Archive Message - 1995

From!!!!!usenet Thu Sep 14 09:46:03 1995 Path:!!!!!usenet From: (Cerberus) Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: Denver Post: Scientologists Lose in Court Date: Wed, 13 Sep 1995 09:44:05 GMT Organization: Rocky Mountain Internet Inc. Lines: 123 Message-ID: <4369ah$> NNTP-Posting-Host: X-Newsreader: Forte Free Agent 1.0.82 OK. Here's the news from Page B1 of the Denver Post, reproduced without permission (sue me). I laughed when I heard that CoS had drawn John Kane. Anyone who has appeared before him knows that he's having more fun with this case than the law should allow. Typos are mine. Text follows: SCIENTOLOGISTS LOSE IN COURT by Peter G. Chronis, Denver Post Staff Writer The Church of Scientology lost its federal court battle yesterday against a former church member whose materials were seized in a raid last month. U.S. District Judge John Kane ordered the immediate return of computer equipment and other items that federal marshals seized Aug. 22 from Lawrence Wollersheim, a former Scientologist who has become a critic of the religion. Wollersheim claimed that the names of alleged victims of the dhurch were on the computer disks. Wollersheim, of Boulder, ran a computerized "library" on religious cults. The Church of Scientology had accused Wollersheim and Bob Penny of Niwot, also a former Scientologist, of illegally posting copyrighted, confidential church teachings on the Internet to discredit the church, founded by the late science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. Among Kane's findings were: The plaintiffs didn't show a likelihood that they would succeed on their claims of copyright and trade-secret violations. Rather, Kane said, it appeared the defendants were covered by the "fair use" provision of the copyright law, which allows use of copyrighted materials for "criticism, comment or research." The Scientologists hadn't presented evidence that the materials are a trade secret under Colorado law. There was no showing of "irreparable injury." The defendants weren't using the materials commercially, and the church wouldn't suffer a competitive disadvantage. "The threat of injury to the plaintiffs does not outweigh the harm to the defendants," Kane said. But there was a showing of potential harm and injury by prohibiting the function- [continued on Page 3B] ing of FACT Net, Wollersheim's business. Kane's ruling is "only the beginning," said Wollersheim. "We will stand up to them. What they did was outrageous. They raided a library and archive on false premises. Now they're going to have to suffer the consequences." He vowed to file countersuits. After the ruling, Scientology attorney Earle Cooley asked that the decision be delayed, pending an appeal to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Kane refused, saying it would "cause the harm" to Wollersheim he was trying to avoid. "We will seek relief from the 10th Circuit, I'll tell you that," Cooley said as he left the courtroom. "It's totally wrong. It's not a reflection of the law. In fact, it overlooks controlling law." Cooley also said Wollersheim had never collected money from any of his lawsuits against the church. NO MORE COPIES Kane's order also barred Wollershiem from making more copies of the supposedly secret Scientology materials. Wollersheim had argued that if the computer gear and other items weren't returned, the FACT Net service would cease to exist. The church had asked Kane to bar the return of the seized items pending outcome of a trial. Kane prefaced his decision by noting that the preliminary injunction requested by the church is "an extraordinary remedy which by its emergency nature does not afford the court the opportunity for... the deliberative process of a full-fledged trial." JUDGE CAUTIONS That's one reason that the decision of whether or not to issue an injunction requires "the utmost caution and prudence," Kane continued. Issuing an injunction is "a power best used sparingly," similar to the contempt citation. A preliminary injunction is intended to "preserve the status quo ante," or last existing state, he said. "The public interest is served best by the free exchange of ideas," Kane said. "To issue the injunction sought will not serve the public interest. The plaintiffs have not shown a likelihood of success. The plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction is denied." Kane ordered the Scientologists to "return and restore" to the defendants "all seized materials." He ordered the defendants to maintain "the status quo" on all copyrighted materials in their possession, restricting them to "fair use and only fair use." -30- Cerberus ___________________________ A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel! O wise young judge, how I do honor thee! The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene 1 ********************************************************************* Post-.sig .sig: Did you post to alt.religion.scientology recently? Beware! They can find you! And why should they have all the fun? Find yourself, and all of your a.r.s. friends at: David Dennis' Amazing Internet Services WWW HomePage on Scientology. He's found everybody! *********************************************************************


Return to The Skeptic Tank Alt.Religion.Scientology Archives Master List
Go to The Skeptic Tank's main Index page.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank