c.legal,misc.legal.computing,news.admin.misc,news.admin.policy Subject: FWD: Letter from C
From: email@example.com (Jon Noring)
Subject: FWD: Letter from CoS [Church of Scientology] Lawyer
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 21:15:32 GMT
In article firstname.lastname@example.org (Andrew Kantor) wrote
As part of a short article in the April issue of Internet World, we
requested information about the goings on here from the Church of
Scientology, and e-mailed Helena Korbin, who has posted here previously.
Following is the note we received, portions of which will appear in IW.
It is in response to my partner, Eric Berlin.
Internet World magazine
* * *
RESPONSE TO E-MAIL FROM ERIC BERLIN:
Dear Mr. Berlin:
Thank you for your message. To answer your question about who I
am, I am legal counsel for several Churches of Scientology, including
Religious Technology Center ("RTC") and Church of Scientology
International ("CSI"), and affiliated entities, such as Bridge
Publications, Inc., which publishes certain of the scriptures of the
I understand that the secretary for the public relations director
of CSI has spoken with Andrew Kantor and gotten further questions from
him. I am supplying the information you both requested below.
As you are undoubtedly aware, the issue of unlawful posting of
copyrighted and trade secret materials on the Internet is a hot topic
currently in both computer and legal circles. Among other cases, Playboy
has gotten a favorable decision for copyright infringement based on
unauthorized posting of pictures from its magazines, and Sega has gotten a
court order against unauthorized postings of its video game software.
My clients' interest in the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup is
similar. It is related to the use of a.r.s. as a forum for the repeated
postings of copyrighted Church materials, including both published
materials and unpublished, confidential materials, which are also
judicially recognized as trade secrets. The unpublished materials which
have been posted are among the religious scriptures of the religion, and
their posting on the Internet is a violation of RTC's property rights in
There are both identified and anonymous posters of these
materials. The known posters have been approached several times both
through letters and personally but they have refused to cease their
infringements of the copyrights and misappropriations of the trade
secrets. Their unlawful actions will therefore be dealt with directly
through the appropriate legal means. However, in light of the refusal of
these individuals to cease their actions voluntarily, and the frequent
violations of my clients' property rights by anonymous posters, we have
also been compelled to request cancellation of the newsgroup as a possible
method of preventing such postings.
In addition, "Scientology" is a federally registered trademark
owned by RTC and licensed for use by CSI and other churches of
Scientology. Its use in the Internet address of a.r.s. is a violation of
RTC's trademark rights as well.
Our request is not made for the purpose of stopping the
discussions on a.r.s. Apart from trademark infringement, the sole reason
for requesting a.r.s. be shut down is to put a stop to the unlawful
postings of copyright and trade secret materials. We are not attempting
to prevent discussions which do not infringe on property rights or to cut
across anyone's First Amendment rights. We are trying to deal with an
anarchy created by some net users who callously trample on the
intellectual property rights of organizations and individuals under the
guise of the First Amendment. It is our obligation to take action and
assert our rights, lest the failure to do so be taken as a waiver of
We are not committed to pursuing the "remove group" message to
deal with the problem if it is not the appropriate method. If anyone has
other viable solutions for eliminating the violations of property rights,
we'd be interested to know what they are.
If you have any further questions, please let me know.
*** End of forwarded post ***
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank