Church Lawyer Contacts Arnie Lerma
In article to alt.religion.scientology, firstname.lastname@example.org (alerma) writes:
After chatting with counsel, here is a letter
I received via Fax, my interim reply follows:
Melvin F Jager HOFER GILSON
(phone deleted) & LIONE
August 4, 1995 A Professional Corporation
Intellectual Property Attorneys
NBC Tower - Suite 3600
455 N Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60611-5599
Fax 312 321 4299
Telephone 312 321 4200
Dear Mr Lerma:
I represent Religious Technology center ("RTC"),
the owner of the confidential advanced
Technology of the religion of Scientology, and
the holder of the exclusive rights under the
copyrights and trade secrets rights applicable
to the Advanced Technology materials. Among
these copyrighted and trade secret materials
are the Advanced Technology materials of
various levels known as "Operating Thetan" or
"OT" Sections and designated with a number.
I have been infomed tbat you have posted 8O
pages of these confidential copyrighted,
unpublished works, from, the advanced
Tecbnology materials known as OT I-VII onto the
Internet without the authorization of my client,
which, of course, would not have given such
authorization had it been requested. Your
action violates my client's legal rights in that it
is the unauthorized making of electronic
copies of the copyrighted material and the
unauthorized disclosure of trade secrets material.
The actions constitute violations of applicable
copyright and trade secret laws entitling my
client to damages and an injunction. You have
signed agreements recognizing the
confidentiality of the OT raaterials, You
are also on notice that they are regarded as trade
secrets. We have diligently acted to protect
this information from unauthorized distribution.
The only way these materials could ever
have left the church is through outright theft or
misappropriation. As a former parishioner,
you are well aware of this fact.
It is essental that you take immediate and
effective action to remove all unauthorized copies
from the Internet, and refrain from any
repetition of this or simliar acts in the future. This
includes advising your network service
provider to delete postings containing the
information. You are also to delete these
and any other OT materials from your hard drive
and any floppy disks and to destroy any
hard copies you have made.
Your downloading of the copyright and trade
secret material violates laws prohibiting
copyright infringement and trade secret
misappropriation. Your use and disclosure of these
materials is not fair use. United States courts
routinely find that the unpublished nature of
a work is a factor which weights against a
finding of fair use. No court has ever found that
use of stolen unpublished works is fair.
There is also no fair use defense to trade secret
misappropraition. The OT materials have been found
to be trade secrets by the United States District
Court of the Souther District of California
in Bridge Publications, Inc , vs Vien, 827
F. Supp, 629, 633 (S.D. Cal 1993). No court
has ever ruled to the contrary.
I expect an immediate response from you with
a statement of your willingness to comply
with these demands. If you do not comply
immediately, we will have no other course but
to initiate legal action to compel compliance.
Very truly yours
Melvin F. Jager
Lerma's Interim Reply
Reply sent at 3:20 Saturday
Dear Mr. Melvin F. Jager
I received your letter by fax, with a time stamp
of 4:52 on Friday, and I have prepared a response,
which I will transmit to you shortly after
being reviewed by legal counsel.
Arnaldo Pagliarini Lerma
Comment by John Noring
According to Diane Richardson, Mr. Melvin F. Jager is the "guru" of
trade secret law. The employment of him by the Church of Scientology
shows that the Church is very concerned by the posting of the public
court document which contains all the OT levels as exhibits. I'm sure
Mr. Jager is quite expensive. And I would not be surprised if CoS will
use him the Dennis Erlich case, as things don't look good for CoS there,
It'll be interesting to see what happens in the near future as the Church
is teetering on possibly losing trade secret and even copyright claims to
the OT materials, notwithstanding Mr. Jager's quotation to the contrary.
In my cursory look at Mr. Jager's letter, I believe he said something that
is clearly inaccurate and which may form the crux of his entire argument:
"The only way these materials could ever have left the church is through
outright theft or misappropriation. As a former parishioner, you are well
aware of this fact."
The submission to the court by Dennis Erlich's attorney, MoFo, gives
compelling factual evidence to the contrary. Mr. Jager stands to have egg
on his face for making such an inaccurate assertion as he does.
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Second Reply by Lerma
6 August 1994
Dear Mr. Melvin F Jager,
The affidavit posted was an court document,
Court case 91-6426 HLH (Tx), Central District
of California, and a matter of public record.
As of today I am advised these records remain unsealed.
It is apparant from your letter that
you have not been given correct
information about my postings to
the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup on the internet.
I dispute these being unpublished works as they are
available in a court house in California, again
as a public record.
You claim the works to be unpublished,
its obvious they are not.
These works have been distributed
to certain members of the CofS.
And I had access to some of these
OT docs when I was in the church.
Your characterization of these as 'stolen documents' is ludicrous,
they are court records, open to the public.
Further I regard this letter and unsolicited
visits by church representatives as harrassment
and am fully committed to defending my free speech
rights and civil liberties.
My interest here is bringing out the truth,
and I cannot understand why
the Church has any objection to that.
At Saturday's "ambush" interview with church
representatives, I made a tape recording, with their
knowledge and consent. The representative
could not confirm that this document is sealed.
Then again at 7PM on Sunday, the same two
representatives for the church again showed up
at my door unannounced, I decliened to speak to them.
Then one of them called by phone and made a threat to
induce my "cooperation".
You are put on notice that this is the THIRD
time the Church has sent representatives to
Attached is a copy of an article by Richard Leiby, that was
published in the Washinton Post, about my previous
history with your client.
I have sent a copy of your letter, a copy of the tape
of the unsolicited visit, and my copy
of the court documents from 91-6426 HLH (Tx)
to Richard Leiby, reporter at the Washington Post
Very truly yours,
Arnaldo Pagliarini Lerma