Motivational and self-help workshop group Landmark Education has hit Google, YouTube, and the Internet Archive with subpoenas to find out who uploaded a video that presented a critical look at Landmark’s methods.
|“Let the Lawsuits Begin”|
The Electronic Frontier Foundation said it has filed objections to the subpoena issued to the Internet Archive, which is also fighting Landmark’s request. EFF also plans to file a motion to quash the subpoena sent to Google, while YouTube has informed the uploader of the subpoena and is giving that user some time to respond before complying.
Landmark has objected to the uploading of a video of an investigational news team’s story that brought Landmark’s methods into question. In response, Landmark has sought the identities of the uploader through a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) subpoena. EFF described the video in question:
The documentary is critical of the Landmark program, and includes hidden camera footage from inside a Landmark Forum event in France, as well as within the Landmark offices in France.
EFF said the use of DMCA allows entities like Landmark to request the identity of someone accused of infringing on copyright without needing to file a lawsuit. Former President Bill Clinton signed the DMCA into law in October 1998 at the behest of a Republican-controlled Congress.
“Sharing videos on the web is the latest example of free speech flowering on the Internet,” said Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. “Unfortunately, it is being met by a simultaneous rise in the use of baseless legal claims as an excuse to pierce anonymity and chill speech. This kind of intimidation has to stop.”
Google has already informed Landmark that it will not hand over the information until a court has considered EFF’s motion to quash the request. EFF sees the Landmark subpoenas not as a way to identify copyright infringers, but instead to expose people who are critical of Landmark’s methods.