Church of Scientology Group Sues Post
[23 Aug 1995]

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Washington Post D2 Wednesday, August 23, 1995

Around the Region (Briefs)

Church of Scientology Group Sues Post

* An arm of the Church of Scientology has sued the Washington Post and
two of its reporters in an attempt to prevent publication of copyrighted
information that belongs to the church.

In an amendment to a suit filed against an Arlington man Aug.11
in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, the Religious Technology Center
asks that the newspaper return certain documents and refrain from
publishing information that the church claims is confidential scriptures
protected by federal laws.

The church originally sued Arlington resident Arnaldo Lerma, who
allegedly disseminated anti-church information and church documents
through the Internet. On Aug.12, federal marshals seized computer
equipment and filed from Lerma's home, under an order from District Judge
Leonie Brinkema. The revised suit seeks an injunction against The Post
and reporters Richard Leiby and Marc Fischer, who allegedly obtained
copyrighted infromation.

"The Post made a serious mistake in allowing themselves to be
manipulated by a few maliciously motivated dissidents who want to use The
Post to forward their religious hate campaign," said Earle C.Cooley, an
attorney for the church.

Mary Ann Werner, an attorney for the newspaper said the suit "is
meritless. the documents at issue, which have been widely distributed
over the Internet, were properly obtained by The Post from a public court
file, a common and appropriate form of news-gathering. And the limited
quotations included in The Post's story are well within the bounds of
'fair use' doctrine under copyright law."

A hearing on the suit has been set for Friday.