Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship

4,000 Anti-Scientology Videos Yanked From YouTube 658

Posted by timothy
from the y'just-don't-get-it-do-ya? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "From the EFF webpage: 'Over a period of twelve hours, between this Thursday night and Friday morning, American Rights Counsel LLC sent out over 4000 DMCA takedown notices to YouTube, all making copyright infringement claims against videos with content critical of the Church of Scientology.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

4,000 Anti-Scientology Videos Yanked From YouTube

Comments Filter:
  • Legal consequence? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gmack (197796) <[gmack] [at] [innerfire.net]> on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:33AM (#24917855) Homepage Journal

    Aren't DMCA notice senders supposed to be legally responsible for the accuracy of the notice? Where is the consequences for blatant abuse?

  • It's Simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:34AM (#24917857)
    It's really simple - critique =/= infringement.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but it's a big no-no to use the DMCA knowingly falsely, right? Not that I think anything will come of it...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:37AM (#24917867)

    By abusing the DMCA they can get slapped pretty heavy. Especially in light of the latest ruling that copyright owners must explicitly consider whether a suspected violation is fair use. Certainly if any of the folks that got harassed decide to litigate back they may well have a decent case.

  • I wonder... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NoobixCube (1133473) on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:40AM (#24917893) Journal

    Will we see DMCA Takedown notices claiming news stories like these infringe on the property of the lawyers who issued the original DMCA Takedowns? :P

    Actually... I really shouldn't joke about that. It may just happen...

  • by Nursie (632944) on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:40AM (#24917901)

    But why should they have to?

    Youtube ought to have at least taken a look at the claims before just shutting everything down, surely?

    Especially when the claims were coming in in such huge volumes. I don't like this, no organisation should just be able to get stuff it doesn't like removed from public fora by just claiming stuff and having a player as big as youtube just roll over and take it.

  • Re:Quick action (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JustOK (667959) on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:40AM (#24917905) Journal

    unless they already had someone on the inside...

  • by Bios_Hakr (68586) <xpticalNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:42AM (#24917921) Homepage

    What would the process be for having them prosecuted for perjury?

    I assume you would have to file charges at a police station in their local area. Then, you'd probably have to get the DA there to actually press the case. Finally, you'd have to have a judge willing to apply pretty harsh sentencing.

    It might actually be fun to have 400+ people roll up in Podunk Police Station and all file criminal reports against these people.

    It would also probably be a good idea to send a letter to their local BAR association and advise then that their people are perjuring themselves while slandering innocent people.

  • by TheJasper (1031512) on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:49AM (#24917953)
    The problem with that is how often are people/organistations charged with perjury? I suspect not much if at all.
  • by mysidia (191772) on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:49AM (#24917959)

    Of the clear abuse the law has provided.

    More examples like this and the DMCA may get repealed, castrated, or at least altered to require judge approval of each takedown notice....

  • by boarder8925 (714555) <thegreentrilby.gmail@com> on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:50AM (#24917967) Homepage

    If the information is false then potentially it could be regarded as perjury.

    Not with the amount of money they have. . .

  • by j-pimp (177072) <zippy1981@gmai l . c om> on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:52AM (#24917981) Homepage Journal

    One would think YouTube would know by now. They do have to walk a fine line, since they need to keep the content owners happy in order to continue operating, but since when is a religion protected content? I'd love to see someone file a countersuit.

    I'm not sure of the details, but the church of scientology holds copyrights and trademarks on all its "works." It does this to prevent unauthorized usage of them. Its content is no more or less protected than that of an individual or corporation.

  • by Apple Acolyte (517892) on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:56AM (#24918007)
    Yeah, but who is going to do the slapping? There won't be proper plaintiffs ready to do battle over youtube videos, unless someone somehow gets them together to form a class-action lawsuit. Unlikely.

    It's also somewhat interesting that the youtube venue provides no opportunity for the exercise of DMCA counter-notices, which are an important part of the law. Perhaps it's time to move controversial videos to a site that will have a bit more of a backbone and not allow the powerful to walk all over those who don't even get the rights they're entitled to by law. (I wonder if youtube has any criteria at all for evaluating the validity of these notices before it complies.)

    On the other hand, unscrupulous web hosts (such as NetSol, for one) have and will continue to ignore their legal obligation to maintain service after proper counter-notice is given - despite the fact that the law is very clear that doing so can open up statutory liability on their part. When a company perceives a power-imbalance they're likely to side with the one they perceive to be more powerful, regardless of what the law says or the truth of the claims involved.

    I suppose the Internet needs a video site like Wikileaks serious about free speech enough not to cave into threats. Otherwise, not only are opposing voices stifled, but powerful interests like Scientology may be emboldened to go after and seek the removal of criticism in other forms of online media across the Internet.
  • by AHuxley (892839) on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:57AM (#24918015) Homepage Journal
    All's fair game in cults and interwebs.
  • by Nursie (632944) on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:57AM (#24918017)

    Yet another reason that the DMCA is a terrible set of laws and should be stricken from the books then.

  • by ta bu shi da yu (687699) on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:59AM (#24918033) Homepage

    Well, someone has to issue the DMCA notice - somebody is in charge somewhere. I know it may not seem like it some time, but someone will become accountable if you prod hard enough.

    In fact, if they are careful, all those users who had their material taken down could cause so much trouble for Scientology they may never send another DMCA again. I mean, these video posters are dedicated enough to submit anti-Scientology videos, I'm sure if they have enough time and energy for this sort of thing they'll have enough time and energy to fight back!

  • by dnoyeb (547705) on Monday September 08, 2008 @08:05AM (#24918089) Homepage Journal

    If they did not take it down because they did not believe the content infringing then they are immediately claiming/agreeing to vet the content of posts to their site. I think they may also want to claim a bit of ignorance of the content on their site,

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Butterspoon (892614) <Butterspoon+slas ... E.com minus dist> on Monday September 08, 2008 @08:06AM (#24918097)

    Out of curiosity, why is it that people get bent out of shape about this 'religion'?

    I got to witness an anonymous rally in San Diego about a year or so ago and it was just silly. Yes, you and I may know the whole thing is a crock, but isn't there supposed to be freedom of religion?

    Not looking to start a pissing contest, I'm just wondering where people get their priorities.

    Just go to http://www.xenu.net/ [xenu.net] and all will become clear.

  • by mpweasel (539631) <mprzyjazny@NOSPAm.gmail.com> on Monday September 08, 2008 @08:07AM (#24918099) Homepage

    The problem with that is how often are people/organistations charged with perjury? I suspect not much if at all.

    Plea deal expected in Detroit mayor perjury case -
    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gMmCL2ZE66E0ZnDDmXkjF5E4b9NgD92VGBMG0 [google.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @08:10AM (#24918141)

    I would wager that Scientology sees this as a win-win situation. Either the videos come down without reprisals, or the video creators have to file charges/suits using their real names, opening them up to being 'fair gamed'. What I wouldn't give to see them caught downloading Schindler's List or something - they and the MPAA deserve each other.

    We can only hope they use Thunderdome rules. Two men enter, one man leaves!

  • by Goaway (82658) on Monday September 08, 2008 @08:14AM (#24918181) Homepage

    They also have to put the content back as soon as the uploader files a counter-claim.

    Which makes it a far better law than not having it, in which case Youtube would have to take it down out of fear of being sued themselves, and wouldn't put it back up because they would be exposing themselves.

  • by Xelios (822510) on Monday September 08, 2008 @08:17AM (#24918213)
    So start an organization that will fight on behalf of a group of people, funded by contributions from those people. The financial burden is too much for one person, so split it among thousands of people.

    I'm still surprised this isn't happening more often. The internet is the perfect tool to organize something like this, spread the word and secure donations. So short of a few big organizations like the ACLU, why isn't it happening?
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kierthos (225954) on Monday September 08, 2008 @08:19AM (#24918231) Homepage

    Here's a short breakdown.

    If you go to a group of Christians, and ask questions about their beliefs, they may engage you in a debate on Christian theology, they may give you a Bible to read, and so forth, but you can generally access these materials for free. If you go a group of Muslims and do the same thing, you will likely get the same results. Same goes for the Jewish religion, or Mormonism, or Hinduism.

    If you go to a Scientology center and ask questions about their beliefs, what it will come down to is "Here are some classes you can take, they cost many thousands of dollars". Scientology is not willing to give away their beliefs just as every other major religion is willing to do so. Scientology is not willing to discuss their beliefs in an open and free environment, as the other major religions are willing to do. And Scientology hides many tenets of their beliefs behind copyright and trade secret laws.

    That last one is the big one. You don't officially learn about their secret beliefs until you have paid many thousands of dollars and been sufficiently indoctrinated into the Church of Scientology.

    Compare that to the other religions. To the best of my knowledge, there is no super-secret ultra-eyes-only version of the Bible that only the elite Christians get to read. There is no "not for the viewing of non-believers" version of the Qu'ran that only the most devout Muslims get to read. But there are secret Scientology documents which explain core beliefs of Scientology that the general rank and file of the CoS do not have access to.

    And then, when people try to promulgate that information, it irks the CoS leadership. Because, for some reason, they don't want it spread that they believe that a galactic overlord named Xenu did all the wacky poor-scripted science-fictiony things he did many millions of years ago, here on Earth. (Excuse me, it was called Teegeeack then, according to these docs.) Because then people would go, "Wow, this reads like it was written by a hack science fiction author." (Which, you know, is what the guy who founded Scientology was.)

  • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday September 08, 2008 @08:31AM (#24918309)
    So start an organization that will fight on behalf of a group of people, funded by contributions from those people. The financial burden is too much for one person, so split it among thousands of people.

    I'm still surprised this isn't happening more often. The internet is the perfect tool to organize something like this, spread the word and secure donations. So short of a few big organizations like the ACLU, why isn't it happening?


    Yeah, there should be an organization, a foundation if you will, that will help us with the battles on this new electronic frontier.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @08:38AM (#24918357)

    Part of the process of filing a counter-DMCA claim involves revealing your personal information to the party who initiated the DMCA complaint [http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hlrm=en&answer=59826]. Given the Co$'s history of harassment, perhaps this is just a way of gathering information for retribution?

  • by Drakonik (1193977) <drakonik@gmail.com> on Monday September 08, 2008 @08:40AM (#24918373) Homepage

    This isn't religious, though. Scientology as a religion is a scam to make money. There might be people who believe in Xenu, but the people filing these DMCA notices are worried that negative press about Scientology might hamper their revenue streams.

  • by Kenrod (188428) on Monday September 08, 2008 @08:45AM (#24918409)

    Do the anti-Scientology posters to youtube have to reveal information about themselves to Scientology Inc. through their counter-notices? Isn't this just a way for Scientology to get the identities of the posters?

  • by Sj0 (472011) on Monday September 08, 2008 @08:51AM (#24918453) Homepage Journal

    I don't want to get sued, so this post ISN'T about scientology.

    It's about a religion called "bob".

    I don't want to get sued, so this post DOESN'T talk about L. Ron Hubbard.

    It'll talk about Ronald L. Oldmother

    I don't want to get sued, so this post DOESN'T talk about thetans or Xenu.

    I'll be talking about tarpnars and Gornak, respectively.

    Now, bobians have a theological reason to believe they're above the law in a democratic republic. According to Ronald L. Oldmother's writings, both voters and elected officials would be filled with the souls of dead aliens murdered by Gornak.

    These "body tarpnars" cause irrationality because of the huge 3d movie theatre where I assume the tarpnars were forced to watch the Spice Girls movie for millions of years until they thought it was a good movie.

    This means that the Bobians don't need to follow the law, because they're the chosen, those who don't have "body tarpnars" affecting their judgement. Any lawmakers that get in the way are only doing so because of their "body tarpnars".

    I'll leave it as an excercise for the reader to wonder why they don't have to follow the law when they don't want to, but why they still use the law when it says things they like anyway.

  • by irlyh8d2 (1241290) on Monday September 08, 2008 @08:56AM (#24918513)

    This is the Church of Scientology, the group that does the fair game thing. When Google passes the counter notifications to them, they're going to know the names and addresses of everyone behind the videos.

  • by aunticrist (952359) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:00AM (#24918551)
    In most other cases, something might happen. Unfortunately, the CoS is an insanely influential group that has gotten members into some of the deepest parts of out legal system and government. They have a tendency to work the system from within and they do it well. Its part of what makes them so scary. That and the amount of money that they have would tie things up in court for so long that the people bringing them their would go bankrupt before too long. They'll also be harassed at every corner of their life by the CoS too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:21AM (#24918763)

    From the article: "YouTube users responded with DMCA counter-notices. At this time, many of the suspended channels have been reinstated and many of the videos are back up."

    Good for those YouTube users for responding with the counter notices.

    But a counter DMCA notice requires private personal infomation (Name address etc) which is passed over to the original Claimant - Not sure if I'd like Co$ having my personal details

  • by Trikenstein (571493) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:24AM (#24918797)
    It's not a cult. It's a pyramid scheme masquerading as a cult, masquerading as a religion.
  • by MarkusQ (450076) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:24AM (#24918811) Journal

    I'd like to think the U.S. is a stronger democracy than that, but I dunno as I'm an Aussie.

    I'd like to think we were a stronger democracy than this too.

    But I gotta believe my eyes. We The People are allowed to play our little game of self rule so long as we don't get in the way of Big Oil, Big Pharma, the Telco Gang, and the *IAAs, and so on. Which leaves us precious little to play with.

    --MarkusQ

  • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:31AM (#24918899)

    I wouldn't mod that funny - I'd be worried about making it to my next birthday if I did that.

  • by Edward Kmett (123105) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:33AM (#24918929) Homepage

    Sure they are, but they can always claim they were operating in "good faith".

    However, the "consequences" are unfortunately quite obvious:

    By sending arguably baseless DMCA takedown notifications to thousands of Anti-Scientology videos on Youtube, they just have to wait for the DMCA counter- notices to be filed.

    The counter-notices contain personal information for all those otherwise pesky anonymous internet users and get forwarded to them for free. Thats a lot cheaper than trying to hire people to track down your enemies on the internet.

    And as an added bonus some fraction of the content - filed by folks whom are not aware of the counter-notice procedure, or whom are unwilling to divulge their personal information to the Church of Scientology - just goes away.

    Finally, the counter-notice is a testimony that they can try to get the person to perjure themselves on that the content doesn't belong to the Church of Scientology, which gives them even more ammunition, given that a fair chunk of the content out there really does consist of Scientology documents.

    It seems like a pretty effective end run around the system.

  • by bberens (965711) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:36AM (#24918961)
    It's funny because if you replace CoS with a popular American religion, your post still works.
  • by CrashPoint (564165) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:55AM (#24919173)

    But it is a time for the U.S government to... ban the cult.

    No, it isn't, and it never will be. Arrest people for unlawful acts where the evidence merits it, sure, but you do not fuck with freedom of religion and freedom of assembly. Not even for Scientologists. Congratulations, you just sunk to their level.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:00AM (#24919215)

    Well then, I say they need to prove that Xenu authorizes them to act on his behalf.

    But isn't Xenu the devil-equivalent of Scientology ? As such, he'd work to keep those videos up and thus hinder the spread of scientology.

  • UNBELIEVABLE! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spasmhead (1301953) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:09AM (#24919321)
    The fact that it was necessary to display "This is what scientologists actually believe" on the screen while parodying the cult of scientology on Southpark speaks volumes. This is the show that puts a nuke up Hillary Clinton's snatch and a hamster up Mr Slaves ass in front of a class of school kids.
  • Re:It's Simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Spie (206914) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:10AM (#24919347) Homepage

    The videos likely have references to copyrighted materials, perhaps even direct readings from them, in which case they own that material and as such have a valid claim of copyright to that particular material, not the whole video. However, the video would have to be pulled until that is determined or the offending part removed.

    Yes, except:

    1) The Church of Scientology, and more specifically their copyright holding company the Church of Spiritual Technology, was not the claimant(s).

    2) Some videos were specifically reworked by the creators to eliminate any and all possible claims of copyright, including getting rid of the music. Those videos were still taken down, some of them within ten minutes of being uploaded.

    This was an attempt at harassment, period.

  • Re:Why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:11AM (#24919357)

    In Christian Scriptures there is a section that says:

    "Where your money is, there is your heart."

    Church of Scientology seems to use this to their advantage by getting people to literally "buy in" before really telling people what they are all about.

    Once you've spent $10,000 on something you are going to want to believe just so you don't lose all that money.

  • by pxlmusic (1147117) <pxlent@gmail.com> on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:11AM (#24919359) Homepage
    i think they mean classifying it as a terrorist or hate group.
  • by Enki X (1315689) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:11AM (#24919361)
    I'm sure some quick reinterpretations of the patriot act could make it happen...
  • by mweather (1089505) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:18AM (#24919451)
    What part allows them to ban Al Qaeda?
  • by Martin Blank (154261) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:23AM (#24919525) Journal

    Allegations are not (necessarily?) subject to perjury, so they're free on that point. If the take-down notices are being sent by attorneys, who are officers of the court, they may be subject to sanctions if the notices were knowingly improperly sent. Proving that to be the case would likely be difficult, though, as the attorneys could simply say that they misjudged the level of use, and believed it to be outside of fair use exception. Lacking some written documentation -- and attorney-client privilege would probably block airing of that -- it would never stand.

  • by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr.bhtooefr@org> on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:25AM (#24919557) Homepage Journal

    So give false information. Yes, that's under the penalty of perjury, but go through enough levels of proxies, and how are you going to get caught?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:27AM (#24919589)

    Come on, lay off the guy. He only sank to the level of the Executive which thinks a 200 year old "piece of paper" no longer applies to them. He hasn't stooped to the level of a Scientologist! Sheesh!

  • by ericrost (1049312) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:28AM (#24919613) Homepage Journal

    Not to Godwin the discussion, but this is exactly what is at issue when you deal with the Neo-Nazi movement in the US. The march they wanted to have in the town that is the highest per capita jewish population in the US. I would have liked to have seen that case reach the Supreme Court. The town refused to issue them a permit to march, which is unconstitutional, you can require registration, but they MUST issue on request.

    Unfortunately, Chicago convinced them that marching there was more of an impact.

    Anyhow, I definitely fall on the side of defending the right of people to say things that I wholeheartedly disagree with, since it means that the things that I say will never be the ones on the edge.

  • by mweather (1089505) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:28AM (#24919615)
    Yes it does. Potheads get fined, which covers the court's costs somewhat, and lowers the case load, since nobody fights them.
  • Re:Why? Exactly. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:31AM (#24919655) Homepage Journal

    All religions believe that.

    That's the dumbest thing I will have read today. When was the last time you heard of, say, the Quakers declaring jihad against unbelievers?

  • by KGIII (973947) * on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:32AM (#24919669) Journal

    Most of the posts that I read that begin with "IANAL" should also end right after saying "IANAL" but that would make for a lot of short posts on /. I suppose.

  • by RogueWarrior65 (678876) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:33AM (#24919691)

    "I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

  • by russotto (537200) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:43AM (#24919849) Journal

    I've seen people complain here that their material was removed and act like they have no recourse. Not only do you have recourse, you don't even really need an attorney to protest a take-down notice.

    You don't need one, but in fact, you'd better have one. Sending a DMCA counter-notification is the equivalent of telling an Old West (movie version) gunfighter that you'll meet him on the main street at high noon. You have to swear under penalty of perjury (and this one counts, unlike the one in the takedown) that the material is non-infringing, and you have to specify a court which you agree to be sued in. Do you really want to say "go ahead, assholes, sue me" to a bunch of lawyers without a lawyer of your own?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @11:04AM (#24920099)

    I think you owe it to yourself and your view to read up on the CoS' various misdeeds, before you loop them in with other, more sincere religions. Their creation myth and spiritual theories are horseshit, but that is not different from other religions, and not offensive in and of itself. What the CoS does that is different, is bleed tens of thousands of dollars out of its membership while systematically mounting legal, professional, and personal attacks, many of them illegal, against those who stand in its way OR try to leave the organization.

    FYI, I am a militant agnostic (I don't know that which is unknowable, and neither do you). I will wager ten US pesos that 90% of the CoS' opposition group "Anonymous" is similarly unaligned.

    Posted anonymously for the above reasons. I live a mile from the local CoS headquarters and I am not sure they have anything better to do there than to harass me.

  • by Joe Snipe (224958) on Monday September 08, 2008 @11:19AM (#24920267) Homepage Journal

    They also sometimes intervene on groups that they consider dangerous without proof of illegal activity, which I believe the Branch Davidians (Waco) fell into.

    You mean that horrible debacle where 76 lives were lost in house fire while the govenment officials who started it watched it burn? Great example.

    BTW- I know Koresh was a cultist and he had the typical cultist agenda: sex with anyone at anytime. I understand the stickiness of the issue of saving people from their own stupidity, but killing the abused to stop potential future danger is wrong, and will always be wrong.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday September 08, 2008 @11:19AM (#24920269)

    ...but you do not fuck with freedom of religion and freedom of assembly. Not even for Scientologists.

    Or Muslims, BTW.

  • by rickb928 (945187) on Monday September 08, 2008 @11:31AM (#24920419) Homepage Journal

    It's funny because if you replace CoS with any number of popular American institutions, your post still works.

    There. Fixed that for ya.

  • Re:UNBELIEVABLE! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by meringuoid (568297) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:03PM (#24920799)
    The fact that it was necessary to display "This is what scientologists actually believe" on the screen while parodying the cult of scientology on Southpark speaks volumes. This is the show that puts a nuke up Hillary Clinton's snatch and a hamster up Mr Slaves ass in front of a class of school kids.

    But that's exactly why they did need to put that message up. There isn't really a Great Spider Queen in the Vatican running the entire Church, but South Park depicted one. Their Scientology episode was equally ridiculous - but in this case it happened to be true. So they needed to put the message on screen to say that this time they weren't kidding, it wasn't the usual South Park surrealism, it was in fact 100% authentic OT-3 gives-you-pneumonia secret space opera for Super Saiyan scientologists only.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:30PM (#24921091)
    That all churches have fanatics, even if they don't require faith in a divine being
  • by hobbit (5915) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:53PM (#24921401)

    You do have to be a lawyer to practice law.

    That I would expect; but the implication of IANAL seems to be that you have to be a lawyer to give casual advice of a legal nature. Like for instance if you said "You forgot to start your post with IANAL" without an accompanying winking smiley, that could be construed as legal advice, so would you not be in trouble for not stating that you, yourself, are not a lawyer?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:57PM (#24921447)

    This example clearly show that Youtube is completely unreliable as a medium for any kind of dissent or opinion. They clearly have no controls in place to check the validity of DMCA notices. If someone decided to copyright notices on every single video on Youtube, they would go out of business.

  • by Schadrach (1042952) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:28PM (#24921933)
    Right, you can't ban the cult for being a "cult", but you can hit many of their personnel for various discretions.

    Something tells me you don't understand the kinds of things their organization has pulled. They've abused the legal system in just about every way imaginable (this story is a mild example), they've done things that have led directly to the death of at least one member of their organization, they have as a standard practice the harassment and torment if not outright silencing of any major critics (there was actually documentation in one case of their attempt to drive one critic either insane and institutionalized or otherwise to commit suicide, by systematically destroying her life, to the point of tormenting her in assorted ways, burying her in legal fees, and getting a member to work his way in to being a close and understanding friend, so they could spy on her, and potentially off her if it could be made to look like an accident -- lookup Operation Freakout).
  • by Holi (250190) on Monday September 08, 2008 @02:14PM (#24922615)

    Actually no, if you posted something on youtube and it was taken down due to a DMCA take-down request, you are the injured party. If you file a counter-claim, you then remove the liability from youtube and CoS must take legal action against you. If you own the copyright to what you posted than you certainly do have a standing in the matter as someone else is claiming copyright on your works.

  • OS Religion? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @02:28PM (#24922905)
    With all the activity this has generated, it seems like there would be an open source alternative to Scientology?
  • by ThePromenader (878501) on Monday September 08, 2008 @03:00PM (#24923383) Homepage Journal

    If it hasn't happened, that doesn't mean it shouldn't have. Grandparent is completely correct, and those making the false claims, precisely because of a past lack of reaction to the same type of claim, are betting their top dollar on more of the same - in addition to the accused's fear of hefty legal bills.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday September 08, 2008 @03:16PM (#24923607) Homepage Journal

    exploiting sincere Scientologists for money.

    So?

    If they'll fall for Scientology, they're just walking grift bait anyway.

  • by el americano (799629) on Monday September 08, 2008 @04:01PM (#24924261) Homepage

    If you're giving legal advice IANAL will not save you. What you should be most worried about is your state bar association prosecuting you for giving legal advice without a license. IANAL just makes it easier to identify that you are not part of the club, and, if you're being helpful and informative, taking business away from attorneys.

    If you feel you need to disclaim, do it right. What if they don't know the acronym? You could say, "I am not a lawyer, and nothing in this post should be construed as legal advice," in a footnote. Or, "I am a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer, and nothing in this post should be construed as legal advice." Or, just don't go overboard and don't worry about it. I think the half-way disclaimer is pointless.

    ... but, I am not a lawyer, and nothing in this post should be construed as legal advice.

  • on a related note (Score:2, Insightful)

    by m509272 (1286764) on Monday September 08, 2008 @04:31PM (#24924711)

    Don't know why I never noticed this before but Xenu backwards is Unex. Maybe a thinly disguised reference to Unix? Was L Ron a programmer, well obviously, I mean computer programmer? Perhaps he was forced to use Unix which he thought was evil and that's how he came up with Xenu?

  • Re:Why not? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mdmkolbe (944892) on Monday September 08, 2008 @05:43PM (#24925795)

    Sounds nice except that it is not true.

    The history of the bill of rights [wikipedia.org] shows that (1) the inclusion of the bill of rights was a condition of ratification (See Massachusetts Compromise) and that (2) the debate over whether to include the bill of rights was not over whether those rights should be espoused but rather over whether those rights should be explicit or implicit (See Anti-federalism vs Federalism).

    As you put it:

    Now personally I don't have a problem with you believing any old nonsense you want to, but when it comes to filling reader's heads with this crap and forcing restrictions on one group in society over another, that's another thing.

  • by couchslug (175151) on Monday September 08, 2008 @06:32PM (#24926399)

    "And the difference between cult and religion is...?"

    Political power.

  • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Monday September 08, 2008 @07:44PM (#24927147)

    wrong, they have money for the right kind of lawyers that make the right kind of legal motions that Branch Davidians didn't have.

    The whole point of this behavior from CoS is to get to court first and often so they have the judges ear as the "injured" party. That lets them make their arguments of religious persecution first, let's them hide behind freedom of religion to conduct their business and courts tread VERY lightly when freedom of religious practice pops up. At that point alphabet agencies have to tread very lightly because the courts are already thinking that the general public might "harm" CoS. Courts then consider warrants and such much more carefully than they did at Waco or Ruby Ridge.

    Money at the highest levels helps too, as the are more of a weird social club of powerful people among the rich and famous, so they can't be "that bad". Rich are used to squashing "little people" all the time so this kind of legal attack is just seen as normal business.

  • by CrashPoint (564165) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:17PM (#24927949)

    Not even if the "religious group" is conspiring against the government? Give me a break.

    "Scientology" isn't conspiring against anyone, and cannot. Certainly some members of the Church of Scientology are doing that, but said conspiracies, not their membership in the church, are the crimes that should be prosecuted.

    Should Al-Qaeda have freedom of assembly in the U.S.?

    If we convert your little straw man into an honest analogy by assuming the existence of Al-Qaeda members who, like many Scientologists, are not committing crimes and have no knowledge of nor power to prevent crimes being committed by fellow members of their group? Yes, they certainly should, because the only "bad" thing such people have done is believe some fucked-up shit, which they have every right to do.

You scratch my tape, and I'll scratch yours.

Working...