The legal battle in a federal court in New York City by “JW Apostate” – a (former) YouTuber who has seemingly had to flee the web as the Jehovah’s Witnesses set out to reveal their real-world identity – continues.
Currently, JW Apostate – formally, Jane/Joe Doe in court filings – is replying to Jehovah’s Witnesses opposition to their motion to quash a DMCA subpoena to Google, the owner of YouTube.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are represented by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the group’s publisher, who originally launched court proceedings against online user JW Apostate for allegedly violating the company’s copyright – and the YouTuber is claimed to have done this while spilling the beans about the inner workings of the religious group.
The gist of the argument of JW Apostate, meanwhile, is that the Watchtower is abusing copyright law to suppress dissent within the organization that in this case surfaced on YouTube in the form of leaks – which the unmasking target believes are covered by US copyright law’s fair use doctrine.
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And you can tell that no lawyers are involved here, not on JW Apostate’s side anyway, who represents themselves and does not hesitate to use some very direct and unfiltered language to make their point emphatically.
JW Apostate’s argument is two-pronged: they refute that Jehovah’s Witnesses had any valid copyright claim on any of the YouTube videos – while at the same time describing the group as a “scam religion” prone to all manner of abuse, including of minors.
But JW Apostate mentions other recent noted online Jehovah’s Witnesses leaks, to then put their faith in the era we live in; namely, a web-centric world where identity can still be protected by those who know how to go about it.
At the same time, JW Apostate is critical of the role of the judge in this case – and apparently, won’t refuse any ally in a storm: Jehovah’s Witnesses are unwelcome in Russia, and if somebody thinks our Jane/John Doe here might have done some “doxing” work useful to that country as it slaps travel bans on some prominent JW figures – the filing says, that “might be true.”
“It does not really matter so much what you do in this case,” JW Apostate summed up the argument, addressing the judge. “The only info that YouTube would be able to respond with is spoofed IP and account info that leads nowhere or to some innocent person. But the next apostate might not be so careful. Lives are at stake here in what you do, Judge Seibel. You need to be more cognizant of the fact that those people re a bunch of damn liars, pedophiles, and bullies.”
“If necessary, I can and will fight them, and make them suffer for it. But other people do not have the resources and fortitude that I have at my disposal,” JW Apostate concludes.