November 12, 2006
Another Landmark lawsuit
Google Inc.’s video service faces at least one copyright infringement lawsuit, the company confirmed on Friday, and the Web search leader faces a separate subpoena tied to the service.
… A report on the Online Media Daily site said the law-
suit, which was filed in France, is seeking 150,000 euros ($193,000). It is related to a documentary video that appeared on Google Video, the site said.
… The lawsuit came to light on Wednesday in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing in which Google listed Google Video among a number of businesses that were subject to legal action. It gave no details in the quarterly report. The Google spokesman declined to confirm further details of the suit.
Separately, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a technology rights advocacy group, said subpoenas had been sent to Google Video, YouTube and a third video site, seeking to identify who posted a controversial documentary to the Web.
The subpoena involved a documentary film that aired on French TV in 2004 that was critical of Landmark Education, also known as the Landmark Forum, or simply “The Forum,” according to a statement on the EFF’s site.
EFF spokeswoman Rebecca Jeschke said she was unaware of any tie between the Google Video lawsuit and the subpoena. Her organization is siding with Google Video, YouTube and the Internet Archive in seeking to quash the subpoena.
… The film, entitled Voyage Au Pays Des Nouveaux Gourous (Voyage to the Land of the New Gurus), was produced by a French TV news program. It features hidden camera footage shot inside a Landmark Forum event in France and a panel discussion on whether or not the organization is a “cult.”
The video was posted on Google Video, YouTube and the Internet Archive, among other Web locations. Landmark’s subpoenas seek to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to force Google Video and others to identify who posted the film.
Landmark, which was founded in 1991, is a descendant of the 1970s motivational guru Werner Erhard’s EST training seminars.
Landmark describes itself as an organization devoted to personal and organiz-
ational effectiveness. More than 850,000 people had participated in its programs in more than 20 countries, according a statement by the company in late 2005.
When it comes to litigation, Landmark and its alter egos are in a class of their own. Over the years, Landmark has gone after almost all its critics—and there are many.
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Posted by: lgattruth at November 13, 2006 1:27 AM