Dutch report: We are finally being sued
a.r.s., November 7, 1995
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Karin Spaink)
Subject: DUTCH REPORT: We are finally being sued
Date: Tue, 07 Nov 1995 19:54:46 GMT
This morning, I received a fax from my / our lawyer Bakker Schut, saying that the law firm representing CoS in this case, Nauta Dutilh, had finally announced that they would file a law suit.
It will be a 'kort geding', a summary proceedings. When such a summary proceedings is filed immediately after the plaintiff has gained knowledge of the alleged crime, it is usually dealt with within days; but because the first Fishman-homepages are by now almost two months old, the judge will not be quick to schedule it. The law suit may not be dealt with before December or January.
As soon as a date has been announced, it will be posted here.
In their telephone conversation with Bakker Schut, Nauta Dutilh announced their intention to sue XS4ALL, Cistron, Dataweb, DDS and me.
Planet Internet has been dealing with Nauta Dutilh through a different lawyer; I do not know whether they have received such a notification, but my guess is that both Planet Internet and Euronet will be sued too. [*We now know that they are not.*]
Inasfar as I know, I am the only private person who will be sued.
I joyfully attest to SP 5. In fact, when I received Bakker Schut's fax at 14.00 today, there were some friends here (two of which have a Fishman-homepage too). So I opened the bottle of champagne I had preserved for a special occasion, and we made a toast.
Cheers! Here's to our success.
After which email@example.com (Hillel) wrote:
> It is going to be a very hard law suit. They have to ask the court
> to find the service providers responsible to what users put in their
> home pages. The simple response of "I'm just a common carrier, please
> come back with a court order if you want me to do anything"
> will probably work in Holland.
You're right. A judge might even say he or she is not qualified to make a decision on this point, knowing that the Dutch government is still preparing rules & regulations regarding Internet.
But please do not forget that CoS puts me on trial too. I am not a provider. I am just an individual. In my case, there's no dispute about responsibilities. So chances are that the law suit will concentrate on me.
BTW: I will be the first Dutch citizen who is sued for a homepage.
> You can guess how much bad publicity the Co$ is going to get
> in the Dutch news media...
Going to get? Is getting.
This afternoon, I did an interview for a Dutch network: prime time television. It will be broadcasted tomorrow. Magazines are phoning for interviews.
And tomorrow I'll be one of the keynote speakers at Doors Of Perception 3, talking about... you guessed it. This evening I met John Perry Barlow of EFF. He will spread the news too and promised to make a link to my homepage.
And firstname.lastname@example.org (Blind Carlos) wrote:
> Some of the European nations have "loser pays" systems in civil law,
> where the losing side of a lawsuit has to pay the court costs and
> attorney fees of the winner. Is this the case in the Netherlands?
Yes. We are being sued by RTC and CPT (Church of Spiritual Technology), and at the end of their motion they ask the judge that he or she will charge us with their costs.
In his counter motion, our lawyer will ask the same: that is, that RTC / CPT - or their Dutch affiliate CoS - be charged with our costs.
Such a request is common in The Netherlands. Judges do not always rule that the losing party has to pay, but they often do. Knowing that CoS has a habit of filing frivolous lawsuits, may influence the judges ruling.
> Co$ might have decided that had to do something about the Netherlands,
> and would absorb the loss if it has to (God knows their pockets are deep
I believe you are correct on this one. There is a case before the house of appeals this Tuesday in Pasadena, about the sealing of the Fishman file. Steven Fishman will be there and has been armed with a very nice dossier about the Dutch protest.
RTC / CoS would look rather silly arguing the closure of the file, while Steven was explaining to the judges that there are currently a hundred Fishman homepages in The Netherlands which RTC / CoS isn't doing a thing about, wouldn't they?
Copyright Karin Spaink.
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