Scott Pilutik

I am an attorney and consultant living and working in Manhattan, focusing primarily on church/state constitutional law. I'm a recognized expert on the Church of Scientology organization. I also have strong interests in intellectual property law where it intersects with emerging media, and free speech.

I support the efforts of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the National Lawyers Guild, the ACLU, Creative Commons, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I am a member of the New York County Lawyers Association and the New York State Bar Association. I also enjoy (watching) hockey and (doing) photograhy.

Online I can be found on Facebook, Twitter. My resume can be viewed here. I can be reached by phone at 212.645.6241 or by e-mail at pilutik[at]gmail.com.

rinf.com site pulled by zen.co.uk – b/c of me?

About a week ago, I was surprised when someone pasted to me a link to an article I’d written (on eBay and e-meters), which was now hosted by the website RINF.com — the actual url to the story is here, although it won’t work at the present. I was immediately annoyed because the article had been misleadingly titled, no attribution had been given, and the site was ad-driven. I took some time to figure out how to contact the appropriate person at RINF.com, which wasn’t easy, and sent off an email requesting it remove my article. This email was ignored.

Then I ventured to figure out which ISP was hosing RINF.com, and found out that it was Zen.co.uk, to which I then sent off the same request, cc’ing RINF.com. Zen.co.uk replied that I had no copyright claim for a host of reasons, all of which were nonsensical. I replied (again, cc’ing RINF.com) with reasons why I certainly did retain a copyright claim, namely because RINF.com had failed to honor the Creative Commons license, which appears at the bottom of every page of this blog. The particular license, 2.5, requires attribution and does not allow for commercial use by others, but otherwise permits republication. Zen.co.uk replied that it would take action to honor my request (which was merely to remove my article).

Apparently Zen.co.uk honored my request in a big way, as this article in IndyMedia UK demonstrates. It seems that Zen.co.uk pulled the entire RINF site down. And while I’ve no way of knowing whether this action was because of my complaint, the details in the story suggest it is:

At approximately 1:30pm yesterday afternoon an order was issued to shut down the British ‘alternative news’ web site ‘RINF.com’ for the publication of anti – Scientology material.

Well, that certainly looks like me–anti-Scientology material. The problem is that RINF.com, and IndyMedia UK immediately jump to the wrong conclusion as to the Who and Why, identifying Scientology as the force behind the removals, when in reality it was likely me (although this may be coincidentally related to a matter which I’m unaware, but it seems doubtful). While IndyMedia has no way of actually knowing this, RINF.com site owner Mick Meany–who was directly emailed and cc’d as to my aforementioned complaints, should know.

Speaking via telephone last night ‘RINF’ founder, Mr Mick Meaney said “It’s still not completely clear what has happened but one thing is perfectly clear – the closure of the site is solely motivated by Scientology.

Again, it should be perfectly clear, if Mr. Meany would check his email.

In any case, perhaps this post can help clear up this matter. Scientology shouldn’t be blamed for this site removal, which I think is a bit extreme–I just wanted RINF.com to comply with the Creative Commons terms (I was even willing to overlook the fact that the site is ostensibly commercial). That said, I’m not a bit sorry for Mick Meany and RINF.com either–they’re scraping content that isn’t theirs, retitling it in a misleading manner, and failing to attribute to the actual author.

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