From June 2017 to the present, Legal Counsel for the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society went on a witch hunt to find the leakers of secret documents and books used by the hierarchy of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Most of the ordinary members, particularly the most vulnerable and most affected by these secrets – women and children – are unaware such secrets exist.
Here are links to a substantial collection of subpoenas issued by Philip Brumley and his legal colleagues, Mario Moreno and Paul Polidoro in less than two years. The listing is in order of first to last subpoena issued.
- 7-17-mc-00194 – Tom Durbridge & Friends
- 7-17-mc-00195 – Tom Durbridge
- 7-17-mc-00217 – AvoidJW.org
- 7-17-mc-00241 – MyFTPUpload
- 7-18-mc-00076 – JW Videos HD
- 7-18-mc-00177 – Testigos de Jehová
- 7-18-mc-00179 – WifiBandit & Friends
- 7-18-mc-00180 – WifiBandit & Friends
- 7-18-mc-00181 – Reactivo
- 7-18-mc-00268 – Kevin McFree
- 7-18-mc-00289 – Fay Dehr
- 1-18-mc-00301 – The UnReluctant
- 7-18-mc-00312 – The UnReluctant
- 7-18-mc-00361 – Fay Dehr
- 7-18-mc-00362 – JW Kevin
- 7-18-mc-00364 – WifiBandit
- 7-18-mc-00409 – Testemunhas de Jehova
- 7-18-mc-00432 – Javier Guardado Aquilar
- 7-18-mc-00471 – Gran Muchedumbre
- 7-18-mc-00484 – Info JW
- 7-18-mc-00486 – Theocratic Videos
- 7-18-mc-00487 – JW Meetings
- 7-18-mc-00505 – Andres Leonardo
- 7-18-mc-00506 – Pinguino Emperador
- 7-18-mc-00515 – Medieval HND16
- 7-18-mc-00516 – Dert De55
- 7-18-mc-00528 – Hildebrando
- 7-18-mc-00529 – Neo MX
- 7-18-mc-00530 – JW Bethelite
- 7-18-mc-00566 – Atalayando
- 4-19-mc-80006 – ExJW (Reddit)
- 7-19-mc-00569 – Fader Man
- 7-18-mc-00571 – Moises Gutierrez
- 7-18-mc-00572 – JW Leaks
- 7-19-mc-00009 – JW Stream
- 7-19-mc-00010 – JW Stream
- 7-19-mc-00059 – Arcade Random
- 7-19-mc-00060 – Elkatire
- 7-19-mc-00081 – Alpha Omega
- 7-19-mc-00082 – Historia Y Ayuda Teocrática JW
- 7-19-mc-00083 – Jorgito El Loco
- 7-19-mc-00084 – JW Suicides
- 7-19-mc-00085 – JW Victims
- 7-19-mc-00087 – Whatch Tower Bible and Tract of PA
The law invoked in these subpoenas is 17 USC §512 (DMCA). This law is antiquated as it was passed in 1998 to try to deal with online piracy. It was passed when no one in US Congress really understood what “online” meant. It’s purpose is solely to demand service providers (Google, Facebook etc) to hand over any identifying information of users who are allegedly infringing on copyrights.
When it comes to such subpoenas, the only thing a judge looks at is whether there is a DMCA notice. A subpoena form is submitted and a lawyer signs a declaration saying a particular entity has info about an alleged infringer and the only reason they need the info is to protect their rights. As long as those three things are included with the filing, the judge has the court clerk issue the subpoena. The judge doesn’t really look at the particulars of the case. And for the most part, Watch Tower are happy that the Court has little o no interest in looking at the particulars of the subpoena because often times, they are looking for the identity of an individual who has posted a thumbnail.
The law is specific to service providers, which is defined as “a provider of online services or network access, or the operator of facilities therefor, and includes an entity described in subparagraph (A).” This means it can’t be used against someone who’s not a provider of online services or network access.
It’s a law with no teeth.
The language over subpoenas is really problematic, and it’s usually a tool to threaten people and try to make settlements happen. However, it’s worth noting that there is no case law to support what happens if the likes of Facebook or Google ignore the subpoenas.
As regards Watch Tower’s Cease and Desist letters threatening damages long with attorney fees, it’s worth noting that their copyrights are not registered with the Copyright Office. We here at AvoidJW.org are confident that Watch Tower are not going to register their Shepherd the Flock of God book or their Branch Orgnization book. For them to do that, they’d have to give up their secrets. And if they do that, AvoidJW’s very reason for existing would end. Either way, we win.