Spiritual Group’s Attempt to Unmask Online Critics Goes South–Art of Living Foundation v. Does

29 05 2012

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani]

Art of Living Foundation v. Does, 10-cv-05022-LHK (N.D. Ca.; Nov. 9, 2011)

Art of Living Foundation is an organization based in India that is dedicated to teaching the spiritual lessons of “His Holiness Ravi Shankar.” Defendants are disgruntled former “student-teachers and students” of plaintiff who want to bring to light their view that AOLF is a “manipulative and abusive cult.” Defendants posted blogs under the pseudonyms “Skywalker” and “Klim.”

AOLF sued, alleging various claims including defamation, misappropriation of trade secrets, copyright infringement and trade libel. AOLF also alleged that defendants published AOLF’s copyrighted “Breathe Sound Water Manual.” AOLF sought leave to conduct expedited discovery. This request was approved and AOLF issued subpoenas to Google and Automattic. Before Google and Auttomatic complied with the subpoenas, defendants appeared through counsel and moved to dismiss AOLF’s defamation claim, strike its trade secrets claim, and also moved to quash the discovery. Skywalker acknowledged that he published the manual, but said that he posted this solely as part of his larger campaign to bring awareness to his views about AOLF.

Other coverage:
Public Citizen: Federal Judge Protects Anonymity of Blogger Despite the Allegedly Infringing Posting of a Copyrighted Teaching Manual
Techdirt: Courts Can’t Ignore Free Speech Concerns Just Because Someone Claims Copyright Infringement
Wendy Davis: Court Rejects Bid To Unmask “Art of Living” Critic
RCFP: Federal judge preserves blogger’s anonymity


The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2011/12/spiritual_group.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



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