Freedom Foundation and JZK, Inc. Settle Lawsuit

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The lawsuit between the Freedom Foundation and JZK, Inc. has been dismissed.

Last May, JZK, Inc. sued the Freedom Foundation, a right-leaning Olympia think-tank formerly known as the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, its employee Glen Morgan, and his wife, Lauren Morgan, in U.S. District court.

JZK, Inc. argued in court documents that Morgan and the Freedom Foundation violated Knight’s copyright when Morgan gave the Thurston County Board of Commissioners DVDs with excerpts of an event at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment that was streamed online.

The video contained footage of Knight, while purportedly channeling 35,000-year-old Lemurian warrior Ramtha, making disparaging remarks about Catholics, Mexicans, gays and Jewish people. The school contended the video was taken out of context.

In April, the Freedom Foundation approached the company, owned by JZ Knight, about a settlement, and the company agreed, according to David Dewhirst of the Freedom Foundation.

Each party decided to pay its own attorney’s fees, Dewhirst said.

“Our thinking is we suspect they realized they would never be able to prove their claims,” Dewhirst said. “Even if they proved some kind of copyright claim, they could never overcome the fair use we obviously have on usage of videos.”

Mike Wright, of JZK, Inc., however, said the company would be able to file another lawsuit if the foundation released more of the company’s videos.

There was some back and forth, but Wright said the foundation agreed not to disseminate the company’s material anymore.

“I think we had a strong case still and that their position that they were reporting the news and were using fair use didn’t stand up,” he said.

It was a weak argument that decisions from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Supreme Court didn’t support, he said.

“I think they know quite certainly if they ever disseminate our material without permission, we will go back in a court action,” he said.

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