Metatags and Trademarks
Operation Clambake was November 17 1999 closed by the ISP Interlianty, Inc. due to alleged trademark and service mark infringements in the metatags of the site.
The claimed offended party is Religious Technology Center (RTC), an organization that owns and controls the trademarks and service marks of the Scientology religion, and Bridge Publication, Inc (BPI) which is the publishing company for the Church of Scientology.
This is a true controversy since Scientology tries every trick and threat to shatter criticism, even ruin the life of critics if that is what it takes. If Scientology is allowed to shape the rules of the Internet then we are all in serious trouble.
Operation Clambake is the best known and most visited site with critical information regarding the Scientology movement. CoS and RTC have for 3 years tried to shut the site down without success. Even though the Operation Clambake site is administrated by the Norwegian critic Andreas Heldal-Lund (firstname.lastname@example.org), the actual page and domain is on an US ISP.
RTC holds the trademarks and service marks for words like "SCIENTOLOGY", "DIANETICS" and "HUBBARD". All words are used as metatags at Operation Clambake when relevant for the text in the document. The only precedence in metatag lawsuits in the US is when metatags is used to "to create a likelihood of confusion, mistake or deception", neither is the case with Operation Clambake. The site is non-commercial and offers no services that could be mistaken as coming from CoS. The site even has a clear disclaimer that states there is no connection between the site and "RTC or any others organization residing under its corporate umbrella".
RTC continues to abuses the system for the sole goal to stop criticism. Hundreds of critical pages all over the word have been attacked and newsgroups like alt.religion.scientology where critics come together for open debate has been attempted illegally cancelled by RTC's lawyer.
Below are copies of 4 posts made to the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology and at the end there is a list of people to contact on both sides:
- 19991118: A scan or a summary of the 40 page fax received from my ISP's lawyer.
- 19991118: My first reply.
- 19991118: My second reply.
- 19991119: My third reply.
- 19991119: E-mail from the ISP, pages re-opened!!!!!.
People to contact for more information:
Author of Operation Clambake:Andreas Heldal-Lund
Phone: +47 88 00 66 66
Interliant,Inc's lawyer (the ISP):John P. Courtney
at Andrews & Kurth L.L.P. Attorneys (Houston)
Phone: (+1) 713 220 4200
Fax: (+1) 713 220 4285
Religious Technology Center (Scientology front org.):Ava M. Paquette
at Moxon & Kobrin Attorneys at Law (LA, Calif.)
Phone: (+1) 213 487 4468
Fax: (+1) 213 487 5385