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Re: Plagiarisms - trademark and copyright law

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  • harrisonferrel
    I think the real issue is that anybody can sue anybody. If you don t have the time, resources and/or money to defend yourself, then the other side wins.
    Message 1 of 14 , Aug 1, 2010
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      I think the real issue is that anybody can sue anybody. If you don't have the time, resources and/or money to defend yourself, then the other side wins. Certainly, you can legally critique and review religions, cults and companies without fear of legal retaliation that will lead to a conviction. The only way eckankar won against Lane was due to their financial backing. Spoofing, mocking and lampooning goes on all the time without retribution.

      Still, to me, the strangest part of all of this is that eckankar is responsible for stealing, so for them to cry foul is a case of the stove calling the kettle black.

      A while back, when I quit the cult, I found numerous words and copyrighted phrases used by eckankar that predate them and are used in other religions. I am sure that if you used these words eckankar wouldn't really have a case as long as you can cover your attorney's fees.





      --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@...> wrote:
      >
      > Tom,
      >
      > David Lane using the Eck symbol on his book was, if anything, a trademark violation, not a copyright violation. Copyrights and trademarks are completely different things, but just about everybody I have seen on the Internet either confuses trademark and copyright or thinks of them as being the same thing. I wrote an essay on this awhile back on ESA:
      >
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous/message/4320
      >
      > Based on what I know about trademark violations, Eckankar may have been correct when they claimed in court that David Lane violated their trademark on the Eck symbol.
      >
      > If I wrote a book about the McDonalds restaurants, and I put their trademarked symbol on the cover of my book, I really don't think it would be a trademark violation. The reason is that the idea of trademarks was to protect the unique symbols of businesses. In other words, if I started a restaurant named McDonoughs and had golden arches out front, and a clown that looked a lot like Ronald McDonald then I would be violating McDonald's trademarks. No question about that.
      >
      > But David Lane was not starting his own religion, so I don't understand how the judge could come to a decision that David Lane was violating Eckankar's trademark. David's book was a critical essay on Eckankar. David was not starting any kind of business which was going to be using the Eck symbol. On the surface of things, the judges decision seems like it might be an incorrect application of trademark law.
      >
      > Of course, Eck/Ek actually comes from the word "one" in Hindi, Punjabi, etc. Twitchell changed the meaning to "spirit." I don't know whether Eckankar could get sued for Eck/Ek. although it is associated with Eckankar so maybe they could.
      >
      > I think where Eckankar could get in trouble is with the word Eckankar itself. It was obviously stolen from Hinduism/Sikhism. Eck Onkar is one of the main tenants of Hinduism. It is THE MAIN TENANT of Sikhism. It is as much as part of Silhism as Jesus Christ is to Christianity.
      >
      > If I started a religion about a savior in the past called Jesus Christ, and then trademarked the name "Jesus Christ" it seems to me that Christianity could sue me for having been awarded an invalid trademark in the first place. Even if I changed the story a bit. The problem is that Christianity hasn't trademarked any words, so maybe the name Jesus Christ could be trademarked by myself or anyone else. In the case of Eckankar, the word "Eck Onkar" was in plain use by Hinduism for probably over a thousand years, and Sikhism for 500 years. I think what Eckankar did by stealing the word Eckankar from Hinduism/Sikhism was immoral, but is it illegal? So far, no Hindus or Sikhs have sued. My basic feeling is that Hindus and Sikhs don't really care. Just as if some minority religion in India was invented and then trademarked the name "Jesus Christ" Christians in the USA and Europe wouldn't care, but instead just look at them as hapless cretins and morons.
      >
      > Jonathan
      >
      >
      > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, "tomleafeater" <tianyue@> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Having given some thought to this a bit (oh boy, yes, I'm actually using my mind here, eckankar forbid!) it is virtually a certainty that the eckist you mentioned was referring to the copyright infringement by Lane. Copyright infringement can be the same as plagiarism, but in the case of Lane using the eck symbol, it is hardly plagiarism. But there have been conversations on a.r.e. I recall in which eckists had this completely confused.
      > >
      > > How ridiculous, really. Paul Twitchell plagiarized the term from other traditions (he could have credited the sources, but he pretended to have an exclusive right), but Lane lost the case anyway. The suit against Lane was a civil case, not a criminal one. So "convicted" wouldn't be the right term to use. In civil cases, a judgment is entered against the defendant. It isn't termed a "conviction." So the eckist, if he or she used that term, was actually slandering Lane by implying there was criminal conduct involved. But I'm assuming the eckist was indulging in clueless blathering, and didn't know the details, much less care about accuracy. As I said, facts are optional to eckists.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, "tomleafeater" <tianyue@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > David Lane was litigated by eckankar for using a copyright held by eckankar. He had used the Eck symbol inside a red circle with a red line through it (meaning, No Eck)on the cover of his book exposing eckankar. David lost the case.
      > > >
      > > > Maybe the eckist had the charge confused with plagiarism. (Eckists like to make a big deal out of that case. And eckists do get easily confused over facts, since facts aren't their particular forte. They use facts when the facts seem to support their arguments, and gleefully abandon facts when they don't. Facts, to the typical eckist, are expendable non-essentials. When you have Doug Marman assailing the value of facts in his rambling, nonsensical defenses of eckankar, it's no surprise eckists have this attitude. No wonder eckanakr is so hard to leave.)
      > > >
      > > > Anyway, Lane lacked the big bucks to wage a sustained challenge. Eckankar, of course, has its own in-house attorneys to wage their wickedness.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, harrisonferrel <no_reply@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Here's a good one that I found online... An eckist defends plagiarism. But before the quote is my comment: Where do you draw the line at illegal, immoral, unethical behavior on the part of the cult and it's leaders? Plagiarism is okay. Is murder? Lying? Rape? Think of the Catholic Church and how it defends child molestation. I see comments by eckists on youtube and it is truly amazing how insane people are. This is what one guy wrote....
      > > > >
      > > > > "when seeking the divine, a physical author's books, or the source thereof, are irrelevant, plagiarism is irrelevant-does God give a squat about plagiarism? speaking of which, david lane was convicted of plagiarism, what say you now? the accuser was found guilty of his own accusation, and he is the source of your information...ALL spiritual writings were plagiarized to one degree or another, why dont you criticize any other authors?good luck with your own cult"
      > > > >
      > > > > I think I got this from the Naysayer post on youtube.com
      > > > >
      > > >
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