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[If this magazine has a Web page, please e-mail the URL to rnewman@mit.edu, and I'll replace this local file with a pointer to the article on their site. Also, I'd like to know the author's name and page number. -- Ron Newman] Computing (a UK weekly trade magazine) 9 March 1995 page 23 IT WORLD NEWS section Scientology church copyright bid fails The Church of Scientology has failed in its attempt to hold a computer bulletin board service (BBS) provider and an Internet access provider responsible for the public postings of a former scientologist critical of the church. A federal judge in San Jose refused to grant a preliminary injunction to stop the companies from publishing any material which the church claimed was copyrighted. The church alleged that former scientology minister Dennis Erlich illegally posted copyrighted material and revealed the church teachings, which it considers to be 'trade secrets'. US District Court Judge Ronald Whyte, while refusing to grant the injunction, did agree to a restraining order to prevent Erlich from publishing additional material. But one of those named in the church's suit, San Jose based Netcom On-Line Communication Services, said the outcome will be significant for Internet providers. Warren Kaplin, executive vice president, protested: 'We believe the involvement of our firm is inapplicable.' Tom Klemesrud, a bulletin board operator in Los Angeles, and Netcom were each served with a complaint and a request for a preliminary injunction on 14 February. Judge Whyte has denied both requests. Two other cases have been decided by federal courts on the matter of copyright violations via online systems, but both involved BBS operators and not Internet access providers. The court found in both cases that the services had been aware of and actively invited the copyright infringements.


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