From braintree!news.sprintlink.net!cs.utexas.edu!math.ohio-state.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!news.nic.surfnet.nl!newshost.vu.nl!cs.vu.nl!sun4nl!xs4all!usenet Thu Oct 5 10:54:46 1995
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Karin Spaink)
Subject: DUTCH REPORT - We're getting serious now
Date: Wed, 04 Oct 1995 21:22:34 GMT
Organization: St. Passie Beheer
X-Newsreader: Forte Free Agent 1.0.82
I promised updates. Well, here goes.
As of now, there are *sixty-seven* Fishman-homepages in the
Netherlands. Some people have also put up Scarffs testimony, which is
lots worse - but no copyright-claims there, just a massive 250 p.
testimony which discusses illegal and criminal actions by CoS or its
members, discussed in front of - or ordered by - CoS's in-house
lawyers Bowles and Moxon.
On Thursday, sept. 28, posters containing a part of the Fishman
Affidavit ('On control and Lying') were spread all over the centre of
Amsterdam. Well, I guess you saw the pix. They were rather quickly
sprayed over with white paint. I wonder: were those faithful
CoS-members ordered to keep their eyes closed while spraying? I would
That same day, Oussama got a phonecall from Julia Rijnvis, spokeswoman
for CoS Holland. She wanted to talk to him. He asked her to come to
his office at parliament; she took Martin Weightman, Direcotor CoS
European Human Rights with her. They of course asked him to take down
his homepage. He flatly refused.
That same evening, Oussama Cherribi, other people I'd rather not
mention, and I had a meeting. Both Oussama and I have publicly
announced that we do *not* intend to remove the document unless a
judge orders us to do so. The aforesaid 'other people' had an an early
stage - when there weren't as many homepages - decided to do exactly
the same, but prefer to keep their names secret. Of course we could
easily get in touch, using Internet-facilities, and because we wanted
to see each other in the eye about this, we arranged this evening and
ended up drinking and joking, firmly convinced that we would not cave
in and would support each other in any way necessary.
Also, we expected CoS would try to pick out a single person which they
would sue, rather than a provider, to prevent becoming involved in a
complicated case about responsibilities between providers and users.
Friday, sept. 29, a prime-time television news program (2 Vandaag / 2
Today) covered the protest in a tin-minute item. They interviewed
Oussama Cherribi; Felipe Rodriguez, the managing-director of xs4all;
Julia Rijnvis - spokeswoman for CoS Holland - also made a short
appearance and simply stated that "CoS has no intention at all to
restrict freedom of speech, this is just a copyright-issue".
The program will be reworked for Internet-use, with lots of pictures
and transcripts of interviews, in a scene-to-scene expose, just as an
earlier program on the raid of xs4all was:
Rijnvis called a lot of providers last week, trying to persuade them
to take down the homepages and trying to obtain adresses of
participants. Nobody complied. She tried University-providers as well,
but usually got lost and ended up trying to talk to unattended
Some university-providers have meanwhile ordered ther users to take
down the document - for fear of legal hassle. Some users that did not
comply, thereupon saw their homepage taken down. Other users took
theirs down voluntarily. All in all, eight Fishman homepages ended up
in The Morgue. Several university-homepages are still in working
order; apparently, many universities do not mind at all.
After Rijnvis' phonecalls, official letters started being sent out by
Nauta Dutilh, CoS Dutch legal representatives for this case, ordering
them to get rid of these homepages 'within four days, or else we will
be forced to take this to court'.
Especially the smaller providers got a tad frightened and warned the
users involved, sometimes urging them to take the pages down; these
users complied, not wanting to blow their relation with their
providers. Four pages were taken down. *None* of the bigger and more
well-known providers have asked their users something along these
Felipe Rodriguez of xs4all, who is also president of NLIP (a Dutch
organisation for Internet-providers) offered all providers legal help
and explained them that although xs4all had received the same letter,
nothing was heard from Nauta Dutilh after xs4all's lawyer had answered
it and had refuted their request. Some providers took heart and ok'ed
a Rise From The Morgue.
Some participants even began speculating that, seeing that no new
letters arrived after those answers, CoS or their lawyers might
refrain from their promise to bring this to court. The chance that
they will lose such a case is indeed rather great, in Holland...
Saturday morning, sept. 29, I received my *second* e-mail from the
alleged Helena Kobrin, which was a bit strange, because only a few
participants had received their first and there was such a *long* list
of people she had not yet attended to... In it, she suggested that I
am somehow the big organiser behind all this (oohh, she loves
conspiracy theories, doesn't she, our Helena?): " As I understand you
also encouraged others to post them, I am requesting that you post a
new statement encouraging others to remove them."
When I phoned Rijnvis two days ago (after various attempts of hers to
reach me - she even lefther private numer at a newspaper I work for),
she described me as the BO too - partly because of a piece I wrote
earlier in my three-weekly column in a Dutch newspaper.
For the record, I have *not* asked anybody to *post* anything. I just
asked people if they would please look into the situation and if they
considered this protest to be a worthy thing, to put up a Fishman-
homepage themselves, as many others had already done. Ever since, I am
the keeper of the list of participating url's and compile a bulletin
for all participants containg news, suggestions, questions etc, that
people have send me.
And yes, because I am a public person, just as Oussama, my
participation in this protest attracts more media attention than that
of many other brave people, and I get mentioned a lot; also, I use my
profession - writing - to explain why I think this CoS-thing is
important. But seeing me as the Big Organizer is giving me far more
credits - or guilt - than is called for. If anybody started this
protest, it was CoS itself.
But anyway. User's real names and their analogue adresses are hard to
find, especially when providers refuse to give these to others unless
forced to by a court-order. Most participants are therefore rather
Apart from the more conspicious participants, that is. This morning I
recieved a registered letter from the postman, containing.... You
guessed it. They found my adress. In as far as I know, they have not
yet sent Oussama such a letter. Nauta Dutilh presented me with their
offical request to take Fishman from my homepage, due to copyright
infringements; an injunction to provide any *hyperlinks* to other
places where Fishman may be found (huh? Since when are hyperlinks
considered unlawful?); and a request that I inform my provider of this
letter and of my reaction; all to be complied with within three days.
Well of course I'll inform my provider. And of course I will not take
down my homepage. My lawyer will answer their letter, and we will
await their next step.
As will at least sixty-six other people.
- I write, therefore I am: