Watch Tower vs. McFree: Nonprofit Defends Critic’s Fair Use & Anonymity Rights
‘Kevin McFree’ recently fended off a Watch Tower DMCA subpoena after a judge found that his critical animations were protected under fair use. However, Watch Tower is aggressively pursuing a separate copyright lawsuit, one that deals with exactly the same issues. The big development is that McFree’s plight has been taken on by the formidable Public Citizen Litigation Group.
Since 2017, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, the supervising body and publisher for the Jehovah’s Witness religious group, has filed more than 70 DMCA subpoena applications in the United States.
When taken at face value, they all tell a straightforward story. Someone on the internet has breached Watch Tower’s copyrights and, as a result, their true names and addresses should be handed over so that the group can seek remedy for infringement.
Most (if not all) of these cases are targeted at the religion’s critics but not once has Watch Tower followed up with a copyright claim after obtaining the identity of an alleged offender. That raises the question of whether the DMCA is being used for copyright enforcement or simply as a tool to crack down on anonymous speech by so-called ‘apostates’.
The rest of this article can be read on TorrentFreak.com