Leipzig Award










Europe: Lost Pages

US copyright law puts damper on Net criticism /
Google example

by Konrad Lischka

Andreas Heldal-Lund, Norwegian freethinker and activist for freedom of opinion on the Internet, celebrated the sixth anniversary of his Internet site, "Operation Clambake," on November 7, 2002. For six years he has spoken up for Scientology victims and published the truth about Scientology on the Internet. We congratulate Andreas Heldal-Lund and his "Operation Clambake" at http://www.xenu.net on this anniversary by reprinting an article from the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper, which appeared April 2nd of this year.

It's not usual for a church to us the copyright law to obstruct the distribution of its teachings. There is, however, some dispute as to whether the " Church" of Scientology rightly calls itself as such, or whether is is really a "business concern that operates worldwide," of which, for example, the Bavarian Interior Ministry is convinced. Scientology has now given a new argument to the other side. It has had links to the xenu.net pages of Norwegian Scientology opponent Andreas Heldal-Lund removed from the Google search engine. This was done quite legally, but without any decision from a court.

On March 8 the law offices of Moxon & Kobrin in Los Angeles e- mailed a demand to the US Google company to remove 126 Internet pages from their search engine. An enclosure listed the pages in question and the text which was protected by copyright. It included 26 photographs from Scientology magazines, but far more important were the 85 text pages.

Andreas Heldal-Lund had cited examples on his web pages from Scientology's internal documents, including a description of "dead agenting, a technique used for the purpose of discrediting critics. The lawyer's e-mail to Google did not dispute the truthfulness of Heldal-Lund's specifications.

Instead, the attorneys indicated that their clients, Religious Technology Center and Bridge Publications, owned the copyright to the documents, and that they had not agreed to their publication. In addition, 54 of Scientology's registered trademarks - including words like "Scientology," "Dianetics," and "Hubbard" - were being used without permission.

The Google search system responded on March 20th. Heldal-Lund learned by e-mail that all the pages from his site listed by the law offices had been removed from the search index. In other words, anyone who used the largest and most well-known search engine on March 20 to look for critical information about Scientology would see nothing of his extensive display of pages.


Heldal-Lund publicly broadcast the proceedings on March 21 on an Internet discussion forum, resulting in a storm of protest. Presumably as a result of this, Google made a decision to restore at least the most important of the affected pages at www.xenu.net back into its index. Other pages with detailed information remained out.

Thus it is shown how difficult it is to differentiate between legitimate investigation of copyright violations and an attempt at censorship using copyright. Heldal-Lund himself admits to using material protected by copyright. He nevertheless feels justified, because, as he says, "Scientology is using copyright to keep information about its founder's teachings from the public."

The validity of the argument has never been tested in court. No court was involved in removing the pages from Google's search index. The reason, in accordance with the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), is that a service provider, like Google, is not liable for content if it makes copyrighted material available without knowing it. Once it's notified, however, the company has a difficult decision to make. Either it blocks access to the content, upon which it cannot be held liable if a court later decides that the material constitutes a copyright violation, or the provider waits until the holder of the rights takes legal steps against someone like Heldal-Lund.

If it then turns out in court that a violation of copyright has occurred, then the service provider is held liable because an attempt was made to have the material in question removed. The German Information and Communication Service law, along with the European Community's E-commerce directives, also provide for a "notice and take down" process.

The final decision lies with the service provider. Other cases have already shown that the preference is to block pages that contain critical content rather than run the liability risk. The consequence is that critics like Heldal- Lund are having a harder time getting attention on the Internet. The Norwegian has not approached a US court about access to his site being blocked, as he could not afford attorney's fees. Attorney Helena Kobrin indicated that they were not abusing the law, but that they were using copyright very aggressively. She's right there.

Of course that doesn't say anything for that particular law.

Source: Frankfurter Rundschau of April 2, 2002


2003 Leipzig Human Rights Award
(originally the "2000 Alternative Charlemagne Award")

Norwegian IT professional wins Leipzig Human Rights Award
Advocate for Free Speech and information about Scientology in the Internet

The European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA (EACC) has announced Andreas Heldal-Lund of Stavanger, Norway as the recipient of the 2003 Leipzig Human Rights Award. The award will be presented on May 18 in the Old Stock Market in Leipzig, the city known as the birth place of the East German civil rights movement.

Mr. Heldal-Lund is the fourth recipient of the Leipzig Award, which has been given each year to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the achieving of the human rights reforms that the EEAC seeks in US- operated totalitarian cults. Previous Leipzig Award recipients have been Robert Minton, American retired banker and civil rights activist; Dr. Norbert Blüm, former German Federal Minister of Labor; and Alain Vivien, then President of the Mission Interministerielle pour la Lutte Contre les Sectes for the Prime Minister of the Republic of France (MILS).

Mr. Heldal-Lund is an Information Technology professional and free speech proponent who created and maintains the most famous Internet site in the world that exposes and opposes the fraud and human rights violations of the US-based Scientology organization -- Operation Clambake http://www.xenu.net. Scientology has attacked Mr. Heldal-Lund and his Internet Service Providers with lawyer threat letters and a black propaganda campaign, and caused a succession of ISPs to terminate his service.

In February 2002, bowing to pressure from Scientology lawyers employing the US law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the widely used Internet search engine Google removed links to Operation Clambake from its directory. But Mr. Heldal-Lund held his ground, contending that Scientology withholds important information about its teachings that he was making available, and that people perhaps would not join the cult if the full information was accessible. Free speech advocates around the world rushed to his defense, mounted an Internet and print media campaign, and forced Google to put Clambake back into its search engine.

During his years of activism against Scientology human rights abuses, in addition to his webmaster work, Mr. Heldal-Lund has given talks to various groups, generated a tremendous quantity of excellent news stories, and been a respected and valuable contributor to the Internet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.

Although he has been a target of Scientology legal and extralegal threats, and black PR throughout these years, Mr. Heldal-Lund has stayed light hearted, kept his sense of humor, and sustained his desire to help the cult's victims. In defiance of Scientology's policy of shuddering its media critics into silence, this past November 7 he celebrated Clambake's sixth year of spreading the truth about this dangerous organization.

The EEAC echoes Mr. Heldal-Lund's words from Operation Clambake: " People should be free to believe whatever they want, including Scientology. What I have against [the organization] is its deceitfulness, its lack of compassion for its members (especially the hard-working staff), its aggressive hard sell, its arrogance, its attack on free speech, its litigiousness, its harassment of its critics, its lack of concern for families, its gross neglect and abuse of children."

The Committee: Gerry Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada, Writer - Prof. Claire Champollion, Paris, France, Linguist, Researcher and Author - Joe Cisar, M.S., Cleveland, Ohio, Vietnam Veteran, Journalist - Prof. Alexander Dvorkin, Moscow, Russia, Director of the St. Irenaeus-of-Lyon-Center - Rev. Thomas Gandow, Berlin, Germany, Publisher of Berliner Dialog - Mike Garde, Dublin, Ireland, Dialogue Ireland - Roger Gonnet, Paris, France, Author - Friedrich Griess, Vienna, Austria, Engineer, Press Spokesman of Gesellschaft gegen Kultgefahren Ö sterreich - Birgitta Harrington, Accountant, Helsingborg, Sweden - Tilman Hausherr, Berlin, Germany, Software Developer - Ursula MacKenzie, Retiree, London, United Kingdom - Solveig Prass, Leipzig, Germany, Business Manager EBI Leipzig - Prof. Johannes Aagaard, Aarhus, Denmark, President of the Dialog Center International (DCI) ]

The European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA was organized to work toward achieving the following reforms:

  • Freedom for everyone to speak about his experiences, knowledge and thoughts in any organization, church or cult, be it religious or not;
  • Freedom for members of an organization, church or cult, religious or not, to leave that organization, without being detained, threatened or persecuted;
  • Freedom from fear of being confronted with material that a religious or therapeutic organization has obtained through religious or spiritual counseling; Such material should not be allowed to be used for publication, litigation, or blackmail;
  • Freedom from persecution through Copyright Laws; such laws should not be used against members who try to support their arguments by citing " church scriptures" or "spiritual literature" or other texts associated with the group;
  • Full application of law enforcement to prosecute fraud, mental and physical abuse hidden behind the shield of "religion";
  • Refusal / Withdrawal of tax exemptions for secretive organizations, be they religious or not. Full disclosure of past secret agreements with the IRS.

For further information about supporting the EEAC's reform goals and Mr. Heldal-Lund as the 2003 Leipzig Human Rights Award recipient, or about attending the award event, contact:

Dialog Zentrum Berlin
Heimat 27, D- 14165 Berlin
Telefon +49 30/ 815 70 40
Telefax +49 30/ 845 09 640
Email: info@berliner-dialog.de
Internet: http://www.dialogzentrum.de

Norwegian Internet expert receives Human Rights Award

The German Evangelical Alliance also congratulates the Scientology opponent

May 6, 2003

Berlin / Leipzig (idea) - This year's Leipzig Human Rights Award, which is conferred by the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA, an international organization of Scientology opponents, goes to Andreas Heldal-Lund, the Norwegian Internet specialist. His web site exposes "Scientology's deception and practices of human rights violations", as reported by the organizers of the award. It has been conferred since 2000 upon people who oppose the "dangers of totalitarian cults." Past award winners include former Labor Minister Norbert Bluem and French Minister Alain Vivien. The award committee's members include Reverend Thomas Gandow, the Berlin-Brandenburg representative on weltanschauung and sects. The Work Group for Religious Freedom of the German Evangelical Alliance also congratulates Heldal-Lund.

Frankfurter Rundschau
May 15, 2003

People in the News

Andreas Heldal-Lund / Johannes Rau

Andreas Heldal-Lund

The Norwegian Internet expert from Stavanger is receiving this year's Leipzig Human Rights Award on Sunday. For six years Heldal-Lund has been engaged in uncovering the human rights violations of the cult-like Scientology organization, as reported by the "European-American Citizens Committee for Human rights and Religious Freedom in the USA" in Berlin on Wednesday. The recipients of the unremunerated honor, bestowed since 2000 in the form of a glass-contained sculpture with an image of the Leipzig Nikolas Church, include former federal labor minister Norbert Bluem (CDU). In presenting its award to individuals, the Committee hopes to promote "human rights reforms" among cult-like organizations. (epd)

Johannes Rau

[On the same page is a little article on German Federal President Johannes Rau giving his "Berlin speech" on foreign policy on May 19 in the Berlin Maxim Gorki Theater.]

Anti-Scientology site spurs award

By Lisa M. Bowman
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
May 1, 2003, 2:56 PM PT

A critic of the Church of Scientology, Andreas Heldal-Lund, has received a human rights award for maintaining his Web page despite repeated legal attacks from church officials. Heldal-Lund, a Norwegian citizen who operates the Operation Clambake Web site, is the fourth recipient of the Leipzig Human Rights Award. Church of Scientology officials have tried to silence Heldal-Lund by, among other things, asking Google and the Internet archive site Archive.org to pull links to his site, claiming that material on its pages violates church copyrights.

Leipzig Human Rights Award conferred upon Norwegian Heldal-Lund

Freie Presse Chemnitz
May 18, 2003

Leipzig (ddp-lsc). The 2003 Leipzig Human Rights Award has been given to a Norwegian, Andreas Heldal-Lund. The information technology specialist was honored in the Fair City [Leipzig] on Sunday for his work against the Scientology cult and his efforts towards freedom of speech on the Internet. For almost seven years, Heldal-Lund has maintained a web site by the name of Operation Clambake, in which he distributes information about the Scientology organization.

Last year's award winner Alain Vivien said in his laudation that Heldal-Lund had revealed the machinations of the Scientologists with "respect and intelligence." In doing this he was helping both potential and past victims.

In his acceptance speech, Heldal-Lund emphasized the role of the citizen in the fight for basic rights, such as freedom of speech. He said that these rights being anchored in the Constitution is not good enough. Therefore every individual should deliberate on how to put a stop to such churches and organizations. Also people had to continue to earn their basic rights.

Heldal-Lund uses his Internet pages to inform people about the doctrines and practices of Scientology that the organization itself does not want published. Despite legal complaints from Scientology and temporary boycotts from several Internet Service Providers, Heldal-Lund has not shut down his web site. Back in February [2002], the Google search engine had removed several links to Heldal-Lund's home page from its index. An Internet and print media campaign convinced Google in short order to again include Operation Clambake in its listings.

The unremunerated human rights award, crafted by Leipzig artists Ruediger Bartels, first came into existence as the Alternative Charlemagne Award in the year 2000. It is conferred annually by the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA. Besides Americans and Germans, the committee includes members from England, Austria, Russia and Sweden. The Citizens Committee was formed in 1997 and opposes physical and psychological abuse of humans under the pretext of religion, among other things. One of the people who received the award prior to Heldal-Lund was former Labor Minister Norbert Bluem. (www.xenu.net)


Human Rights Award for Norwegian IT specialist

dpa May 18, 2003

Leipzig (dpa) - On Sunday Norwegian information technology specialist Andreas Heldal-Lund became the fourth recipient of the Leipzig Human Rights Award. The Norwegian is being honored by the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA for his involvement on the Internet against the controversial Scientology organization.

For six years Heldal-Lund has maintain the Operation Clambake web site, which exposes the background and the methods of operation of Scientology.

The international citizens committee shows its banner in the fight against Scientology. Every year since 2000, it has given the unremunerated award to person who have made a strong showing for human rights and religious freedom. Those honored thus far include form Labor Minister Norbert Bluem (CDU).

Internet: Andreas Heldal-Lund's pages critical of Scientology: http://www.xenu.net



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