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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Slashdot responds to post about Scientologists and D

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Date sent:      	Fri, 16 Mar 2001 11:00:36 -0800
To:             	politech@politechbot.com
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: Slashdot responds to post about Scientologists and DMCA
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com

[Rob is right. As much as folks online may not like it, the law is on
the side of the Scientologists -- at least if the facts are as they
appear to claim. If I reposted their xenuhubbardscripture on
politechbot.com and got the same threat, I'd likely do the same thing
as Slashdot did. The DMCA gives the Scientologists additional
ammunition, but they've been at this for much of the last decade. I
remember writing in 1995 about their alt.religion.scientology attacks,
and I recall they sued the Washington Post -- and lost -- after the
paper published a short fair-use excerpt of the xenulore. It's more
important to stand together and lend our support the Slashdot editors
when they're being hammered by such a litigious foe than to complain
they caved in when the law was against them. Here's some background:
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Secrets/index.html --Declan]


Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 13:22:38 -0500
From: robin <robin@roblimo.com>
Reply-To: roblimo@slashdot.org
To: declan@well.com
Subject: Re: FC: Slashdot bows to DMCA pressure from Church of
Scientology References:
<> Content-Type:
text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

1) Scientology wasn't just going after us, but also after
our bandwidth provider.

2) If Slashdot was non-corporate, chances are its hosting
provider would have demanded immediate removal of the
offending post or would have closed the site down right

3) If the same thing happened at Kuro5hin or [name your
favorite "anything goes" site here], they might have puffed
their chests and roared, but their hosting provider or the
upstream provider it uses for bandwidth would have cut off
access before long. Any site with enough readers to be
noticeable would have gotten in trouble for posting CoS
copyrighted material. (We're not talking about snippets used
to prove a point here, which could be argued as "fair use,"
but an entire, rather lengthy text.)

4) This is not about freedom of speech, it's about copyright
laws that we have to follow even if we don't like them. The
only real solution is to get those laws changed. And even
without the DMCA, this still would have been a copyright
violation. It is not a dubious "Iis it code or is it speec?"
situation like DeCSS or a co-opted protocol like

5) "CmdrTaco in Jail" might be a good name for a rock opera
but would not solve the problem.

I am very depressed and have hardly slept this week.

- Robin


From: "Neugroschl, Scott" <Neugroschl.Scott@LittonISD.com>
To: "'declan@well.com'" <declan@well.com>
Subject: RE: Slashdot bows to DMCA pressure from Church of Scientology
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 10:21:27 -0800 MIME-Version: 1.0 X-Mailer:
Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type:
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As a slashdot member, I fell that I must respont to Tony's comments
about Slashdot folding to the CoS, but not to MS.

1. The "MS" post was not copyrighted material, but a description of
how to avoid the "click-thru" EULA on the description of the Kerberos
mods.  MS never asserted copyright, only a violation of a trade
secret.  The section of the DMCA that MS claimed was violated (if they
claimed DMCA violation at all -- I don't recall) was the
anti-circumvention clause, which is quite arguably unconstitutional
under the doctrine of Fair Use.

2. The CoS post was most likely copyrighted (though possibly in the
public domain from various court cases), and pursuant to the DMCA, the
SlashDot editors had no choice but to take it down.

I too regret the fact that the post was removed.  What Rob Malda did,
though, was instead of simply replacing the post with "This Post
removed due to the DMCA", he replaced it with numerous links to
information about Scientology and anti-Scientology sites, all the
while explaining why he had to do this.

Yes, it sets a bad precedent, but it was necessary.

Scott Neugroschl


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One point that might be noted is that with spiders and other web
agents, the pages that were removed may still exist on the web.  I
remember a story on one of the lists that I follow where a page was
removed from the host, but it was found in the archives of google.com 
I will look for this page tonight at home and send the link to you if
I find it.

Gordon Brandt


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