Jehovah's Witnesses Sue Former Jehovah's Witness for Witnessing About Jehovah's Witnesses
A former Jehovah's Witness
decided to show the world what JW's REALLY believe,
so he brought together quotes from various publications that the Watchtower has
released over the years.
Check it out at http://quotes.watchtower.ca
Did they ever claim the world would end in 1914? Yep. Did they ever claim that the dates they published were "God's Dates", and not of their own making? You bet. Would they like the world to forget they ever said those things? OH YEAH!
So in a beautifully ironic move, they have actually SUED someone for distributing material from the Watchtower. To sweeten the deal, this guy used to be one of the volunteers that went door-to-door offering the Watchtower for contributions. Now he's offering up selected in-context quotes for FREE, and they are suing him.
Some of their reasons listed in the court document are hilarious. They consider the publishing of these quotes "embarrassing", with the potential to cause "loss of reputation and goodwill". So… if people know what JW's teach, it will damage their reputation? Prove embarrassing? LOL!
The court filing is below. Any comments on this material can be sent to editor@TheBentinel.com and will be passed on to the web site author.
Court File No. 05-CV- 296308PD2
SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF AND
WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF
STATEMENT OF CLAIM
TO THE DEFENDANT
A LEGAL PROCEEDING HAS BEEN COMMENCED AGAINST YOU by the plaintiffs. The claim made against you is set out in the following pages.
IF YOU WISH TO DEFEND THIS PROCEEDING, you or an Ontario lawyer acting for you must prepare a statement of defence in Form 18A prescribed by the Rules of Civil Procedure, serve it on the plaintiff’s lawyer or, where the plaintiff does not have a lawyer, serve it on the plaintiff, and file it, with proof of service in this court office, WITHIN TWENTY DAYS after this statement of claim is served on you, if you are served in Ontario.
If you are served in another province or or in the , the period for serving and filing your statement of defence is forty days. If you are served outside and the , the period is sixty days.
Instead of serving and filing a statement of defence, you may serve and file a notice of intent to defend in Form 18B prescribed by the Rules of Civil Procedure. This will entitle you to ten more days within which to serve and file your statement of defence.
IF YOU FAIL TO DEFEND THIS PROCEEDING, JUENT MAY BE GIVEN
AGAINST YOU IN YOUR ABSENCE AND WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE TO
YOU. IF YOU WISH TO DEFEND THIS PROCEEDING BUT ARE UNABLE TO
PAY LEGAL FEES, LEGAL AID MAY BE AVAILABLE TO YOU BY
CONTACTING A LOCAL LEGAL AID OFFICE.
Date SEPT 2/05 Signed by “F.YOUSSEF” Local registrar
Address of Court Office
1. The Plaintiffs claim:
(a) a declaration that the Defendant
(i) has infringed the copyright in the Plaintiffs’ Religious Works as defined below, contrary to sections 3, 27, 34 and 35 of the Copyright Act;
(ii) has directed public attention to his wares, services and business in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause confusion in Ontario with the wares, services and business of the Plaintiffs, contrary to sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the Trade-marks Act and the common law tort of passing off;
(iii) has breached the contract relating to use of the Plaintiffs’ “Watchtower Library on CD-ROM” (the “CD-ROM”), which contains reproductions from the Plaintiffs’ Religious Works;
(iv) has unlawfully misappropriated, used and disclosed confidential information contained in the CD-ROMs;
(b) an interim, interlocutory and permanent injunction restraining the Defendant from using the domain name “watchtower.ca”, or any other domain name, trade name or trade mark that is confusing with the Plaintiffs’ The Watchtower trade mark;
(c) an order requiring the Defendant to assign the domain name “watchtower.ca” to the Plaintiff Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada
(d) an order requiring the Defendant to deliver up, or destroy under oath, within 3 days of the date of the Order, all reproductions of the Plaintiffs’ copyright materials, including the original and all copies of
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the CD-ROMs, or any part thereof, in any form whatsoever, including on the web site “watchtower.ca”;
(e) an accounting of the Defendant’s profits arising from the sale of all reproductions of the CD-ROMs, or any part thereof, and any other reproduction or use of the Plaintiffs’ copyright materials;
(f) damages for copyright infringement and conversion;
(g) damages for trade mark infringement and passing off;
(h) damages for breach of contract and breach of confidence in an amount to be determined prior to the commencement of trial;
(i) punitive damages in the amount of $100,000;
(j) pre-judgment and post-judgment interest pursuant to the provisions of sections 128 and 129 of the Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990,
c. C.43 as amended and any recoverable taxes on the amounts awarded including G.S.T.;
(k) the Plaintiffs’ costs of this action on a substantial indemnity basis; and
(l) such further relief as to this Honourable Court seems just.
A. THE PARTIES
2. The Plaintiff Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (“Watch Tower of Pennsylvania”) is a non-stock, non-profit corporation incorporated in 1884 under the laws of the State of , It has a place of business at 25 , Watch Tower of is one of the corporations used by Jehovah’s Witnesses to promote religious worship and assist in carrying out their religious objectives.
3. of is the publisher and owner of copyright and trade marks in the religious publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses, including all magazines published under the trade marks “The Watchtower” and “Awake!” (collectively, the “Religious Works”).
4. The Plaintiff Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada (“Watch Tower of Canada”) is a non-profit federal corporation used by the religious community of Jehovah’s Witnesses in to promote public religious worship.
5. of ’s head office is located at 13893 Highway 7 in (), . of has licensed Watch Tower of Canada to reproduce and distribute the Religious Works and to use The Watchtower and Awake! trade marks.
6. The Defendant [Quotes] is an individual residing in ,
. [Quotes] registered the domain name “watchtower.ca”, and
operates a website at “http://quotes.watchtower.ca”, that reproduces the
Religious Works of the Plaintiffs. [Quotes] had been one of Jehovah’s
Witnesses until 1998 when he ceased his association with Jehovah’s
B. PLAINTIFFS’ PRINT PUBLICATIONS
7. In July 1879, the religious community of Jehovah’s Witnesses began publishing and distributing the monthly religious periodical Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. The first issue had a circulation of 6,000 copies.
8. Jehovah’s Witnesses began their public ministry in in 1880, discussing the Bible and distributing the magazine Zion’s Watch Tower.
9. On , the name of the periodical Zion’s Watch Tower was changed to its present title, The Watchtower.
10. Today, The Watchtower is the primary Bible study aid for members of the faith, is published bi-weekly, and currently has an average printing of 26.4 million copies. For each of the last 10 years the annual circulation in of the English edition of The Watchtower has been in excess of 8,000,000 copies.
11. Awake! has been published continuously by Watch Tower of Pennsylvania since 1946, is a general-interest religious magazine, and has an average printing of 22.8 million copies. For each of the last 10 years the annual circulation in of the English edition of Awake! has been in excess of 7,000,000 copies.
12. The title of each periodical is a trade mark within the meaning of section 2 of the Trade-marks Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. T-13. By virtue of very significant use of The Watchtower and Awake! trade marks for generations, these marks have become extremely well-known across , including , and are distinctive exclusively of the Plaintiffs and their religious publications.
13. Each edition of The Watchtower and Awake! is a compilation of original literary works and artistic works. Each compilation was created by Jehovah’s Witnesses pursuant to a contract of service, in the course of a religious vocation or divine calling, with Watch Tower of Pennsylvania. Pursuant to section 13(3) of the Copyright Act, Watch Tower of Pennsylvania is the first owner of all copyright in the Religious Works as “compilations”, within the meaning of s. 2 of the Copyright Act.
14. The literary and artistic works contained in each Religious Work were created by Jehovah’s Witnesses pursuant to a contract of service, in the course of a religious vocation or divine calling, with Watch Tower of Pennsylvania. Pursuant to section 13(3) of the Copyright Act, Watch Tower of Pennsylvania is the first owner of all copyright in the literary and artistic works contained in each Religious Works.
15. The Plaintiffs’ copyrights are protected in pursuant to various international treaties including the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention.
16. At a minimum, each Religious Work published within the last fifty years, and each literary and artistic work contained therein, is entitled to copyright in , pursuant to Section 6 of the Copyright Act.
C. PLAINTIFFS’ CD-ROMS AND WEB SITE
17. In 1993, Watch Tower of Pennsylvania produced the Watchtower Library on CD-ROM, an electronic compilation of most of its religious materials published since 1950. Subsequent up-dated versions have been released (collectively, the “CD-ROMs”).
18. Pursuant to Section 13(3) of the Copyright Act, Watch Tower of Pennsylvania is the owner of all copyrights in the CD-ROMs as “compilations” and computer programs.
19. The CD-ROMs are intended for personal use and study by Jehovah’s Witnesses. They include a License Agreement that each user must agree to before being able to use the CD-ROMs.
20. The License Agreement states that each CD-ROM is for the personal use of Jehovah’s Witnesses only, and prohibits inter alia any reproduction of the CD-ROM, any posting of the contents of the CD-ROM on the Internet, or any dissemination of large sections of the CD-ROM to anyone who has not agreed to be bound by the terms of the License Agreement.
21. The content of the CD-ROMs is not readily available to the general public. Some of the content is intended only for Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the introductory letter that precedes the License Agreement in the CD-ROMs restricts their use to Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Plaintiffs have protected the confidentiality of the CD-ROMs by requiring each user to agree, prior to use, to the terms of a License Agreement, which restricts use of the CD-ROMs and their software to Jehovah’s Witnesses, Accordingly, the CD-ROMs constitute confidential information.
22. Since 1997, Watch Tower of Pennsylvania has operated a website at http://www.watchtower.org. This is the official web site of Jehovah’s Witness. The website reproduces Bible-based tracts, brochures, and articles from several issues of The Watchtower and Awake periodicals.
23. The website at http://www.watchtower.org is accessed by millions of
Internet users each year, including thousands who are located in .
Accordingly, the domain name “watchtower.org” has become well-known
in , and is associated exclusively with of
D. THE DEFENDANTS ACTIVITIES
24. In November 2000, the Defendant registered the domain name “watchtower.ca”. The domain name was inactive until about March 2004.
25. In March 2004, Internet users who accessed the “watchtower.ca” website, were redirected to the “http://quotes.watchtower.ca” website, which is also operated by the Defendant.
26. The Defendant registered the domain name “watchtower.ca” in order to trade on the significant reputation and goodwill associated with the Plaintiffs’ well-known The Watchtower trade mark. Specifically, the Defendant sought to misdirect Internet users who were looking for the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses in , to the Defendant’s web site.
27. The Defendant’s web site also employs hidden words or metatags in the web pages, in order to misdirect Internet users who are looking for the Plaintiffs’ official website to the Defendant’s website. The metatags used by the Defendant include “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” “Jehovah,” “Witness,” “Watchtower,” “,” “International Bible Students” (the former name of Jehovah’s Witnesses) and “Official” The only reason for the Defendant to use the word “official” in its metatags is to create confusion among Internet users.
28. The Defendant’s web site reproduces and exhibits the Plaintiffs’ Religious Works, and specifically, all or substantially all of over 450 literary and artistic works that were first published between 1955 and the present.
29. The Defendant obtained these copies by reproducing the contents of the Plaintiffs’ CD-ROMs, contrary to the explicit terms of the License Agreement to which the Defendant agreed, and contrary to the Plaintiffs’ exclusive rights pursuant to section 3 of the Copyright Act.
30. The Defendant’s purpose in operating the website is not “for the purpose of research and scholarship”, as suggested on the web site. There can be no “fair dealing” when the Defendant (i) has appropriated the Plaintiffs’ trade mark for use in the domain name “watchtower.ca”; (ii) has sought to misdirect Internet users to its web site by the use of confusing Metatags; (iii) has reproduced thousands of pages from the Religious Works; (iv) has reproduced dozens of articles and dozens of pieces of artwork in their entirety; (v) has not placed any restrictions on others’ use of the web site, but has in fact encouraged others to archive or download the entire web site, and (vi) has created a search engine that selectively quotes from some of the Religious Works but not others.
31. The Defendant’s main purpose in operating the website is not “fair use”, but rather to try to embarrass the Plaintiffs by quoting selectively from some of the Religious Works in a manner that misleads Internet users as to the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses in .
32. By his actions as aforesaid, the Defendant:
(a) is infringing the Plaintiffs’ copyright in the Religious Works and in the CD-ROMs, pursuant to Sections 3, 27, 34 and 35 of the Copyright Act;
(b) is directing public attention to his Internet website in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause confusion in Canada, and specifically in Ontario, with the services of the Plaintiffs, contrary to sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the Trade-marks Act and the common law;
(c) is breaching the License Agreement governing use of the CD ROMs; and
(d) has misappropriated, used and disclosed the Plaintiffs’ confidential information in the CD-ROMs.
33. Despite repeated requests, the Defendant has refused to cease his unlawful activities, and will continue to violate the Plaintiffs’ rights as aforesaid unless restrained by this Honourable Court.
34. As a result of his activities, the Plaintiffs have suffered and will continue to suffer damages, including but not limited to loss of reputation and goodwill.
35. The Defendant’s willful and malicious conduct, including his continued refusal to stop his infringing activities, justifies an award of punitive and exemplary damages.
36. The Plaintiffs propose that this action be tried at .
Date of issue: SEPT 2/05
BERESKIN & PARR
Barristers & Solicitors
Tel: (416) 957-1613
Fax: (416) 361-1398
Solicitors for the plaintiffs
(Form 4C under the Rules)
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY et al .
(Short title of proceeding)
Court file no. 05-CV- 296308PD2
SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE
Proceeding commenced at
STATEMENT OF CLAIM
DYE & DURHAM CFS
Name, address, telephone and fax numbers of solicitor or party
BERESKIN & PARR
Barristers and Solicitors
Jonathan G. Colombo
Tel: (416) 364-7311
Fax: (416) 361-1398
Solicitors for the Plaintiffs
----- END STATEMENT OF CLAIM ------