cr> Scientology Cult Wins Lawsuit


Craig A. Johnson

In a sign that copyright enforcement on the Net is tightening, a 
federal judge ruled yesterday against Arnaldo P. Lerma, who posted 
so-called "secrets" of the Church of Scientology on the Net.

The same judge ruled last year in the cult's lawsuit against The
Washington Post that the newspaper had used the CoS documents fairly
in news stories, and called the suit against the Post

Excerpts from a story by Peter H. Lewis in today's New York Times 
follow, posted under the fair use doctrine.



By Peter H. Lewis

        A Federal judge ruled yesterday that a Virginia man violated the 
coyrights of the Church of Scientology by posting confidential church 
documents on the Internet, even though the material was obtained from 
public court records.
        The Religious Technology Center, which owns the trademarks and 
copyrights of the Church of Scientology International, had sued 
Arnaldo P. Lerma of Arlington, Va., for posting several dozen pages 
of secret church documents about the Scientologist philosophy on the 
Internet, the global computing network.
        In making her ruling, Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the United States 
District Court in Alexandria, Va., affirmed that the church holds a 
copyright on the documents and that Mr. Lerma infringed on the 
copyright by postinb church documents withought comment, criticism or 
other significant changes that would constitute fair use.
        The copyrighted material in question known as the "Operating Thetan 
scriptures," were obtained by Mr. Lerma and The Washington Post form 
public court documents filed in an earlier dispute betweeen the 
church and a former member in California.
        The church contends that the documents are trade secrets that deal 
with the training of Scientologists who have reached the highest 
levels of understanding of its philosophies.
        Judge Brinkema ruled last year that the docuemnts were not trade 
secrets but could be copyrighted.

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