Church Claims Copyright Infringement Over Insider Handbook
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|Move over Scientology.... the Wikimedia Foundation has received a copyright infringement claim from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon Church or LDS Church, in reference to documents leaked entitled "Copy of handbook for leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". |
The Wikinews article, originally published on April 19, described material in the Church Handbook of Instructions. The work is a two-volume book of policies and is a guide for leaders of the Mormon Church. "...the book is strictly confidential among the Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka LDS in short form) bishops and stake presidents and it reveals the procedure of handling confidential matters related to tithing payment, excommunication, baptism and doctrine teaching (indoctrination)."
The material was released on the Wikileaks website on April 16, and according to the site was first made available on the document sharing website Scribd. A message at Scribd now states: "This content was removed at the request of copyright agent B. S. Broadbent of the Intellectual Property Division of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
On May 5, the Wikimedia Foundation received a copyright infringement claim from Intellectual Reserve, Inc., the legal entity that owns the intellectual property of the Mormon Church. The infringement claim is addressed to Jimmy Wales, the designated agent of the Wikimedia Foundation, and requests that access to the link to Wikileaks be removed. The link was removed from the article on May 5 by a Wikinews administrator, and the article remains available without the link. The infringement claim was sent by Berne S. Broadbent, president of Intellectual Reserve, Inc. and director of the Intellectual Property Division of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to Mike Godwin, general counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, the Mormon Church has not filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice with the foundation.
Church Handbook of Instructions (formerly the General Handbook of Instructions) is a two-volume book of instructions and policies for leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The books are prepared by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the church and are distributed to the LDS Church's worldwide lay leadership. Along with the standard works, the Church Handbook stands as the preeminent guide for the leaders of the LDS Church.
Here are a few tidbits from the book:
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly referred to as the "Mormon Church") confidential Church Handbook of instructions (1999). The handbook reveals the procedure of handling confidential matters related to tithing payment, excommunication, baptism and doctrine teaching (indoctrination). The book is not generally available for normal members.
Persons Who Are Considering or Have Undergone a Transsexual Operation
Persons who are considering an elective transsexual operation should not be baptized. Persons who have already undergone an elective transsexual operation may be baptized if they are otherwise found worthy in an interview with the mission president or a priesthood leader he assigns. Such persons may not receive the priesthood or a temple recommend.
Surrogate motherhood is strongly discouraged.
Surgical Sterilization (Including Vasectomy)
The Church strongly discourages surgical sterilization as an elective form of birth control. It should be considered only if (1) medical conditions seriously jeopardize life or health or (2) birth defects or serious trauma have rendered a person mentally incompetent and not responsible for his or her actions. Such conditions must be determined by competent medical judgment and in accordance with law. Even then, the persons responsible for this decision should consult with each other and with their bishop and should receive divine confirmation of their decision through prayer.
The donation of sperm is strongly discouraged.
The use of hypnosis under competent, professional medical supervision for the treatment of diseases or mental disorders is a medical question to be determined by competent medical authorities. Members should not participate in hypnosis for purposes of demonstration or entertainment.
Name Removal and Church Discipline
If a member requests name removal and a bishop or stake president has evidence of transgression that warrants convening a disciplinary council, he should not act on the request until Church discipline has been imposed or he has concluded that no disciplinary council will be held. Name removal should not be used as a substitute for or alternative to Church discipline. If a member requests name removal and a bishop or stake president suspects transgression but lacks sufficient evidence to convene a disciplinary council, the request for name removal may be approved. Any evidence of unresolved transgressions should be noted on the Report of Administrative Action form so priesthood leaders may resolve such matters if the individual
applies for readmission into the Church.