The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Free Speech

"Watch Tower's Misuse of Copyright to Suppress Criticism"


A very interesting post by Paul Alan Levy (Public Citizen); here's the opening paragraph:

This is a sad tale of hypocrisy on the part of a group whose litigation over the past eighty-five years has set many of our most important First Amendment precedents. But over the past four to five years, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, popularly known as the Jehovah's Witnesses, has been abusing judicial process to suppress criticism by obtaining subpoenas under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to out its critics by invoking claims of questionable merit. These are typical SLAPP suits, but under the copyright laws. In almost all of these cases, the victims could not find counsel to fight back, and had to censor themselves.

Read the whole post for more. I'd love to post a response from Watch Tower, if one is available; I tried to reach out to them myself through one of their lawyers, but haven't heard back yet.