Scientology subpoenas Worldnet - 1999-06-03
Raising new issues about anonymity on the Net, the Church of Scientology is invoking a law passed last year to force AT&T to disclose the identity of an Internet service subscriber who allegedly infringed the church's copyrights online.
Scientology's Bridge Publications, which four years ago helped to forge new law when it sued Internet service provider Netcom, claims the anonymous author "made two unauthorized, verbatim Internet postings" of the church's copyrighted works on the "alt.religion.scientology" Usenet group. Invoking a provision in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Bridge Publications filed a subpoena on AT&T that would require it to turn over the name of the Worldnet subscriber.
"I'm not aware of anyone who has yet to use the subpoena procedure," said Eric Goldman, an attorney representing ISPs at Cooley Godward. Goldman added that the provision gives copyright holders powerful new ammunition to learn the identity of alleged infringers.