my reply to Milgrim                                                  Page 1

     Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology,,
     Subject: my reply to Milgrim
     From: (Dave Touretzky)
     Date: 19 Sep 1996 08:09:06 GMT

     Last month, Scientology cult attorney Roger Milgrim wrote me a letter
     concerning the NOTs Scholars Home Page (,
     which I posted without comment.  Now it's time to comment.

     Below is my analysis of Milgrim's letter, followed by the reply I sent him
     this week.


     >                             Law Offices of
     >                 PAUL, HASTINGS, JANOFSKY, & WALKER LLP
     >  A Limited Liability Partnership Including Professional Corporations
     >                            399 PARK AVENUE
     >                        NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10022
     >                        Telephone (212) 318-6000
     >                        Facsimile (212) 319-4090
     >                         Internet
     > Writer's Direct Access                                    Our File No.
     > (212) 318-6016                                            24437.01100
     >                            August 22, 1996

     I'm an expensive Park Avenue, New York lawyer...


     and this is an urgent matter (or maybe I own stock in FedEx.)

     > David S. Touretzky, Ph.D
     > Computer Science Department
     > Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition
     > Carnegie Mellon University
     > 5000 Forbes Avenue
     > Pittsburgh, PA  15213
     >      Re:  The NOTs Scholars Home Page

     > Dear Mr. Touretzky:

     Even though you're a PhD, I'm going to call you "Mr.".  Why?  I don't know.

     >           I write to you on behalf of Religious Technology Center
     > ("RTC").  This firm is representing RTC in its actions against Dennis
     > Erlich, Keith Henson, Arnaldo Lerma and Grady Ward, cases pending in
     > U.S. federal courts before either Judges Whyte (N.D. Cal.) or Brinkema
     > (Lerma, E.D.  Va.).  I believe you are familiar with these cases.

     I believe you are familiar with my client's predilection for suing people.

     my reply to Milgrim                                                  Page 2

     >           RTC is the licensee of the copyrights and owner of other
     > intellectual property of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the
     > Scientology religion, in the confidential, unpublished Scientology
     > scriptures known as the "Advanced Technology."

     As you can see, I am well versed in RTC's legal boilerplate.

     > RTC's copyright claims
     > have led Judges Brinkema and Whyte to rule that each of the
     > above-listed defendant's Internet postings violated RTC's copyrights.
     > Such conduct has been enjoined.

     Some people we sued have been told by Judge Whyte not to break the law.
     Contrary to what I told you, Whyte has not actually ruled yet in any of the
     listed cases, but I'm hoping you won't notice that.

     > Judge Whyte also denied Netcom's
     > request to have RTC's copyright claims against it, as an Internet
     > access "provider," dismissed.

     You're supposed to think this means we won something.  Of course, all the
     judge said was that the matter would have to go trial.  It's hardly a
     victory for Scientology, but my mad dog client has to take what they can

     > Subsequently, RTC and Netcom settled
     > their dispute; Netcom has considerably tightened its rules to avoid
     > lending provider auspices to infringers and misappropriators.

     My client wasn't willing to risk a trial, so they settled with NETCOM, in
     return for which NETCOM adopted a new and improved policy that is hardly
     different from its old policy; it still wouldn't apply in the Erlich case.
     But my client declared victory and went home.

     >          Although Judge Brinkema denied RTC's motion for a
     > preliminary injunction on trade secret grounds, reasoning that
     > Internet posting of certain, defined issues had ended their trade
     > secret status, that ruling did not involve any of the NOTs issues
     > which you are now threatening to acquire or post.

     Yes, we're still trying to play out the doomed "trade secrets" gambit.  And
     notice how I casually slip in the false claim at the end about your
     "threatening" to post the NOTs?  I know it's bullshit, and you know it's
     bullshit, but if I decide to show this letter to a judge, he won't know
     bullshit.  Maybe he'll give me an injunction against you, if you're dumb
     enough to reply to my letter in a combative tone.  It's worth a shot.

     > Moreover, Judge
     > Whyte (in Erlich) has, as of now, declined to rule that the trade
     > secrets in various NOTs issues were impaired as a result of Internet
     > postings and has undertaken further hearings on this very point.  Even
     > more recently, Judge Whyte declined to modify the trade secret
     > injunctions against Ward and Henson, based on the latters' claim that
     > the Internet posting of these issues vitiated their trade secret
     > status.  Judge Whyte indicated that he would soon be ruling on the

     my reply to Milgrim                                                  Page 3

     > impact of Internet postings on the trade secret status of these works.
     > That ruling has not yet been issued.

     So our trade secret claims have not yet been officially dismissed.  Not
     this has anything to do with you, Dave; we just thought you'd like to know.
     We're hoping you won't notice that you live in Pennsylvania, not
     and trade secret law is entirely different in your state.  It is impossible
     for you to "misappropriate" a trade secret by reading a Usenet posting.  We
     have no trade secrets case against you, unfortunately.  And that's why I'm
     forced to write such a lame letter.

     >           We write to you because of your recent opening of a Web-site
     > at Carnegie Mellon soliciting RTC's NOTs materials and expressing the
     > seeming intention to post them.

     More bullshit about your "seeming intent" to post NOTs.  If this ever
     gets to court, we want the judge to think we had a legitimate reason for
     hassling you.  So we made one up and hassled you in self defense.  Okay?

     > Your past history, as the first
     > person to post the so-called Fishman declaration to a Web-site (like
     > conduct has been unequivocally determined to be a copyright violation,
     > as to which the poster and a provider on notice would have liability),
     > gave impetus to others to make echo postings that, at the very least,
     > infringe RTC's copyrights.

     You've been a bad boy, Dave.  And you've set a bad example for all the
     kids.  Whatever they do now, it's on your head.

     >           RTC is confident that you are aware that RTC objects to any
     > infringement of its copyright in this material and that the genesis of
     > unpublished materials outside any Church of Scientology is notorious
     > thefts in Denmark and England, to which an article on your Web page
     > refers.

     Yes: I, noted intellectual property attorney Roger M. Milgrim, really did
     read your web page.  I get paid by the hour, so why not?  Notice I haven't
     said you've infringed anything.  I'm just saying my clients object to
     infringement in general.  Also, they're really mad at those English guys
     made fools of them in Denmark.  We just wanted you to know that.

     >           RTC does not desire to engage in litigation with you.

     We put this in so we can't be accused of harassing you.  But just the word
     "litigation" is enough to make some people wet their pants.  Still dry?
     We're not done with you yet.

     >  Nor does it wish to impinge on your legitimate First Amendment rights.

     Once again, I, Roger M. Milgrim, am covering my learned ass.  I don't want
     to be charged with harassment of critics like those other loser CoS
     attorneys.  I have a reputation to uphold.  So let me first pay homage to
     free speech and the First Amendment before attempting to scare you out of

     my reply to Milgrim                                                  Page 4

     exercising those rights.

     >  It does, however, insist that you respect its intellectual property
     > rights.

     "Respect" their rights, got it?  No snickering.  We mean it.

     >  Toward that end, on its behalf we request that you now:

     Notice how I used the word "request", where Helena Kobrin would have said
     "demand"?  I don't want any trouble with the bar association.  If you
     with these ridiculous "requests", you do so voluntarily.  You can't argue
     that I intimidated you into compliance.  You could have declined our
     "requests".  But hopefully you'll be too scared to say no.

     >           1.  Cease soliciting copies of the NOTs materials and
     > retract your solicitations (as to which there are two judicial
     > actions, both of which enjoined individuals from soliciting or
     > acquiring NOTs materials).

     Of course these judicial actions I'm citing don't apply to you, but we're
     hoping you feel intimidated just the same.  And if we're lucky, we'll be
     able to con some judge into issuing a similar restraining order against
     The first step is to paint you as a dangerous bad guy, which is what this
     letter attempts to do.

     >           2.  Turn over to this firm for safekeeping any and all
     > copies of NOTs or portions of it that you have or control.

     Yeah, hand over all your stuff.  We want your car keys too.

     >           3.  Make no disclosure, in whole or in part, of the NOTs
     > materials in any media.

     Stop talking about our trade secret sacred scripture.  You're hurting

     >           4.  Remove the summaries of the NOTs works from your Web
     > page and turn over to this firm for safekeeping all copies of those
     > summaries that you have or control.

     We really don't like those summaries, so why don't you let us hold them for
     you?  Remember, this is just a request, so don't go crying about your
     being violated.

     >           5.  Cease posting, or accepting for posting on your Web
     > page, any further materials that reproduce, in whole or in part, any
     > of the contents of the NOTs materials.

     "Fair use" quotation?  We've never heard of it.  We don't want anyone
     talking about our secret scripture.  Not one word.  Got it?

     >           This letter is not intended as a complete statement of facts
     > or RTC's claims of rights.

     my reply to Milgrim                                                  Page 5

     Maybe we have some more legal tricks up our sleeve.  Keep sweating.

     > It is intended to assure that in
     > exercising your legitimate First Amendment rights you do not further
     > infringe upon RTC's intellectual property.

     We haven't shown any infringement in the first place, so how can you
     "further" infringe?  Watch this trick... You put the Fishman Declaration up
     on a web page a year ago, and that was an infringement, right?  So by
     that incident in an earlier paragraph of this letter, we can now
     legitimately talk about "further" infringement without having to falsely
     claim to have found infringements on the NOTs Scholars Page.  A careless
     reader will still interpret this as implying the NOTs Scholars page
     infringes RTC's rights.  That's what we're hoping you'll think, without our
     having to make the claim in writing.  Clever, huh?  This is why I make the
     big bucks.

     >                              Very truly yours,

     Bite me.

     >                              [signed]

     >                              Roger M. Milgrim

     > RMM/ia

     > cc:  General Counsel,
     >      Carnegie Mellon University

     We're going to try to get you in trouble with your employer while we're at
     it.  And I get to bill CoS for a second letter.  We're bad guys.  Are you
     scared yet?

     [ Sorry, Roger.  Not yet.  -- DST]


                                      Computer Science Department
                                      Carnegie Mellon University
                                      5000 Forbes Avenue
                                      Pittsburgh, PA  15213

                                      September 16, 1996

     Mr. Roger M. Milgrim
     Paul, Hastings, Janofsky, & Walker, LLP
     399 Park Avenue
     New York, NY 10022

     Dear Mr. Milgrim:

     Thank you for your letter of August 22 concerning the web site I maintain
     at, called The NOTs Scholars Home Page.

     my reply to Milgrim                                                  Page 6

     I appreciate your assurance that RTC does not desire to engage in
     litigation with me over this web site or impinge on my legitimate First
     Amendment rights.  In return, let me assure you that I have no desire to
     become involved in litigation either, or to violate RTC's legal rights to
     its intellectual property.

     From its inception, my web site has been devoted to the scholarly analysis
     and criticism of the NOTs documents to the extent permitted by law, but no
     further.  I have always tried to obey the law as it pertains to these
     documents, and I find it significant that your letter does not allege any
     illegalities in either the present version of The NOTs Scholars Home Page
     or any previous version.  Your concern, as expressed in the concluding
     paragraph of your letter, appears to be about illegal actions your clients
     imagine might occur at some time in the future.  Their fears stem from
     misunderstandings that I am happy to resolve here.

     Let me begin by affirming that I understand the NOTs documents to be
     copyrighted works, and I have no desire to violate the rights of the
     copyright holder.  I have given your clients no reason to think I would
     post these documents.  No public statement by me has ever implied this, and
     there is nothing on my web site that could be construed as suggesting it.
     Furthermore, my web site has always included the warning that while anyone
     may submit commentaries on the NOTs documents, "materials that clearly
     violate US copyright law will not be accepted."

     Limited "fair use" quotation for purposes of commentary or criticism is
     permitted by the US Copyright code.  As you are no doubt aware, your
     client's suit against the Washington Post last year for publishing brief
     quotations from OT III was dismissed by Judge Brinkema as "reprehensible."
     The Post's quotes were clearly fair use.  She found that RTC's real
     motivation was "stifling of criticism and dissent of the religious
     practices of Scientology and the destruction of its opponents," and ordered
     RTC to pay the Post's legal costs.  Even Messrs. Henson, Ward, and Erlich,
     who are currently under injunctions in California with regard to RTC's
     copyrighted material, have been explicitly told by Judge Whyte that he is
     not curtailing their First Amendment rights to discuss this material,
     including their rights to make fair use quotations from it.  I do not
     believe any of the materials on my web page contain quotations that exceed
     fair use.

     I understand that RTC also believes some of the NOTs documents to still be
     trade secrets, despite their having been posted to the Internet on several
     occasions.  By my count they have been posted six times now, the most
     recent postings occurring last month from Sweden and the Netherlands.  They
     are also presently available to the public in an unsealed court file in
     Sweden.  My knowledge of Pennsylvania's trade secret law is admittedly
     limited, but I am unable to see how anything on the NOTs Scholars Home Page
     could constitute a violation of that law, and I note that your letter to me
     does not allege any violations at the present time.  I assure you that I
     have no intention of violating Pennsylvania law in the future.

     Third, you write that my web page "appears" to contain a solicitation to
     receive the NOTs documents themselves.  I do not believe that solicitation
     of access to someone's legally-obtained NOTs pack for purposes of scholarly
     research would violate Pennsylvania law, but in any case, my web page
     contains no such request.  The "Call for Contributions" section asks for

     my reply to Milgrim                                                  Page 7

     "information, commentary, and criticism of any aspect of NOTs."  I never
     intended this to be construed as a solicitation of the documents
     themselves, and I don't believe most readers would make this mistake.
     Nonetheless, because I do not wish to be misunderstood on this point, I am
     considering clarifications to the wording of that section.

     In conclusion: we appear to be in agreement that I an not at present
     violating your client's intellectual property rights with respect to NOTs.
     At any future time, if RTC feels it has a legallly valid objection to some
     of the material appearing on my web site, I request that you notify me of
     this and specify the URL for the document in question, the specific passage
     to which RTC objects, and the legal grounds for that objection.


                                             Dr. David S. Touretzky
                                             Senior Research Scientist

     cc: Walter DeForest, CMU General Counsel
         Provost Paul Christiano