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CoS Raid on "Copyright Terrorist"
Some CoS news:
This past Saturday (95/08/12) a prominent Church of Scientology litigator,
Helena Kobrin, and some U.S. federal marshals raided the home of Arnaldo
Lerma, seizing pretty much all his computer hardware, disks, etc. It seems
that back in 1993, CoS was suing someone named Steven Fishman. As part of the
legal proceedings he filed a "declaration", which routinely became part of
the public record of the business of the court. This happens to have included
some of the OT documents which the CoS claims as both copyrighted trade
secrets and sacred texts.
As with other unsealed court documents, copies of the Fishman declaration are
available by snail mail from the court for 50 cents/page. Lerma ordered a
copy from the court, then posted it to alt.religion.scientology. Now CoS is
claiming copyright infringement. Helena Kobrin apparently wants to advance the
state of the art in Infocalypse hyperbole; she is quoted in a wire service
story as saying, in reference to Lerma's posting,
"What he was engaging in was a form of copyright terrorism"
Meanwhile, various sites have started carrying copies of the Fishman
declaration, made available by http, ftp, gopher, finger, etc. A site in
China was one of these data havens, until the resultant traffic load forced it
to shut down. David Touretzky, a member of the CS faculty at Carnegie-Mellon,
had a complete copy on his Web pages at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Fishman/
until CMU's legal counsel received a fax from Helena Kobrin, demanding their
Pending review by the CMU legal staff, he has taken them off. However,
he is maintaining a list of links to sites that still carry copies of
the declaration, along with pointers to some other relevant sites, and his
own comments on the situation. Apparently quite a few other a.r.s folks
and their ISPs have received similar warning letters from HKK. Someone did
a fairly competent forgery on a.r.s of a version of the warning letter,
purportedly from Helena Kobrin to the entire net. I found it disturbingly
plausible. Also, someone forged cancels of various articles including parts of
the Fishman declaration, and of at least one which quoted no more than
A couple of other interesting sources for information on the Scientology/Net
situation I've found recently are: http://amazing.cinenet.net/scientology.html
Freedom Magazine Vol 27, Issue 4, published by the CoS RTC, has some articles
online dealing with copyright, anonymity, privacy, and cryptography. As I've
said before, I'm scared of getting slapped with a frivolous lawsuit by some
arm of the CoS, so I won't quote anything from the articles. Perhaps some of
the other vocal people on the list who think CoS wouldn't hurt a fly will
distribute some choice Fair Use quotes.
http://www.theta.com/goodman/hijack.htm argues for pre-emption of new govt.
regulation of anonymity on the net by application of existing law, although
it fails to recognize some of the protections for anonymity in said law. It
also quotes some criticism by Bruce Koball of the 40-bit export restriction
on RC4, and Clipper. The article editorializes against govt. suppression of
http://www.theta.com/goodman/lies.htm is entitled "Solutions to On-Line Lies",
and advocates forcing remailer operators to know the identities of their
users/customers, and holding them liable for the content of remailed messages.
It generally urges intolerance of unpopular online speech, and remarkably
laments Microsoft's inability to sue for defamation over the Microsoft-to-buy-
http://www.theta.com/goodman/crime.htm offers some case histories of
net.criminals (according to them), including Kevin Mitnick, some guys accused
of rape (stuck under the moniker of `child pornographers'), and Dennis
Ehrlich, subject of a CoS-inspired February raid by the copyright police. The
juxtaposition of these figures is strikingly absurd.
There's more, but this should give you a taste for what's there.
-Futplex <[email protected]>