Scientology in the News: Headlines

1995 Victories


For more than 40 years, those who perceive the Scientology religion as a threat to their vested interests have attempted to curb its expansion. Today, Scientology has expanded to the point where it cannot be stopped, and the battles fought and won demonstrate the persistence of Scientologists and their dedication to preserving religious freedom and the rights of man. Each of these victories has benefited populations around the globe.

“STILL FIGHTING FOR THE FIRST”

“NETCOM LOSES COPYRIGHT FIGHT IN FEDERAL COURT”

“NETCOM RULING NO THREAT TO THE ‘NET’”

“A CASE FOR VIRTUAL ARBITRATION”

“FLORIDA CITY, CHURCHES SETTLE SUIT”

“TIME MAGAZINE EFFORT TO DISMISS SUIT FAILS”


"STILL FIGHTING FOR THE FIRST"

In December 1995, Insight Magazine and the Washington Times reported that the Church "has been involved in a number of precedent-setting court decisions" helping to broaden religious liberty. The article lists several First Amendment victories achieved by the Church of Scientology and includes a recent example of a ruling from a California court providing that Scientology advanced materials have trade secret status.

"If the Church wins this one ... religions with esoteric or private teachings will be protected from high-tech piracy." ... "On the Internet issue, for example, Mr. Jentzsch [President, Church of Scientology International] said Scientology is just doing what’s right. ‘We didn’t ask to be elected to this. It’s the Wild West out there. We’re playing the role of the sheriff.’ "

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"NETCOM LOSES COPYRIGHT FIGHT IN FEDERAL COURT"

On November 27, 1995, CNN Headline News, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and other media reported on a landmark legal decision in California. According to CNN:

"A federal judge in San Jose, California, ruled that a company that provides access to the Internet may be held liable for alleged copyright infringement by a user of its service."

"[T]he judge refused to drop Netcom from the suit, saying it must be determined if the Internet service provider can be held liable. ..."

"Scientologist say the Internet provider should pull the plug if informed of a copyright violation, just as they do when they learn that a subscriber has placed child pornography on the Internet."

The Wall Street Journal reported that the plaintiffs "don’t expect Netcom to ferret out copyright infringements. Instead, they want Netcom to remove copyrighted material when a copyright owner complains."



"NETCOM RULING NO THREAT TO THE ‘NET’"

The Recorder, a San Francisco-area legal journal, reported in a December 13, 1995, article that online companies are in support of Judge Whyte’s November ruling:

"The simple message of the opinion: Whether you’re an Internet access provider like Netcom or a commercial online service, you can’t turn a deaf ear to complaints of infringement."

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"A CASE FOR VIRTUAL ARBITRATION"

On October 9, 1995, Communications Week of New York, published a column on a televised panel discussion regarding intellectual property protection on the Internet. Sponsored by the Cyberspace Law Institute, the article reports on a productive subject discussed: the concept of virtual magistrates, or on-line arbitrators:

"What was needed, we thought, was some sort of arbitration panel, but not one run by the government. Likewise, this wouldn’t be a formal panel that would sit around in a conference room once a month. Instead, this would be a body that could make decisions in real time, communicate by E-mail and remove material that violated copyrights in a few hours.

"Helena Kobrin, an attorney for the Church of Scientology, ... suggested that such a group could reduce the amount of litigation dramatically, and suggested that such arbitration panels could be set up under the auspices of the contractual arrangements between on-line services and Internet service providers and their users."

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"FLORIDA CITY, CHURCHES SETTLE SUIT"

The Associated Press and other publications around the US reported in June 1995 on the settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Church of Scientology against the city of Clearwater, Florida, in 1983 over an unconstitutional city ordinance. Never enforced because of the legal challenge, the ordinance would have forced the city’s churches to keep detailed records of its fund raising that the city could demand to see. Baptists, Churches of Christ and Seventh-day Adventists joined in the suit. After the suit was won in Federal Court, the city appealed to the Supreme Court, but was refused. The City of Clearwater paid $715,000 to the churches for their legal fees.



"TIME MAGAZINE EFFORT TO DISMISS SUIT FAILS"

The Detroit News reported April 14, 1995, that a US District Court in New York threw out Time magazine’s attempt to dismiss a $60 million libel suit brought by Michael Baybak, a parishioner of the Church of Scientology regarding Time’s 1991 story on Scientology.

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