Church of Scientology warns Wikileaks over documents

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Wikinews has learned that the Church of Scientology warned the documents-leaking site Wikileaks.org that they are in violation of United States copyright laws after they published several documents related to the Church. Wikileaks has no intention of complying, and states that in response, it intends to publish a thousand pages of additional Scientology materials beginning Monday.

In the letter to Wikileaks, lawyers for the Church's Religious Technology Center (RTC), which oversees the use of the their logos, writings and religious content, states that the site "placed RTC's Advanced Technology works on Wikileaks.org's website without the authorization" of the Church.

"I have a good faith belief, and in fact know for certain, that posting copies of these works through your system was not authorized by my client, any agent of my client, or the law. Please be advised that your customer's action in this regard violates United States copyright law. Accordingly, we ask for your help in removing these works immediately from your service," states the letter from Ava Paquette of Moxon & Kobrin, which was published by Wikileaks.

On March 9, 2008, Wikileaks published several documents relating to the Church's Office of Special Affairs and personal notes gathered by Frank Oliver, a former Scientologist and former member of the Church's Special Affairs office. On March 26, 2008, Wikileaks published the entire set of the Churches 'Operating Thetan Level' documents which included handwritten notes by Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

Although the letter does not mention specific legal threats, the letter asks that Wikileaks "preserve any and all documents pertaining to this matter and this customer, including, but not limited to, logs, data entry sheets, applications -- electronic or otherwise, registration forms, billings statements or invoices, computer print-outs, disks, hard drives, etc."

Despite the letter, Wikileaks states it will not comply with the "abusive request" by the Church.

"Wikileaks will not comply with legally abusive requests from Scientology any more than Wikileaks has complied with similar demands from Swiss banks, Russian off-shore stem cell centers, former African Kleptocrats, or the Pentagon. Wikileaks will remain a place where people of the world may safely expose injustice and corruption," stated Wikileaks in a release on its website.

Wikileaks further states that, "in response to the attempted suppression, Wikileaks will release several thousand additional pages of Scientology material next week."


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