Electronic Frontier Foundation v Watch Tower Society

by Corney 12 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Corney

    [Disclaimer: the headline is slightly misleading since the EFF itself doesn't participate in the case, so read more below]

    It's not a secret that during the last two years Watchtower obtained nearly 40 DMCA subpoenas requiring Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud, Scribd, Reddit and other ISPs to provide personal information of users that allegedly infringed the Society's copyright.

    Since subpoena proceeding is ex parte, almost all the requests were granted.

    But one of the affected users contacted, on advice of YouTube's legal team, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and the Foundation found a law firm ready to represent him pro bono, namely Garvey Schubert Barer:

    YouTube's legal department emailed the User on or about July 10, 2018, five days before the Subpoena's return date, stating that it would comply with the Subpoena unless it received a file-stamped motion to quash "or other type of formal objection before July 20, 2018." The User responded by email one day later (July 11, 2018) to state and explain his objections, believing that he had complied with YouTube's instructions.

    YouTube replied on July 24, 2018, advising the User that his email was not a "formal objection," and that he would need to provide a file-stamped copy of a motion or other court submission. YouTube stated that it would provide the User additional time to comply with its instructions. The User replied the same day, July 24, 2018, to indicate that he did not have the means to file a motion to quash. YouTube responded on August 7, 2018 with the name of potential pro bono counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation ("EFF"). EFF placed inquiries through its referral network and located our firm. Following an introduction on August 10, 2018, the User engaged our firm on August 11, 2018.

    Motion to quash the subpoena was filed in SDNY. To defend itself against this apostate attack, Watchtower had to hire Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, a top firm in the field of copyright law, one of the six best ones nationwide according to The Legal 500 and one of the seven best ones in NY - according to Chambers.

    Motion to quash the subpoena and Watchtower's response were filed in August 2018 but hearing/conference still wasn't scheduled. To follow the future case events, consult the docket here.

    Case documents:

    some ex parte documents (notice of infringement, proposed subpoena and order): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qQ8CKRJ0UXrNLYCnzFhAf7RYStz52lHZ/view?usp=sharing

    motion to quash the subpoena and Watchtower's responses: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1krDT1sprXO1f2pdIcQUdLfgB-Dz0_CKz/view?usp=sharing

    These documents are public records and anybody (including foreigners) can register in PACER and obtain them. Note: access to case information costs $0.10 per page. But if your usage does not exceed $15 in a quarter, fees are waived.

  • Moster

    wonder if they will go after the leak of Pillow-gate too

  • DesirousOfChange

    WTS is accustomed to throwing their weight around via their free attorneys. They can bankrupt the average person by just running them through the legal process all the while the defendant is paying $350-$500 per hour and "going broke".

    I have to "salute" Garvey Shubert Barer for defending such a suit pro bono. It could have a bearing on the rights of all of us.


  • Olig
    Interesting stuff.... Can I ask off topic, what is pillowgate??
  • Moster
  • john.prestor

    Olig, did you just open a can of worms. Be ready to laugh and let your jaw drop repeatedly.

  • Olig

    Wow. Just wow I've found my favourite video on the internet hahaha!

  • careful

    Thanks for the post. This is interesting. So their attempt to bully people with DMCA has caused them new legal expenses—brilliant!

  • Liberty93

    If you do a party search on PACER (for Watch Tower), you'll see that they've been filing one DMCA notice every two days or so for the past year. They've decided that the best way to stop negative publicity is by unmasking their critics.

  • Corney

    EFF's staff attorneys filed new motion to quash DMCA subpoena - now on behalf of Reddit user darkspilver: https://www.eff.org/press/releases/eff-backs-redditor-fight-stay-anonymous

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