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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Slashdot bows to DMCA pressure from Church of Scient

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Fri, 16 Mar 2001 09:23:33 -0800
To:             	politech@politechbot.com
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: Slashdot bows to DMCA pressure from Church of Scientology
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com

First rule of dealing with the Scientologists: Anyone who can be sued,
will. The thread in question:
http://slashdot.org/articles/01/03/16/1256226.shtml *********

From: Anthony Dye <ADye@evokesoft.com>
To: declan@well.com
Subject: /. folds under DMCA pressure from 'Church' of Scientology
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 09:14:56 -0800 MIME-Version: 1.0 X-Mailer:
Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19) Content-Type: text/plain;
X-UIDL: ef9581055e573f245751dc4056abdfe8

I thought you might find this interesting, and maybe the list will as
well: Reprinted from www.slashdot.org ...

"Last Saturday a comment was posted here by an anonymous reader that
contained text that was copyrighted by the Church of Scientology. They
have since followed the DMCA and demanded that we remove the comment.
While Slashdot is an open forum and we encourage free discussion and
sharing of ideas, our lawyers have advised us that, considering all
the details of this case, the comment should come down. Read on to
understand what this means. This is the first time since we instituted
our moderation system that a comment has had to be removed because of
its content, and believe me nobody is more broken hearted about it
than me. It's a bad precedent, and a blow for the freedom of speech
that we all share in this forum. But this simply doesn't look like a
case we can win. Our lawyers tell us that it appears to be a violation
of Copyright law, and under the terms of the DMCA, we must remove it.
Else we risk legal action that would at best be expensive, and
potentially cause Slashdot to go down temporarily or even permanently.
At the worst, court orders could jeporadize your privacy, and we would
be helpless to stop it. [...] "

In the comments, some people have mentioned that Slashdot successfully
stood up to Microsoft regarding their reprint of MS kerberos specs
supposedly copyrighted and covered by click-through EULA. The EULA
prevented you from showing the PDF (a freely downloadable document on
MS's website) to anyone or reprinting it. Slashdot argued that they
didn't control the comments, couldn't track the identity of Anonymous
Cowards, and didn't bear any responsibility for an anonymous user
posting comments that may or may not violate copyright.

I'm pretty upset about the principle of it, and I don't understand why
the argument that worked so well against MS somehow doesn't apply to
the Scientology people. You've got to love the DMCA, right?


-Tony Dye

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