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.

Links 6-12

That Cocoa Krispies provides no medical benefits to your children’s immune systems is a somewhat ridiculous thing to go to court over, but Kellogg’s left class action attorneys no choice.

via Fooducate.

Per the LA Times, the FCC issued a 475-page report finding what everyone else has known for decades: local news is abysmal. [...]

Google v. Community Standards

The NY Times reports on an interesting obscenity defense tactic:

In a novel approach, the defense in an obscenity trial in Florida plans to use publicly accessible Google search data to try to persuade jurors that their neighbors have broader interests than they might have thought.

Obscenity convictions hinge on violating local community standards, which [...]

Possible Scientology v. Gawker Empire copyright action

I attempted to leave the below comment at this thread on Gawker but it hasn’t yet appeared, so I’ll just post it here as well. The post includes a cease and desist letter from Ava Paquette and a reply by Gawker’s lawyer and VP, Gaby Darbyshire, claiming fair use. — A few points regarding fair [...]

fantasy names and statistics are free

I forget whether I commented on this case here before but I’m pleased at its end. A while back MLB sued the CBC fantasy sports empire over the right to use the baseball players’ names, claiming that its use was violation of the players’ right of publicity. The Eighth Circuit disagreed (pdf), affirming a lower [...]

stuart pivar v. seed media group, llc and paul z. myers

Via Brent Rasmussen comes word that one of my favorite bloggers, PZ Myers is being sued for defamation over a pair of scathing book reviews written by Myers only a month or so ago.

I managed to get my hands on the full complaint. Pivar’s claim hinges entirely on Myers referring to Pivar as a [...]

To Actually Catch a Predator

NBC (and MSNBC) relentlessly runs a show called “To Catch a Predator“, which is simply a televised sting operation–middle aged men, apparently of the belief that they are chatting with a 15 year old girl, take the bold step of visiting the “girl,” only to be confronted by a dour and smug Stone Phillips inside [...]

Reputation Defender

I’ve never heard of this Reputation Defender, but it’s scary/interesting what they’re up to.

“First, we SEARCH. We scour the Internet to dig up every possible piece of information about you and present it in an interactive monthly report.”

[...]

“Next, we DESTROY. You can select any content from your report that you don’t like. [...]

right of publicity in sports news and data

A high-stakes battle regarding ownership of baseball player names as they relate to sports statistics used in fantasy sports has been simmering for a few years now. MLB lost in the district court, and the 8th Circuit heard MLB’s appeal the other day. This story is a very thorough and interesting recap of the oral [...]

Prince's Rorschachian Super Bowl Halftime Show

If this year’s Super Bowl halftime show seemed tame to you, it’s only because your untrained eye doesn’t know where to look for teh gay. Those so perceptively gifted are thankfully in persistent contact with our unelected censorship board, the FCC, who have helpfully made some 150+ enlightened observations available. The Smoking Gun has scans, [...]

Defamation of Religion

These 3 posts at Volokh cover a very interesting recent push toward the establishment of international law to “combat” the “defamation of religion.” The push apparently owes its head of steam from the Danish cartoon controversy.

What’s especially interesting about the idea of protecting religious speech is that the speech in question would be, by [...]