financial asphyxiation thanks to CST, we don't need any more.
If you do have to take some things down in order to save the rest of the site, that is fine. You can outline whatever it was that had to have been taken away in your own words and at least the content will stay up.
I admire the heck out of anybody that has a website.
More than anything I could ever say to anyone or post, pointing to the websites for them to get the information is always what the corker is.
So . . .
GOOD ON YA'!!!
- 20 April 2002 : Roger
- You're not in a USA state. You don't have to obey what US laws say.
The attorneys of the cult have to show cause in YOUR own law language.
Besides, you don't have to answer ANY of their mail if you don't want to do so: they are not officially acceptable methods of assignation or complaint.
My advice is to ask to Dave, or Jens Tingleff, or Roland Rashleigh Berry, what they would advice in UK.
I've been myself attacked times after times for similar causes in France, and have had to discuss seriously the different aspects of the legal with the legal people from my ISPs, in France and Switzerland.
They have been unable to do anything against me regarding copyrights. Now they are trying other attack points so as to ruin me in futile trials. That's their methods, but the difference is that my sites are the two largest french speaking ones in the world against Scientology.
- 20 April 2002 : Ralph
- The OT3 page that is handwritten looks like an exact copy. That is probably all they have a valid complaint about, as I see it.
Some of the quotes in the section on OT2 might be considered beyond fair use but its rather borderline.
I have an extensive write on NOTs which the CofS has never contested at http://fzint.org/rhilton/aa5.htm
Anyone is welcome to link to it.
A German translation is also available at http://fzint.org/rhilton/aa5de.htm
I wrote it 18 years ago and have distributed it to many.
Not a single squeak from the CofS.
If anyone wants to translate it into other languages then I'd be happy to host it too.
- 21 April 2002 : David
- Hummm. Obviously anyone's legal opinions here on a.r.s. would be and are worthless--- which includes mine! :-)
Copyright laws are, as I understand them, international; they are formed by treaty, which is a "higher" law than even a nation's Constitution (that is, law set by treaty supplants law set by national and local governments). This means that the UK's laws on copyright are probably identical or very close to identical with the USA.
Your web page at http://www.palmyria.co.uk/superstition/scientology.htm sure looks like "Fair Use" to me, since it (1) does not quote a significant portion of the alleged copyright the crime syndicate claims it owns, and (2) is not for competitive economic purposes, and (3) was mostly written by yourself--- you own the page; the Scientology crime syndicate does not.
However, Whore Number Two (Ava Paquette) is not interested in the validity of her assertion: her only concern is threatening and intimidating human rights activists such as yourself into silence. This means that even though law and international treaty is on your side, and that you have not, in my opinion, broken any copyright law with the web page, that does not mean you "should" not change the web page----- all the time innocent people are found guilty of crimes they have never committed.
Perhaps you should find out exactly what Whore Number Two is asserting is copyright infringement (it is not clear on your web page), and then decide, upon reply, to change the web page.
One is allowed to publish small portions (including "exact copies") of larger material material, especially when part of a exegesis on that material.
- 21 April 2002 : Phineas
- I sincerely believe they are just trying to intimidate you, in hopes you will comply out of fear.
As I understand it, in the UK if a party loses in a litigation case, they must pay the expenses of the other party. On that alone I doubt sincerely anything will become of it, since they probably know they don't have much of a legal leg to stand on. There is so much precedence in your favor. If they do complain to your ISP, then send your ISP this letter (courtesy of David S. Touretzky)
Dear Internet Service Provider:
This letter is written in response to your notification to me of a complaint received about my webpage(s). The pages in question are:
(insert list of URLs here).
The complainant's claim of copyright violation should be rejected because (please see all checked items):
The material in question is not copyrighted, or the copyright has expired. It is therefore in the public domain and may be reproduced by anyone.
The complainant has provided no copyright registration information or other tangible evidence that the material in question is in fact copyrighted, and I have a good faith belief that it is not. The allegation of copyright violation is therefore in dispute, and at present unsupported.
The complainant does not hold the copyright to the material in question and is not the designated representative of the copyright holder, and therefore lacks standing to assert that my use of the material is a violation of any of the owner's rights.
My use of the material is legally protected because it falls within the "fair use" provision of the copyright regulations, as defined in 17 USC 107. If the complainant disagrees that this is fair use, he or she is free to take up the matter with me directly, in the courts. You, the ISP, are under no obligation to settle this dispute, or to take any action to restrict my speech at the behest of this complainant. Furthermore, siding with the complainant in a manner that interferes with my lawful use of your facilities could constitute breach of contract on your part.
The complaint does not follow the prescribed form for notification of an alleged copyright violation as set forth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 USC 512(c)(3). Specifically, the complainant has failed to:
Provide a complaint in written form. [17 USC 512(c)(3)(A)]
Include a physical or electronic signature of the complainant. [17 USC 512(c)(3)(A)(i)]
Identify the specific copyrighted work claimed to be infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works are covered by a single complaint, provide a representative list of such works. [17 USC 512(c)(3)(A)(ii)]
Provide the URLs for the specific files on my website that are alleged to be infringing. [17 USC 512(c)(3)(A)(iii)]
Provide sufficient information to identify the complainant, including full name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address. [17 USC 512(c)(3)(A)(iv)]
nclude a written statement that the complainant has a good faith belief that use of the disputed material is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law. [17 USC 512(c)(3)(A)(v)]
Include a written statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complainant is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed. [17 USC 512(c)(3)(A)(vi)]
This communication to you is a DMCA counter-notification letter as defined in 17 USC 512(g)(3):
I declare, under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the complaint of copyright violation is based on mistaken information, misidentification of the material in question, or deliberate misreading of the law.
My name, address, and telephone number are as follows: (insert your name, address and phone number here). I hereby consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which I reside (or, if my address is outside the United States, any judicial district in which you, the ISP, may be found).
I agree to accept service of process from the complainant.
My actual or electronic signature follows:
Having received this counter-notification, you are now obligated under 17 USC 512(g)(2)(B) to advise the complainant of this notice, and to restore the material in dispute (or not take the material down in the first place), unless the complainant files suit against me within 10 days.
- 21 April 2002 : Bam
- Replace the OT3 image with a link to the one on this page http://www.xenu.net/archive/leaflet/xenuleaf.htm.
- 22 April 2002 : Stephen
- "Fair Use", as such, seems to me to be more of an American concept than a British one, if only because copyright litigation in the US seems to be much more about how far over the line the plaintiff/defendant can go.
So don't expect to be able to rely solely on a fair use defence: but remember that a public interest defence is much more likely to carry weight in the UK than in the US. You could quite reasonably claim that what you are putting on the web is a) in the public interest ("this is what they want you to pay £x,000 for"), and fair use, in that it consists of smaller quotes from a large body of work.
But none of this will be much use unless you actually end up in court, and I think you probably want to avoid that if you can.
What I suggest you do is to go back to Ava, and demand from her a point-by-point statement of what she considers to be infringing. History has shown that, when Scientology are pressed to make specific allegations, instead of their traditional "copyright terrorist" broad-brushed claims, they often fail to follow through, or even back down. Demand to see documentary evidence, too, of the ownership of the copyrights: again, Scn are reluctant to get into the business of providing information when what they're attempting to do is suppress it. Any tactics which, should you find yourself having to defend yourself in court, would lead a judge to believe that you had made ongoing good-faith efforts to resolve the issue prior to arriving at court, are good ones. Scientology will be attempting to paint you as some kind of loony who gets kicks from putting Scn sekrit skripture on the 'net: you need to show yourself as someone who is serious about this, takes the whole matter seriously, and is genuinely attempting to find a reasonable way out which doesn't involve capitulating to them.
Remember that US law has absolutely no bearing in a UK court. Briefs which serve to demonstrate the actions of Scientology, or their past behaviour during litigation, whether in the US or elsewhere, are perfectly valid, but avoid making, or trying to make, any legal point on the basis of anything other than UK law: you'll find that you will be shot down in flames if you do.
But, to answer your question, general issues like this would be decided on a case-by-case basis, obviously with reference to cases in the same jurisdiction that set precedent. But to make such a defence, you'd actually have to be in court, I think.
- reply to Ava Paquette, requesting an itemised list of all the items she alleges are infringing (then go through your site and confirm that the claims she makes are true in fact, at least),
- when she has given you this list, write back and request proof of copyright for EACH item she alleges is infringing. "Proof of copyright" would, I should have thought, entail production of copyright registration documents - if they were to take this to court, any reasonable defence would expect to have sight of these, but I believe that, in some cases, Scientology may have problems in producing them: in the Bonnie Woods case a couple of years ago, they dropped their action because Bonnie demanded that they produce other documents in support of their suit.
- dispute everything, and ask for clarification/evidence on every occasion where you could reasonably do so. Do not take anything as read, even from their lawyers/ solicitors: they are perfectly capable of making completely off-the-wall claims.
- conduct all correspondence in writing/email (writing is better, but means that they have your postal address). They'll allege all kinds of things otherwise, and WHATEVER YOU DO, if they turn up at your door, refuse to speak or discuss ANYTHING with them. Anything whatsoever. Including the weather, even. If they should turn up (they did it to me a few years back), they won't take no for an answer, and they'll be ever so reasonable. They'll make you feel mean and petty for not wanting to sit down and discuss it in a friendly way. You won't be mean and petty: Scientology has mean and petty down to a T, and nobody's going to out-do them on it. So refuse to speak to them, and if necessary threaten to call the police: in any case, officers of the court (assuming you get a visit from a solicitor, as I did) are not supposed to harass, interfere with, or attempt to put pressure on parties in court cases that they, too, are parties to.
If all else fails, and they're getting too hot on you, take the site down: it's not worth messing up your entire life over. But you can make Scn hurt even more: if that happens, put up another page telling the story of how they shut you up, and link to someone else's OT3, etc. Let Scientology spend all their money playing whack-a-mole, and maybe in six months, you get to put your site back up again!
Good luck, and remember: I'm not a lawyer, and this advice is worth every penny you paid for it! :-)