Panic censorship redux – Universal Medicine’s latest bogus takedownPosted: January 13, 2018
January 10 saw the launch of my YouTube documentary series, Unpacking Universal Medicine & The Way of the Livingness. I gave a critical analysis of Universal Medicine using publicly available video footage, texts and images. It set Goonellabah’s Esoteric empire ascramble and Unimed had its minions fire off bogus DMCA copyright complaints faster than they could spill their pea soup. YouTube removed the Intro episode and Episode 1 that I’d published. I lodged a counter notice, waited the required period, UM did not initiate legal proceedings and YouTube restored them.
UPDATE MARCH 1: The Co-Creative have made the same complaints, under penalty of perjury, about episodes 2-4. Episode 2 contrasts UM’s health claims with reports of health problems in the UM community. Episode 3 is about UM’s ‘True Sexy’ mixed messages in marketing its Esoteric Womens Health products. Episode 4 is about the impact of UM’s supernatural beliefs on relationships.
I’ve issued counter notices. We’ll know in a few weeks whether UM wants to risk taking court action and facing my Senior Counsel (at least), and paying his fees and those of any other lawyer who jumps on board to represent me. They don’t seem to learn. The more they try to shut down criticism and exposure, the more help I get. It’s clear to everyone but UM that there’s a public interest in making sure potential customers, authorities, and friends and family of subscribers, have accurate information about UM’s activities. If UM have so much integrity, why are they actively attempting to suppress it?
Also see the previous post. UM shunted Universal Law aside and got a Melbourne media lawyer to throw around some threats as well. One to WordPress that was full of errors, and allegations of ‘malevolent’ usage of UM’s materials, and one to me that had fewer errors but still no legitimate legal basis.
UM also tried about 10 takedown requests in 2013. They had no legal basis for that tilt either. I used the same counter notification process and all the content was restored.
Here’s the playlist. It is now down to two videos, but the full list will automatically restore when this nonsense is resolved.
Esoteric legal threats
Jonathan Baldwin (brother of Rebecca Asquith) and partner in The Co-Creative, which contracts AV services to UM, made the complaints. They’re the firm who run the UM webcasts I wrote about last month. Jonny is the guy who wrote a plug for UM’s exorcism services in 2016.
Jonny & Co. will be given 10 business days to provide YouTube with evidence they have initiated legal action, failing which, YouTube will reinstate the videos.
The YouTube notification says the first complaint was made by The Co-Creative and Universal Medicine. The second just says it was made by The Co-Creative. The copyright for The Way of the Livingness footage would be owned by the one and only Sergio. It’s sold as a subscription by UM.
Or would you care to show us the documents proving the Co-Creative are the copyright holders, Jonny? Bec? Simon Asquith? Clayton Lloyd?
Universal Medicine didn’t want their name on the second (and probably the first, Jonathan) because I’m already taking defence evidence that UM have attempted to censor my publications via false legal complaints to Google, Google some more and WordPress and WordPress some more. It looks bad in court (with everything else) if Serge’s name is on any more of those. The UM legal team are already risking getting struck off for misconduct. If they take a punt at filing a false copyright claim, I’ll be right back at them. They can be struck off if a court makes a ruling of abuse of process, and I’ll make an application for the lawyers to be held personally liable for costs.
Like all platforms, YouTube gets its share of bogus takedown requests. Their notification process comes with a warning about making false statements.
Given UM’s form for making false complaints, including one from a partner at The Co-Creative, Clayton Lloyd, which none of them dared follow through after I agreed to accept service of process, The Co-Creative’s complaints can’t be said to have been made in good faith. From their last efforts, they should know my use of footage is authorized by law.
Did you receive authorization to make the complaint on Serge’s behalf, Jonny?
It’s a criminal offence to make false or misleading legal complaints.
Contempt of court
The YouTube removal was followed by one of Paula Fletcher’s overheated letters. Universal Law’s bright spark came off holidays especially to threaten that her client would move to have me charged with contempt of court. The letter alleges I had used video given in Benhayon’s discovery for making my films.
The problem with that is Benhayon only produced UM video in his discovery that he’d listed on his discovery list in April last year.
Those of you who saw the films saw that they included footage up to and including that recorded in September last year.
And look who was in the footage for 30 September. Witness to allegations in issue in the proceedings, UM’s barrister, Charles Wilson. What are those barristers’ rules again Charlie? Number 95 isn’t it?
It’ll be difficult to have me charged with contempt of court for using publicly available material that wasn’t given in discovery.
Not all of UM’s subscribers are fans of UM, Serge.
Copyright law exists to protect creators’ original works and to ensure the creators or rights holders receive proper income from any profits made from use and distribution of the works.
There are exceptions to copyright that allow the works to be used without permission. In Australian law those exceptions are described as ‘fair dealings’. There are numerous fair dealing exceptions to copyright and those include use of material for the purposes of:
- research or study;
- criticism or review;
- parody or satire;
- reporting news;
- enabling a person with a disability to access the material; or
- use in judicial proceedings or to obtain legal advice from a lawyer.
I’d like to know whether Jonny acted on legal advice. If so, from whom?
The Co-Creative ought to read the fact sheets provided by the Copyright Council. They include notes on determining what constitutes a ‘fair dealing’. It relates to how much of a work is used and how, and why.
The policy basis, evident in legal precedents, for the exception of reporting news is ‘derived from the public interest in promoting the free flow of knowledge, ideas and information…’
Exceptions for use in judicial proceedings ‘are designed to facilitate the administration of justice.’
The [criticism or review] exception is based on the assumption that copyright owners ordinarily expect to have their works subjected to criticism and review for the purposes of providing potential consumers with information about the works. Australian Copyright Council
That one’s for Serge. The World Renowned Philosopher.
Copyright law is clear. The Federal Court does not allow copyright law to be abused to censor works of journalism or criticism. UM have made complaints about original works. I used images and short clips taken from various material, including my own. My commentary is an analysis and a critique. The films report questionable and controversial UM subject matter that involves children and other vulnerable people. The content validates all our concerns about UM over the past five years and is in the public interest to report.
UM are probably pleased with themselves that they got the films pulled before their irksome Girl to Woman Festival on 21 January at Lennox Head. Pleased that families won’t be properly informed about UM’s grubby nonsense before they take their kids to a recruitment event for a controversial occult religious corporation.
Whatever happens, I will fight to keep my publications online. I daresay with high calibre legal help. I will take action to make sure anyone who makes a false complaint is held accountable. The Unpacking UM series will be back. Intact.
In the meantime, I was not surprised by the reaction from viewers. UM’s hasty attempts to suppress the material shows they’re very aware of how the films look to us lowly inhabitants of the real world.
I was busy moderating comments as viewers saw what goes on in the soundproof Hall of Ageless Wisdom at Wollongbar for the first time. I had to cut a record number to tone them down, I’m sorry. But even the edited comments indicate how that material (and we have a lot more of it) will go down with the jury in Benhayon v Rockett this September.
Our next interlocutory hearing is 1 February in Sydney. I’m seeking orders for Serge to comply with discovery obligations. We expect an argument. It will be very interesting.
I haven’t yet ever been criticized. I’ve been attacked on lies. They have to lie to attack us. What can they actually criticize?..
I’m looking forward to being criticized. I can’t wait.
Serge Benhayon, 5 July 2015