Feeds

Dutch AG upholds decision in Scientology case

Free speech over copyright

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Dutch Attorney-General has endorsed a verdict seen as backing free speech over copyright in the controversial case between the Church of Scientology and writer Karin Spaink, Dutch ISP Xs4all reports. The Dutch Supreme Court, which will rule on this case on 8 July, had asked the Attorney-General for advice.

The Church of Scientology sued Karin Spaink and her internet service provider Xs4all Internet BV after Spaink posted Scientology documents on her website. In the early 1990s, former Scientologist Steven Fishman, who was brought to court because he had committed several crimes in order to get money to pay for Scientology courses, had used these documents to support his claims that he had been brainwashed. Dutch writer Spaink was one of many to publish these documents as early as 1995.

In September 1995 a bailiff raided the Amsterdam premises of ISP Xs4all to seize material posted by subscribers which the Church of Scientology claimed violated its copyright. The organisation also initiated exhaustive judicial proceedings, but each time the court decided in favour of Spaink. In 2003, the Court of Appeal in The Hague rejected all of the Church of Scientology's claims against Xs4all, writer Spaink and ten other internet providers. The court also overturned two lower court rulings, one of which stated that linking to material that infringed a copyright was itself actionable.

Dutch Attorney-General DWF Verkade has now published an 82 page opinion to the Dutch Supreme Court, in which he upholds the decision that free speech can trump copyright. "Although copyright resides under Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights and can therefore be regarded as a human right, this does not exempt copyright from being balanced against the right to freedom of information," Verkade concludes. It is expected that the Supreme Court will adhere to his advice.

Related stories

ISP sues Dutch gov for snooping costs
Scientologists loses copyright case
Dutch judge tears up bulk mail ban

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.