Who is Zenon Panoussis?
This question has puzzled the Net community since Panoussis appeared in 1996, single-handedly setting in motion a series of legal maneuvers which resulted in a hefty judgment against him for copyright infringement.
As a direct result, the Swedish legislature amended its law to protect the unpublished copyrighted works he infringed.
Zenon Panoussis began his harassment of the Church of Scientology in August 1996. At that time he posted unpublished copyrighted scriptures of the Church on his web site. These were removed through communication between Church lawyers and Panoussis’ access provider.
Panoussis reacted by posting an order form to a newsgroup where he advertised the sale of these copyrighted materials by mail order. Church lawyers were forced to obtain a seizure order from the court in order to remove the copyrighted materials from his possession.
Still, Panoussis continued his anarchist campaign. He obtained other copies of the unpublished scriptures and deposited them in various government offices in Sweden, attempting to rely on a loophole in Sweden’s law concerning access to documents in public document depositories. The Church was then forced to take Panoussis to court for copyright infringement. The case went to trial in 1998 and on September 14 of that year the court found Panoussis guilty of copyright infringement and issued a judgment against him. Panoussis appealed the decision. On March 9, 2001, the Swedish Appeals Court not only upheld the trial court’s decision but increased the fees and costs against Panoussis.
Finally, the documents he deposited in the libraries were removed after Sweden changed its law on public documents to bring it into compliance with international copyright standards.
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