LDS Church alleges Wikimedia site infringed copyright

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • maria
    June 18, 2008 3:15 p.m.

    Please keep it copyrighted and under wraps so no one else has to read it.

  • Anonymous
    June 18, 2008 3:13 p.m.

    Why should the rules of the church be copyrighted?

    Seems to me like the church would be proud of their rules. Seems to me like the church would be on the rooftops making everything known, how good it all is, get out there and advertise it...get those member numbers UP!

    Not hiding it behind some copyright law.

    Does the Tab choir pay the owners of the songs they sing?

  • Jim
    May 17, 2008 11:10 a.m.

    Most of you people are just jabbering, not understanding copyright laws. The contents of a book, or a song, are protected from theift differently from protecting your car from theift, but simular at the same time.

    If your book is copyrighted, it's like having your car insured against theift. If you see your stolen car being drived by someone, what do you do? You report it in order to get your car back in your possesion.

    Its simular with copyrighted stuff, with one major exception. That is that one MUST complain against the one who has "stolen" their work or after a period of time without a complaint, it becomes "public domain" and the owner, in effect looses his "ownership" of it.

    That's why the LDS Church goes after those who make major copyright infringements, not because any supposed plots pertaining to secrecy, but rather to
    conform to laws that are established to guarantee that they will retain ownership of the material.

    Sorry, no big secrets or plots. Just simple complience to the copyright laws.




  • AJ
    May 17, 2008 10:12 a.m.

    @Paul in MD: Thanks for the feedback. I re-read the quote bearing in mind what you had written and see where you are coming from.

    @To AJ | 10:02 a.m. May 16, 2008: Obviously you had a bad day, hope that things are going better for you now.

  • TEXAN
    May 16, 2008 10:43 a.m.

    It is a copyrighted document, so you can't post it without permission. It is also illegal to buy an e-book of a NYT Bestseller and then post it freely online. It is not an issue of secret, sacred or anything other than copyright ownership. GET OVER IT.

  • To: Sandra
    May 16, 2008 10:29 a.m.

    The LA Times article is definitly not "flattering". It portrays Scientology and the LDS Church as "agressively repressing information".

  • To AJ
    May 16, 2008 10:02 a.m.

    Just because you read something about copyright law on the internet doesn't mean that you know what you are talking about. You obviously don't. If they have a copyright on it, then it is obviously something that can get copyrighted.

    Then again, I am sure you know way more than the actual lawyers. Just like all of the Mormon-haters think they know more about the religion than actual members of the church.

  • L
    May 16, 2008 9:37 a.m.

    While I am not an attorney, when I was in business our attorney told us that we MUST VIGOROUSLY defend our copyrights or risk loosing not one but others. I understand THAT IS THE LAW !

    If I write a little poem or a song, there may be nothing secret, I may even want to share it, but under our laws I am allowed the continued ownership of it and that is protected by copyright if I desire.

    I believe there are tons of copyright lawyers who will confirm this and certainly the Congress has even in recent years.

  • Where Is the PDF?
    May 16, 2008 9:07 a.m.

    Where is the PDF of the book? Why won't the Deseret News link a PDF of this book?

    If it was a non-LDS book they sure would have one up.

  • IDWinters
    May 16, 2008 9:06 a.m.

    Theres nothing secret about the handbook, I was asking a member of the Stake Presidency a question about the church and he pulled out the handbook and let me read for myself what it said. Just plain and simple copyright protection by the church.

  • TUFKAAP (Patrick Mannion)
    May 16, 2008 8:41 a.m.

    Just to let the folks at Deseret News know, Wikinews and the Wikimedia Foundation has NO association with Wikileaks, which is run by a separate organization called Sunshine Press.

  • Re: Videos?
    May 16, 2008 6:54 a.m.

    "Just wondering" why you don't worry about yourselves and stop worrying about what members of the LDS church are doing. "Just wondering" why you even take the time to comment on articles like this.

  • Paul in MD
    May 16, 2008 6:47 a.m.

    To Rabbi - I've been a Ward Clerk, and I've been asked before to order copies for individuals. The Church's policy is not to keep the information in the handbooks from people, just to avoid the expense of printing and shipping for folks who really don't need it.

    The Church doesn't make money on manuals or handbooks. I think these items are subsidized, and since they are trying to be good stewards over donated funds, they only want to spend money to provide handbooks for people who need them.

    I've read the handbook (again, I was a Ward Clerk and had access to it), and there's nothing secret, dark, sacred, embarrassing, or in any way worth hiding in there. I don't see any reason why a bishop wouldn't let a member sit down in the clerk's office and read it, other than it really is a waste of time unless you need to find out about a process or policy that affects you. 99% of those are in sources other than the general handbook.

  • Re: Nada
    May 16, 2008 6:37 a.m.

    You are wrong.

    As someone stated earlier. If the Church doesn't protect the copyright, they lose that copyright and maybe others associated with it. Simple as that.

    The Church is protecting their right to simply say... this is material printed and copyrighted by the LDS Church. So there is no confusion for people who want information about the LDS from the LDS, as apposed to an anti publishing material made to look like the LDS Church's to deceive.

    Let me say again... If the LDS Church does not protect the copyright, they will lose it. That is how copyrights work. Has nothing to do with secrecy or most other reasons posted on this thread.

  • Paul in MD
    May 16, 2008 6:34 a.m.

    To AJ - I think you mistinterpreted your own research. The copyright doesn't extend to the process or idea. That doesn't mean that the text describing it can't be copyrighted in whole. I believe what the law you quoted was intended to convey is that if I read this manual, and I like some of the ideas or processes, I can incorporate them in my own organization. I can even write my own manual describing the same ideas and processes. What I can't do, by copyright law, is make copies of the original manual to distribute to my organization, or lift sections to put into my own manual unless I get written permission from the original author.

  • To Rabbi
    May 16, 2008 6:01 a.m.

    The Handbook restriction applies to "distribution." It is not distributed to the members. If you want to read the Handbook, you may. Go to your stake president and request such (do not demand).

    You will have to set aside time (make an appointment) to read it in his or the stake clerk's office. You will not be allowed to remove the Handbook or take it home, or anywhere else.

    It's that simple.

  • Barry
    May 16, 2008 5:27 a.m.

    To tjgibbs. If you are not LDS why do you have stored copies of the handbook. to you have similar data on other religions???

  • Videos?
    May 16, 2008 1:21 a.m.

    How many of the people here defending the church's right to get upset over the misuse of copyright material have also patronized Clean Flix or other such businesses? Just wondering...

  • Nada
    May 15, 2008 11:35 p.m.

    What kind of paranoid and delusional people are you? Why would anyone other than the Church want to publish the LDS Church Handbook of Instructions? That makes no sense. Even if someone wanted to make a "derivative" work out of something the LDS Church had a copyright on, what kind of derivative work would anyone make based on the Handbook of Instructions? Do you honestly think someone would modify the CHI and re-publish it? To whom would they re-publish it? Who would WANT to read it? No active LDS members would pay any attention to any source other than the Church, and those who have animosity toward the Church will do so regardless. Only innocent and naive "investigators" could be the possible targets, but they are going to get exposed to so much more and so much worse than the CHI anyway, it is a mute issue. There is NO REASON for the LDS Church to take these actions to restrict access to the CHI. None. Zilch. Nada.

  • Still Standing
    May 15, 2008 11:34 p.m.

    There out to get us I just know it. Maybe some people don't like being lied to, maybe some people like to see how big of lie they can tell and get away with it, hay it beats looking for the truth,that's way to hard. Something for something that's worth less then nothing. All this just might make somebody angry, that's why I don't do it. Any body want fallow me, I hope not.

  • Will of the North
    May 15, 2008 10:17 p.m.

    As a recently released Bishop, I can assure you there are no "secrets" in either volume of the Church Handbook of Instructions.

    The Church must defend against copyright infringement, otherwise it can eventually lose the right to protect the work in question and it could be modified and republished by anyone.

    Finally, if ANY of the numerous Church publications that are FREE on the Church web site (e.g. Ensign magazine), are published by other organizations, the Church would go after them in the same manner as this.

  • AJ
    May 15, 2008 6:09 p.m.

    Just been doing some research on copyright law and came across the following:

    Copyright Law of the United States of America
    and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code - 102 b:
    "In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work."

    As I read this, the Church Handbook cannot be copyrighted since it is a list of procedures and methods of operation.

    Any other insights are welcome.

  • AJ
    May 15, 2008 5:58 p.m.

    A clarification:
    Wikimedia (Wikipedia and Wikinews) did not publish the Handbook, a site called Wikileak did. Wikinews had a link to the Wikileak article, but that has been removed. Wikileak still has the Handbook up for download, and from what I am reading, it is unlikely that the Church can get them to stop.

    I would also like to point out that other sites have had it up for years in at least HTML format (the Wikileak version is a PDF one).

  • zoar
    May 15, 2008 5:54 p.m.

    These people who criticize the LDS Church for taking action against people, who post its copy righted material on the internet, probably have gigabytes of copy righted material on their hard drives in the form of DVD's, Music, Software, Games and anything else they can get for free. What would they know about copy rights anyway?

  • Rabbi
    May 15, 2008 4:33 p.m.

    It is restricted; members generally are not allowed access to it. Several times I have asked for a copy and was denied access. They did read some selected paragraphs to me; I guess I couldn't be trusted to read and browse a copy.

    IT IS RESTRICTED BOTH TO MEMBERS AND NON MEMBERS.

  • ATS
    May 15, 2008 3:46 p.m.

    Again we have the power of darkness at work to capture the lightmindedness individuals/groups and to try to satisfy the curiosity of the mind.
    There is no hidden agenda of the handbook which are only access to church leaders but to direct the affairs of the church as directed by the lord and stay within the boundaries with the law of the land, as members of the LDS church we need to be mindful that we dont get caught up in this hype that cause us to question the church policies and procedures,people that releaseses this information has broken the copyright laws...end of story!!.

  • To I agree @2:36
    May 15, 2008 3:34 p.m.

    I'm pretty sure "Wikipedia" and "Wikimedia" are two different entities, kind of like FLDS and LDS are.

  • I agree
    May 15, 2008 2:36 p.m.

    To Nonsense 10:27 - I'm LDS and I agree that editing movies to make them more family friendly is not only illegal, but flat out stupid.

    Why? One reason is, you're still handing your money over to the people who made those movies.

    The main thing that worries me about Wikipedia's decision to post the handbook isn't the handbook itself. If Wikipedia is able to legally do this, no book would be safe. People's private papers and journals would be fair game. If an author wrote a book, he or she could have it legally printed all over the net, and they wouldn't get a dime for it.

    There's a reason why we have copyright laws in this country. And if Wikipedia's trend continues, it will spell DOOM for literary entertainment, business, religious and political publications, and perhaps even people's own private writings.

  • James
    May 15, 2008 2:16 p.m.

    There is also a very scathing piece in the Las Vegas Review-Journal concerning this. The article is very offensive to Latter-Day Saints.

  • AJ
    May 15, 2008 1:39 p.m.

    If this has to do with people changing the manual and then distributing it, the best way to counter it would be to publish an official version on the official website.

    Copyright was instituted to encourage distribution so that literary works would not be lost and to enlarge the public domain. Initially Copyright had to be applied for, and could be denied. Now-a-days their is a blanket copyright for all works created and publicly distributed, though the State reserves the right to deny copyright moving your work into the Public Domain immediately instead of after so many years.

    Since the Handbook does not fall into the publicly distributed domain, the question is whether copyright is appropriate. Since the Church does not want it publicly distributed the Church Handbook is better protected under Trade Secrets law instead.

  • Re: Sandra
    May 15, 2008 1:27 p.m.

    "LA Times has a very interesting article on this topic today. It is not very flattering to the LDS Church."

    And this is news?

    Consider the source. Just because some hack at a newspaper writes a biased, biggoted hatchet job, doesn't make it so.

  • A possible answer
    May 15, 2008 1:04 p.m.

    In response to "Do the numerous positive statements in it get as much air time as the cherry-picked controversial ones? Why do you suppose that is?" I would say perhaps they get more "air time" because they need to be "aired."

    Items that are "questionable" or "just plain wrong" are the ones that need to be talked about and possibly changed.

  • Sambo
    May 15, 2008 12:09 p.m.

    I was going to post regarding this story and all the but then I read this post by Comanche which expresses it well I believe, here are some excerpts:
    "Comanche | 8:12 p.m. May 14, 2008
    The problem isn't the secrecy, and it's clearly not making money. The issue also isn't control (that is, "unrighteous dominion" as alluded to in one of the opinions above). The issue is that the Church is regularly excoriated by individuals who have an ax to grind and do so by taking things out of context to prove their point.

    I happen to have a "legal" copy and I find things in it to be logical, carefully worded, Christ-like (that is, showing loving concern for members and others), and gospel-centered. But then, I'm not digging for dirt.

    You would have to be trying to take offense to be offended by things in it if they were understood. The problem is, will the things in it get a fair and balanced airing if it's just "out there"? ...
    Ask yourself this: Do the numerous positive statements in it get as much air time as the cherry-picked controversial ones? Why do you suppose that is?"

  • Sandra
    May 15, 2008 12:05 p.m.

    LA Times has a very interesting article on this topic today. It is not very flattering to the LDS Church.

  • anonymous
    May 15, 2008 11:54 a.m.

    Profit has nothing to do with copywrite law, this is a common misconception. It is illegal to copy copywrited material for any purpose even if there is no money or personal gain involved. I have seen many instances of church members unwittingly breaking the law in this way. Usually all it takes in a phone call to get permission and be legal.

  • Boring reading
    May 15, 2008 11:50 a.m.

    The handbook, not the replies about the story I mean....

    good analogy to a personnel manual in a business actually... just establishing orderly direction and process for remotely situated units, same as remote offices in a business setting...

    If you own a copyright, it's yours to control - for profit or not. Everyone should be respecting them, BYU groups included...

  • real reason
    May 15, 2008 10:39 a.m.

    Several posters have hit on what I think is the real reason the Church has concern. The Handbook contents could be intentionally and maliciously changed, re-written, edited, fabricated, "plain and precious" parts left out etc. etc. and then pawned off as the "official" Handbook and the "official" position of the LDS Church. It could be confusing or harmful for those who are unknowing or unsuspecting.

  • Frank
    May 15, 2008 10:30 a.m.

    A lot of hooplah over nothing. Letters like this sent to sites demanding copyright compliance are sent every single second.

  • Nonsense
    May 15, 2008 10:27 a.m.

    Of course the copyright should be respected. Just like all those edited movies that you Utah mormons bought against the wishes of the artists who created them.

    Oh, I forgot, that was all about morality. Go on with your lives.

  • Joe
    May 15, 2008 10:26 a.m.

    The Handbook of Instruction contains information to help church leaders uniformly deal with a variety of situations. In some respects, it is similar to a personnel handbook. It isn't inspired scripture.

    Let's say that you enter a room in which personnel matters are being discussed. You don't have any context surrounding these conversations, you don't know all of the details that have transpired before, nor do you necessarily understand what is trying to be accomplished on behalf of sometimes troubled individuals. Can you really expect to suddenly participate in that discussion in a meaningful way? And would you be surprised if those already in the room don't welcome you with open arms. And how would you expect the DuPont company to react to having its personnel manual published?

    Church leaders are constantly reminded to seek inspiration from Heavenly Father in determining how to deal with complex and difficult situations. The Handbook of Instructions attempts to help leaders to deal effectively and lovingly with such situations. If you aspire to being a bishop or stake president in the LDS Church, maybe your time would be well spent studying the handbook. Otherwise, there may be more productive objects for your curiosity.

  • Re: tjtibbs
    May 15, 2008 10:15 a.m.

    This is in reply to tjtibbs who stated:"In reality, it's there for us to read, archive, poke fun with, e-mail to friends, etc. The copyright has nothing to do with those of us who already have it...I've had the Handbook for several years, and so have those friends to whom I sent it."

    I'm sure those who wrote and published the Handbook had many ideas of how it would be used. I'm sure that it's uses as a source of internet entertainment never entered their minds. I guess we should just be grateful this is the type of "internet entertainment" you have chosen.

  • RL
    May 15, 2008 10:02 a.m.

    There isn't anything "secret" about it at all, and it baffles me that actual members think that it is. I'm not in the Bishopbric and have read the handbook (not the whole thing, just what I was wondering about) several times. Not once was I told, "oh, no, you can't see that!" Why is it that people get all bent out of shape when our church actually stands up and says, "what you've posted online is against the law"??? That's not "business" that's just saying, "look, this is ours, not yours, get permission first." If it was the Catholic church, Lutheran, Baptist, whatever, no one would be making a big deal out of it.

  • Reader
    May 15, 2008 9:44 a.m.

    There is a difference between licenses and copyrighted material.

    Learn the difference before posting on here. You come across as living in the twilight zone.

    To Ted:
    Nothing, why do you ask? Copying is copying. Otherwise why have copyright laws. Duh!

    This isn't scrutiny, this is bald faced, in your face, bigots doing anything they please. Let them learn the hard way.

  • Anonymous
    May 15, 2008 9:43 a.m.

    HA, haven't heard the Tanners' name in a while. Isn't it about time for them to come up with some ridiculous statement and get back in the news?

  • Paul in MD
    May 15, 2008 9:40 a.m.

    This is typical. The story talks about a Web site getting a request from the church to take down a link to copyrighted material, and folks crawl out of the woodwork shouting "stop hiding your past; stop hiding the truth!"

    I've been LDS for over 30 years. I don't claim to know everything about LDS church history, or every detail of every past and present leader's life. I do know that people make mistakes, some pretty big. It doesn't matter what position they hold or what they profess to believe. We're all human.

    I have never heard anyone honestly proclaim that we members of the LDS church are perfect. Quite the contrary - we're not, we know it, and we readily admit it. We do, however, believe that the teachings in the scriptures are perfect, and the guidance from inspired leaders is perfect.

    Judge us however you choose. But let that judgment be guided by an honest desire to find the truth, not a desire to prove us wrong. God doesn't work that way, and won't guide you in that.

  • WillF
    May 15, 2008 9:38 a.m.

    There are plenty of reasons to want to control a document other than "having something to hide."One simple reason is to make sure the document keeps its integrity. If the Church were to say, "hey, no problem, knock yourself out with spreading the handbook around," how many different versions of the handbook would we end up with floating around? How could you verify that one hadn't been altered?
    By attempting to maintain authorship and ownership of the document, the Church does what it can to make sure people look to the Church for the official document, rather than assuming that one found casually on the internet is good enough.

  • Rabbi
    May 15, 2008 9:24 a.m.

    As LDS, I've wanted to read the Church's handbook and bring myself up to date with present policy but have been denied a copy because it is "secret".

    Members in good standing should know what the policies of the church are and have a copy of them and be given updates as they occur.

  • SML-PDX
    May 15, 2008 9:20 a.m.

    I hope the Church will sue the FLDS for trademark infrindgment. The Church needs to be agressive to protect its good name.

  • Fritz
    May 15, 2008 9:19 a.m.

    Hiding is not the point. The LDS Church is expected to follow copyright laws; they should expect that others using their materials will be subject to the same laws. The purpose is to protect what they have written from being taken out of context, or being twisted to serve the purpose of whatever idiot is out there with a web site.
    I don't understand why some of you think the LDS Church should be soft on enforcing their copyrights just because they are a church. The LDS Church leadership has made it extremely, painfully clear that members should strictly obey copyright laws. In fact, The Handbook of Instructions is very clear on this even to the point of saying that you do not show a copyrighted movie to a church group without permission. I wonder if the Wikimedia people bothered to read a legal copy of the handbook.

  • Enlightened
    May 15, 2008 9:18 a.m.

    It's not an issue of secret, it is an issue of sacred. The church believes that some doctrine and ordinances are meant to be sacred and holy, not to be dragged through muddy cesspool that is the media for those that don't understand to ridicule.

    Why is it so hard for people to accept that everything has it's place. These things are all available to anyone who wants to know and has an honest intent and purpose for the knowledge. I am sure that everyone has things in their life that are not illegal, immoral or indecent that they would not want dragged out for public mockery. They are not necessarily secret, but they are personal and sacred. Is it really so hard to understand.

  • English Baron
    May 15, 2008 9:18 a.m.

    I'm constantly amazed at the narrow minded bigotry of some of the LDS haters. If the church didn't try and protect it's copyright you know (not think but know) for a surety that these same people would condemn and castigate the church. The only way copyright works is if those who own it protect it. If they didn't then there's nothing stopping people copying anything.

    The CHI is not secret, there's nothing in it that isn't common knowledge within the church. It's a reference manual that's all. BUT it is copyright material and as many others have said we all know that evil and designing men are more than willing to take the truth and change a word here and there to make it say something else and use this modified book to attack the church. One of the most famous bibles ever printed missed one word from it's translation - the word "not" in the commandment about adultery. Changes the whole meaning of the bible, doesn't it?

  • Copyrights need to be protected
    May 15, 2008 9:14 a.m.

    Disney, Boy Scouts of America, RIAA, MPAA, Microsoft... all protect their copyrights. It has nothing to do with secrecy, but protection of their intellectual and physical property. Makes sense that the LDS Church would want to do the same.

    Believe me, I've read the book(books actually, there are two) cover to cover. There ain't nothing in there that is secret!

  • Ruel
    May 15, 2008 9:11 a.m.

    Bottom line! If you break the law, you are a CRIMINAL. It is not a question of secrecy or hiding. It is a question of honesty and abiding by the law. If a person or business desires to print copy-write material, they should either follow the law or they should be willing to suffer the consequences.

  • The Rock
    May 15, 2008 8:58 a.m.

    There are many reasons to copyright materials. It may be copyrighted for financial reasons. It might be copyrighted to prevent is from being used to harm your organization.

    Mormon haters will take materials out of context, twist them, etc. The only reason the Tanners would publish excerts from the handbook is to harm the LDS faith.

    Any written work is automatically copyrighted as soon as it is written.

    Recent trade secrets law forbids the use of information that the owner made a resonable effort to keep secret. If the marketing manager of a company is given the marketing plan of a competitor, he can go to jail if he uses it.

    If the information is handled in a careless manner (employees discuss the information in a public place like a restaurant, and the company does not discipline the employees) it becomes difficult to defend in court. If the employees are disciplined, where possible, and the materials are protected even if leaks occur.

    The general handbook of instructions is both copyrighted and protected by the trade secrets law for at least two reasons 1) to prevent abuse 2) prevent meddling. The church has the right to make decisions without busybodies interfering.

  • Rich
    May 15, 2008 8:15 a.m.

    Hey, Another chance for Mormophobes to take pot shots at their favorite target! Let's line up and start shooting!

    Seriously if you can't understand why the Church wants to protect its intellectual properties, you're blinded by your bigotry.

    The handbook contains no secrets. I read it and found it to be yet another testament of Jesus Christ. Even when dealing with rather controversial subjects, such as whether loved ones should pull the plug on a brain-dead relative, I found myself saying , "Yes, that's right. This is the truth. This is what Christ would want." I felt that the policies of the church were truly inspired of God.

    The church teaches tolerance, patience, love, kindness and respect. Its members are not perfect and, hence, don't always display those virtues. We're all human. But we should not criticize that which is good and virtuous.

  • Listen Up!!!
    May 15, 2008 8:13 a.m.

    All of you haters that think that the Church has become to engulfed in the modern day legal system or think that the issue is about secrecy, then you're wrong. The simple issue is that it is a copy right infringment. The church is always willing to share what they can. The church has an obligation to protect what is right. You can't run a 13 milliion membership without being responsible. The Church is True!

  • Jon
    May 15, 2008 8:12 a.m.

    I think it's a good thing The Church went after the copyright infringers. Not doing so could create a precedent of not defending themselves against copyright infringement and that could probably be used against them in court. Let's say that an article from the Ensign was posted on a website and it was used out of context to harm The Church. If this copyright infringer refused to remove it and it went to court, the defendant could say, "The Church hasn't cared in the past about their copyrights, so why should they go after me now? They'r just harrassing me." See what I mean? They've got to defend themselves against the small stuff if they want to defend themselves against the bigger stuff in the future.

    Also, I really liked the comments from Please Stand. I think you hit it right on the head. None of us (I don't think) can truly empathize with The Church as none of us are walking in its shoes. None of us face in our daily lives the kinds of things/responsibilities the Church does every day of its existence. Your post was well-reasoned.

  • Ted
    May 15, 2008 7:30 a.m.

    What does the Church have to hide?

  • Hypocrits
    May 15, 2008 7:21 a.m.

    Anyone arguing that the LDS doesn't have the right to protect it's copyrighted materials either doesn't understand copyright law or is simply using this as another unfair, bigotted excuse to criticize the church.

    In either case, their arguments demonstrate nothing more than ignorance.

  • cARL
    May 15, 2008 7:13 a.m.

    Why is there no interest in the Methodist handbook of instructions? The Catholic, Jehovah Witness, or the Church of what's happening now? People will line up to see what the LDS are doing and thinking. In the end, all of the churches will line up against one and you will all know which one it will be. Just watch.

  • JOHNJS
    May 15, 2008 6:37 a.m.

    I think that if a person breaks the law should pay for their crimes right? I've sure had to pay for mine. Who's above the law?
    It seems so many people are so consumed by the L.D.S. faith they go to bed thinking about it and wakeup thinking about it I'm glad your so intrigued. That's good!

  • Eddie
    May 15, 2008 4:13 a.m.

    It doesn't matter if it is the Church of latter day saints, the girl scouts, or the rotary club. If you own the rights to copyrighted material, anyone else who uses that material for any reason, without your consent, is in violation of the law. Put any kind of spin you want to on it, but those are the facts!

  • Belgie
    May 15, 2008 2:13 a.m.

    Owners of copyrights are required by law to enforce the copyright and pursue legal action against those who infringe. If they don't, they lose the copyright.

    The person who said that Mormons (and Maybe Baptists) are the only people that feel outrage in defense of their religion should perhaps read a news article or two about something besides the LDS church.

    Interesting that so many people come to the Deseret News with the sole intention to criticize. They're saying way more about themselves than they can possibly say about Mormons.

  • Please Stand
    May 15, 2008 1:05 a.m.

    Everyone who has commented on this board who fits into all of these categories, please stand:

    1) You lead an organization of 13 million people, worldwide
    2) Nearly every decision you make becomes public
    3) You have enemies (yes, enemies, not just casual opposition) that criticize and fault find through any possible avenue

    If you fit all three, you likely have insight into perhaps how this could have been handled better. If you don't, continue to criticize and hide behind your computer screen with your silly comments because you definitely have authority on the matter, or on the management of it.

  • Juan
    May 15, 2008 12:16 a.m.

    Every time I watch a DVD or VHS tape I see this large introductory FBI WARNING reminding people that copyrighted material is protected by U. S. Copyright laws and those who copy such documents without authority are subject to prosecution.

    Copyrighted material is the property of those who created it, to unlawfully copy it is to steal it. It is an issue of honesty, integrity and character, something that so many of the above detractors and whiners obviously lack.

    I suggest they try their arguments on the Hollywood and music industry lawyers who decry and threaten copyright infringers in China, Mexico and actually sue those in the U. S.

  • Spongecake
    May 14, 2008 10:43 p.m.

    Wikileaks is NOT part of the Wikimedia Foundation. Can't Carrie Moore even do some rudimentary research on the relationship between the entities involved?

  • Is this worth the effort?
    May 14, 2008 10:34 p.m.

    OK, I am going to try to state my opinion, and I am sure all the humble people who have no ax to grind against the church will be very receptive to it.
    First, the church has two separate entities, one is totally church, non-profit. They also have a tax paying business side also, I worked for the church, so did my husband, all of that is taxed.

    Second, a copy right is just that, if you want to copy it, you have to ask for the right to do it, if you do not, then you can be prosecuted. If you look in the LDS hymn book, you will find that a large majority of those songs do not have copy rights on them, but the church does have things that do not need to be shared with everyone and they have a right to have those things protected. One of those things is member information, would people want the church to share phone numbers and addresses? Our ward choir did a number, we didn't have enough music, everyone very strongly said, we can't copy it, even just for one time, respect the laws for all reasons.

  • My guess
    May 14, 2008 10:10 p.m.

    Obviously the churches motivation is not to hide the information, else they wouldn't draw publicity. I believe the motivation is to protect the information, preventing someone from using it like in a law suit. I am not a lawyer but this is a guess.

  • To I love it.
    May 14, 2008 10:04 p.m.

    Somehow I just don't think other religions get as "outraged" as Latter-day Saints. Most of them seem to have a more laid back "live and let live" attitude. (Well, except for the Baptists)

  • Whatever
    May 14, 2008 9:56 p.m.

    You don't need to tamper with documents to make LDS doctrine questionable. You just need to look outside the box.

    It's understandable why the LDS Church longs to return when they controlled their story. Events like the FLDS come up. People Google LDS or Mormon. The Tanners get the same billing as LDS.org.

    The person doing the text search is off reading about polygamy, blood of atonement, DNA and the BOM and on and on.

    This is a attempt to close the door on a barn with without horse one. It's kind of pitiful really. They ran off carrying the meat and the milk has gone sour.

  • I love it.
    May 14, 2008 9:47 p.m.

    There are copies of the Church Handbook in the BYU library special collections. Anyone can access this to read it. It is not a secret. It is also not something that the Church distributes to the general public because it is written for church leaders to give them guidance in leading their congregations.

    Imagine the outrage if some of the Catholic Church leadership materials were posted on the internet without permission or a Jewish or Muslim handbook were posted?

  • to Truth 8:38pm
    May 14, 2008 9:35 p.m.

    Sort of like taking history and manually editing it so it is faith promoting? Like the story of the Nauvoo Expositor...

  • Bob
    May 14, 2008 9:34 p.m.

    Why should the LDS church be able to claim a religeous fair use copyright exception and also be able to sue others for copyright use? They can freely infringe others copyrights, but sue for their own.

  • Truth(1 more thing)
    May 14, 2008 8:38 p.m.

    Another VERY important thing.

    What if someone takes a manual and edits it to look like the same valid manual but with small twists meant to trick people and confuse others into hating the Church even more?

    This is a common thing in LDS history. It's a waste of time to cut another religion down as it only destroys. I have no right to cut a Muslims beliefs down if they do not hurt anyone. If I edited the Qur'an to say that 'you will die if you make friends with Christians' this would be wrong.

    Not only would this be wrong but imagine the worlds reaction. If I made it public enough that I was purposefully trying to get people to hate Muslims more people would be outraged. Do LDS members 'Mormons' not deserve this same right?

    People have tampered with LDS documents and will continue to do so. The church has every right to prevent this, legally and morally.

    I'm sure many will get upset and argue about this. I only intend on simply proving that the Church is doing something which is good and that there is no argument against it. People should move on.

  • Comanche
    May 14, 2008 8:12 p.m.

    The problem isn't the secrecy, and it's clearly not making money. The issue also isn't control (that is, "unrighteous dominion" as alluded to in one of the opinions above). The issue is that the Church is regularly excoriated by individuals who have an ax to grind and do so by taking things out of context to prove their point.

    I happen to have a "legal" copy and I find things in it to be logical, carefully worded, Christ-like (that is, showing loving concern for members and others), and gospel-centered. But then, I'm not digging for dirt.

    You would have to be trying to take offense to be offended by things in it if they were understood. The problem is, will the things in it get a fair and balanced airing if it's just "out there"? Given the behavior of the press and others recently (e.g., Romney candidacy, FLDS, etc.), I'd say, probably not. If I were in the Church's position, I'd go after the copyright violators, too.

    Ask yourself this: Do the numerous positive statements in it get as much air time as the cherry-picked controversial ones? Why do you suppose that is?

    'nuff said.

  • Free Agent
    May 14, 2008 8:12 p.m.

    Anyone who considers reading that manual a source of entertainment needs to get out more.

  • photographer
    May 14, 2008 8:06 p.m.

    Did you know that a photographer has the legal rights to the photograph and not the person IN the photograph? I have seen my personal property posted on the internet by those who have purchased a copy of my print but not the copyright. People steal others property all the time and it is NOT RIGHT! Music? Movies? ALL belong to someone and we are stealing if we are not paying for it. What a bunch of theifs!

  • respect the law
    May 14, 2008 8:06 p.m.

    A belife of the LDS church is that its members should uphold the laws of the land. Does it make the church controlling just because they expect the same respect in return? The LDS church owns the copyrights to the handbook plain and simple. Is it now to much to ask that citizens of this country respect the laws of the land? I have a hard time understanding why so many people are so quick to defend disrespectful and illegal behavior.

  • Its Copyrighted
    May 14, 2008 8:04 p.m.

    Whether it is an LDS handbook or anyone elses, it was a copyrighted document. Websites like Wikipedia and its affiliates must use good judgement and obey law when it comes to these things. For "whats the big secret..", if you want to know the policies, take the time to sit down with a bishop or stake president. They should be more then happy to share what they can.

  • tjtibbs
    May 14, 2008 7:49 p.m.

    Copyright, I think, doesn't work once hundreds and maybe thousands already have access to it. In reality, it's there for us to read, archive, poke fun with, e-mail to friends, etc. The copyright has nothing to do with those of us who already have it. Unless, of course, we try to sell it. I've had the Handbook for several years, and so have those friends to whom I sent it.

    Content: I find it amusing and, a bit, sorrowful. Such an admission of control. And, in my view, that's what the Mormon church is about: control.

  • Whats the big secret this time?
    May 14, 2008 7:38 p.m.

    Yawn!!!! And the problem is??? This is just another instance of the LDS Churchs need to control every aspect of not only its members but also what others may want to see. If I were investigating the Church, in any aspect, then I would be very interested to know what the Churchs policies and procedures were. And why not???
    In my mind I think that the Church should be very happy to let the world know all about its operations, opinions and beliefs!

  • Just one member
    May 14, 2008 7:34 p.m.

    I think that the Church has every right to privacy and to keep outsiders from knowing about their religious policies. It's called freedom of religion!

  • One more question
    May 14, 2008 7:26 p.m.

    Doesn't this type of publicity usually backfire, by drawing more attention and interest to something that most people wouldn't really care about reading?

  • Help me understand
    May 14, 2008 7:25 p.m.

    Why the secrecy? Does it really matter if people know what's in the book? Isn't it just a book of guidelines on how to handle various situations?

    Also, I thought copyrights were to protect a person's right to make money from their product. The handbook isn't a "moneymaker" is it?

    Why get so worked up about something that many claim is available on the internet already from several other sources?

  • What???
    May 14, 2008 7:00 p.m.


    This is looking more and more like a business and less and less like the restoration of the gospel. My goodness why can't we share are texts, I think that is what Jesus would do. The church is too caught up in the modern day and has lost most perspective on this front and business actions like this will further distance the little credibility we still have with the larger community. Just sad and not an action taken at a good time as the church is already in peril!

  • Job
    May 14, 2008 6:37 p.m.

    Just like the BYU choir should have done before they sang Disney songs, right?

  • sb
    May 14, 2008 6:26 p.m.

    It's not so much what is being posted as it is a matter of copyrighted material. Those wishing to use the material no doubt just need to get permission just like with any other copyrighted material.

  • Anonymous
    May 14, 2008 6:17 p.m.

    My dear Mormon brothers and sisters.
    Since you insist in going mainstream -
    Get used to the scrutiny and expose.

  • tjtibbs
    May 14, 2008 6:15 p.m.

    What's the point? Do a Google and you can find tons of Handbook sites. I got several complete handbooks stored in my computer. And, I'm not an LDS bishop. Not even LDS.