,news.admin.misc,news.admin.policy Subject: Re: FWD: Letter from CoS [Church of Scientolog

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Newsgroups: alt.censorship,alt.clearing.technology,alt.current-events.net-abuse,alt.law-enforcement,alt.privacy.anon-server,alt.society.civil-liberty,comp.org.eff.talk,misc.legal,misc.legal.computing,news.admin.misc,news.admin.policy From: rnewman@media.mit.edu (Ron Newman) Subject: Re: FWD: Letter from CoS [Church of Scientology] Lawyer Message-ID: <1995Jan22.065834.13219@news.media.mit.edu> References: <3foqdn$128@panix.com> Date: Sun, 22 Jan 1995 06:58:34 GMT Here is a response that I sent to the "Church"'s lawyer, Helena Kobrin . I also sent it to Andrew Kantor at Internet World , and previously posted it to alt.religion.scientology: ----------- In article <3foqdn$128@panix.com>, Andrew Kantor quotes a letter from Helena Kobrin, lawyer for the Church of Scientology: > 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materials and unpublished, confidential materials, which are also 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 idea of "trade secrets" for a church is ludicrous to many people, on and off the Net. >However, in light of the refusal of these individuals >to cease their actions [posting of allegedly copyrighted materials] >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. I see you used the term "cancellation" here. Are you hereby admitting that you sent the forged "cancel" control messages that have been coming from "netcom.com!robocanceller" over the past month? > 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. "" is an Internet Protocol host address. "hkk@netcom.com" is an Internet e-mail address. "alt.religion.scientology" isn't an "Internet address" of any kind. It is the name of a Usenet newsgroup, which is a distributed bulletin board carried on tens of thousands of computers througout the entire world. Many of these computers are not on the Internet at all. Usenet newsgroups are organized by topic. "Scientology" is a valid topic of discussion, just like "Intel" or "Apple" or "IBM" or "McDonald's" or "Disney". All of these are trademarks, but all of them have their own newsgroups. senet newsgroup names serve exactly the same purpose as library catalog subject headings. They are a way of organizing the vast world of computer-mediated discussion into narrow topic categories. If I run a public library, do I need to get permission from your church to use "Scientology" as a subject heading? Are you planning to sue all of the following - Harvard University (telnet hollis.harvard.edu) - MIT (telnet library.mit.edu) - the Boston Public Library (telnet mbln.bpl.org, login "library") - the 25 member libraries of the Minuteman Library Network (telnet mln.lib.ma.us, login "library") - the Library of Congress (telnet locis.loc.gov) - the Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (telnet fscat.oclc.org -- you need an account to use it) and every other library that uses "Scientology" as a subject heading in their on-line or paper card catalog? > 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. What makes you think that you can shut down a newsgroup whose existence is controlled by tens of thousands of separate system administrators throughout the world? And if you did manage to do this, what makes you think this action would actually stop the copyright infringements that you are complaining about? The offending messages would simply move to a different Usenet newsgroup. -- Ron Newman MIT Media Laboratory rnewman@media.mit.edu -------------------


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