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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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18/06/2008 5:06 pm  

This thread is intended for discussion of the following News item by Frater HB of the OTO:

http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/Article1069.phtml

Here is an extract from the News item for context.

UK TRADEMARK CASE

I am happy to report that OTO has prevailed against Starfire Publishing Ltd.'s opposition to our trademarks for "OTO" and "O.T.O." in the United Kingdom. In her decision of June 8, Anna Carbone, the Appointed Person hearing OTO's appeal, found in favor of OTO, overturning a previous decision in favor of Starfire. OTO's registrations of the marks "OTO" and "O.T.O." are now proceeding normally in the UK, joining our previous registrations of "Ordo Templi Orientis" and the OTO Lamen. Under UK law, there can be no further appeal of a decision by an Appointed Person, in either the Trademark Registry or High Court.

Ms. Carbone overturned the previous decision on the necessary points of law, as is required for any successful appeal. She also rejected the opposition's argument that "OTO" was a descriptive term for a religion that was in widespread use. She accepted our position that "OTO" was merely the initials of the name of a religious organization. She found our prior use of the mark "OTO" on publications to be brand and mark of origin use compatible with trade mark use. She clearly understood that our steps to protect our trademark through registration came from our belief that we are the only legitimate organization entitled to do so. Her decision was made on technical points of law and not evidence, though she did read all of our evidence and had recourse to it from time to time. She did not, therefore, rule on the validity of our historical legitimacy, but she did cite our belief respectfully more than once.

This litigation was not one we initiated -- these were proceedings brought against us by Starfire acting on behalf of Kenneth Grant's spurious OTO organization, with support from organizations led or founded by other expelled or resigned OTO members, such as Albion OTO and OTO Foundation. These groups would be well advised to find another name. We were merely filing a routine maintenance trademark. Now, having provoked us, they can reasonably expect enforcement proceedings from us if they do not stop appropriating our name, initials and lamen.

All that said, I bear no personal animus against the opposition. I consider Michael Staley, in other circumstances, to be a friend of long standing.

US COPYRIGHT CASE

OTO filed suit in US Federal Court in Southern California against Focus Features, NBC Universal and Vivendi for copyright infringement in connection with the appropriation of images from the Thoth Tarot cards to promote the Woody Allen film "Scoop," where they were used on the poster, DVD packaging and in the press kits. The case has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. Under the terms of the agreement, the details of the settlement are confidential. This was a significant legal case, since OTO took on the world's largest media conglomerate, represented by the best law firm in Hollywood. We have long taken on corporations many times our size before, e.g. Simon and Schuster, Doubleday and Harper and Row, but NBC Universal Vivendi is many, many times larger and more powerful than all these combined.

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ianrons
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18/06/2008 5:33 pm  

Not being a Woody Allen buff I wasn't aware of "Scoop". For those interested, here is one version of the offending poster.


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 Anonymous
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18/06/2008 5:40 pm  

I get a 'referral denied' message Ian...is it my settings or a bad link or something? I'd like to see this poster. I wasn't aware of it either.

Thanks!


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 Anonymous
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18/06/2008 5:52 pm  

The word spurious:

spu·ri·ous
Pronunciation: ˈspyu̇r-ē-əs
Function: adjective
Etymology: Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin spurius false, from Latin, of illegitimate birth, from spurius, noun, bastard
Date: 1598
1: of illegitimate birth : bastard
2: outwardly similar or corresponding to something without having its genuine qualities : false
3 a: of falsified or erroneously attributed origin : forged b: of a deceitful nature or quality
— spu·ri·ous·ly adverb
— spu·ri·ous·ness noun

Frater HB's bizarre description of the Typhonian OTO as such, comes across has a bit ill advised. And it comes across as character assassination, more than any legal term. And trying to make the Caliphate appear to be the victim of legal plots is a bit far fetched considering the Caliphate's own legal history.


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the_real_simon_iff
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18/06/2008 5:54 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
Not being a Woody Allen buff I wasn't aware of "Scoop".

93!

And congrats on this. The "Skoop" press team must have had some bad nights. And of course, the film has nothing to do at all with the Thoth cards. The press team obviously just thought it a good idea to advertise a "magic" theme with these cards - well, it wasn't. I hope the media trust had to share generously....

Love=Law
Lutz

P.S. Not one of Woody's best, by the way...


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the_real_simon_iff
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18/06/2008 6:04 pm  
"hawthornrussell" wrote:
Frater HB's bizarre description of the Typhonian OTO as such, comes across has a bit ill advised. And it comes across as character assassination, more than any legal term.

93!

Sorry to say this, but as a neutral observer I think that 3a) seems to be fitting without any personal attack - at least following the trademark judgement. I personally also think that it is a good idea that the Typhonian OTO now has to call itself always "Typhonian OTO" and not simply "OTO" - that seems not so bad to me - or is it now forbidden to use "OTO" at all?

Love=Law
Lutz


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 Anonymous
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18/06/2008 6:42 pm  

I see a new Llewellyn book in the future: "The Magick of Lawyers."


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spike418
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18/06/2008 7:14 pm  

Words fail me so I will let the Angel Groucho speak on my behalf....

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.

👿


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the_real_simon_iff
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18/06/2008 7:14 pm  
"Poelzig" wrote:
I see a new Llewellyn book in the future: "The Magick of Lawyers."

So you think the Caliphate are the better magicians?


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 Anonymous
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18/06/2008 7:21 pm  

I was being sarcastic. I think it is all stupid.


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Montvid
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18/06/2008 7:46 pm  

Well, Simon, I don't want to dissapoint you but I understand the article says that "OTO" as in "Ordo Templi Orientis" can't be used anymore. So only "Typhonian" and "Albion" should be left I you don't want to be sued.
Now let's make a tour and find other meanings the old organisations could use by the letters O.T.O.! My bet is on
Ordo Typhon Orientis!


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 Anonymous
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18/06/2008 7:50 pm  

In the caliphate line, how long did the OTO exist only on paper in a drawer before being "revived" after the rituals and documents had been published? And if I'm not mistaken, wasn't one of their "sanctions" from Regardie who had exactly ZERO connection to the original OTO aside from knowing Crowley?


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ianrons
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18/06/2008 7:56 pm  

Kym -- not sure about that. Try going to the imdb site and searching for "Scoop".

Lutz -- I haven't researched this properly nor do I have any specialist knowledge, but from the indications given in the judgment, for the marks to be infringed it would first be necessary for a potential infringer to be using it "in the course of trade". It also has to be in or similar to the relevant classes:

Class 9: Printed publications in electronic readable form.
Class 16: Printed matter; printed publications, books, stationery.
Class 41: Instruction, education and training services all relating to religion and religious matters.

Usage for other classes could also be prevented; e.g., if somebody launched a product using the "Virgin" brand, it wouldn't matter what class it was under because Virgin is so well known that the new company would effectively be trading off the Virgin brand reputation, regardless of what they were selling. However, with the OTO trademarks, because OTO is virtually unknown outside of occult circles, we are talking about a much narrower area of "trade".

The names "Typhonian OTO" and "Albion OTO" could not, in my opinion, be anything other than infringing usages of the trademark "OTO". The fact that the Typhonians apparently don't charge for initiations doesn't seem like much of a defence -- the terms "accrual of goodwill" and "trademark dilution" spring to mind, but I haven't found a good interpretation of the Act in relation to the phrase "in the course of trade".

If, however, someone could find a use of the name "OTO" which is merely "descriptive", then they might get away with it. I struggle to imagine such a usage which would not also indicate the organisation OTO and hence its trademark, or at least be sufficiently confusing under s.10(2) of the Act to make it an infringement.

In reality, though, OTO now have a firm and solid means of preventing any usage of the name "OTO" in relation to printed or online publications, or religious training (etc.). As pointed out by Ms. Carboni, this does not relate solely to "occult" material, but could be anything including cookery books or whatever.

Poelzig -- re: your comment on "magick of lawyers". With any kind of magick, one must use the right tool for the job. It's no good appealing to "Inner Heads" and "Secret Chiefs". For the 30 or 40 people who are adversely affected by this (as distinct from the roughly 3000 members of OTO), it's tough luck but really they have no cause to complain -- Grant, Curley, Rietti and Koenig all took oaths to OTO and then turned their back on it and tried to set up rival groups. Mr. Staley (who, to be clear, never took any such oath) prepared with his barrister a good case, but in the end it wasn't sufficient. Hopefully this will put an end to the bickering that has been such a cause for dissent in recent years -- let's face it, the alternative outcome would merely have stoked the flames.

Montvid -- re: "Ordo Typhon Orientis", unfortunately this and similar names (like "Ordo Templariorum Orientis") are too similar in practice.

Poelzig -- re: Regardie, IIRC he was a IX but resigned. I don't have it to hand, but he printed the certificate at the end of The Eye in the Triangle, didn't he? The McMurtry OTO is legitimate (in the legal sense) from Reuss, regardless of what Koenig or anyone else likes to pretend. Regardie isn't really relevant. The matter is discussed elsewhere in the Crowley Copyright thread.


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 Anonymous
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18/06/2008 8:33 pm  

I thought the certificate in the back of EIT was Crowley's.

I don't have my copy handy or I'd look it up.

I was always under the impression that Regardie was never an actual member of the OTO.


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 Anonymous
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18/06/2008 8:34 pm  

93 hawthornrussell,

"hawthornrussell" wrote:
The word spurious:

spu·ri·ous
Pronunciation: ˈspyu̇r-ē-əs
Function: adjective
Etymology: Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin spurius false, from Latin, of illegitimate birth, from spurius, noun, bastard
Date: 1598
1: of illegitimate birth : bastard
2: outwardly similar or corresponding to something without having its genuine qualities : false
3 a: of falsified or erroneously attributed origin : forged b: of a deceitful nature or quality
— spu·ri·ous·ly adverb
— spu·ri·ous·ness noun

Frater HB's bizarre description of the Typhonian OTO as such, comes across has a bit ill advised. And it comes across as character assassination, more than any legal term. And trying to make the Caliphate appear to be the victim of legal plots is a bit far fetched considering the Caliphate's own legal history.

"Spurious" is perhaps an unfortunate choice of words, as it is not made in the interest of general diplomacy.

I tend to look at this issue from the perspective of the earnest new seeker after "Aleister Crowley's OTO." With the present situation, confusion is very likely.

The Typhonian OTO, which has identified itself as OTO for some length of time, is clearly not "Aleister Crowley's OTO," by its own description. It is "beyond" or "other than" that.

The outcome of the legal resolution of this controversy has always seemed inevitable to me.

93 93/93
Camlion


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Palamedes
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18/06/2008 8:47 pm  

One thing I never understood was Grant's continuing use of the name OTO, in the light of his almost total change and reinterpretation of its teaching. To my mind he has clearly created a completely new Order and I can't see why is there a reason to insist that this is Crowley's OTO, except in the sense suggested by Dave Evans: Crowley's baraka. It appears that Crowley's name, associated with OTO, provides a good pedigree. But I am still puzzled. After all, Martin Luther did not continue to call his brand of Christianity the Catholic Church, although in fact there is much more similarity between Lutheran and Catholic Church than between Crowley's OTO and Grant's Typhonian Order. The latter two are two very different things and they should not be called by the same name.

The above does not in any way argue anything against Kenneth Grant and his followers nor against the validity of his magical system and Order. I think that the man is a genius and that his Order is worthy and genuine - in everything, except the name. The latter was and is creating unnecessary confusion.


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ianrons
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18/06/2008 8:53 pm  

The outcome of the legal resolution of this controversy has always seemed inevitable to me.

Maybe, but in the end it was much more one-sided than I think anyone was expecting. And in any case, whilst the OTO v. Motta judgment seems like it couldn't have gone the other way, I expect it didn't seem that way to McMurtry! Incidentally, nobody has said this yet, but this verdict is IMO of the same magnitude as McMurtry's victory.


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Palamedes
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18/06/2008 9:14 pm  
"Poelzig" wrote:
I was always under the impression that Regardie was never an actual member of the OTO.

Wasn't his OTO name 'Serpens'?


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
19/06/2008 12:50 am  

I am saddened by this.

To write frankly the impression I get is simply this: the Caliphate operates simply as a moneymaking corporation protecting their monetary interests.

A question arises: what are the leaders of the Caliphate thinking? Are they just mercenary capitalists, or do they indeed consider themselves to be serving another, for lack of a better term, spiritual agenda?

Is there publicly available any kind of money flow chart for the caliphate?

So, now the Typhonian O T O will not be allowed to call itself O T O. That is sort of weird. Especially considering the evidence of the other year that perhaps indeed it was this branch of the O T O that Crowley authorized to carry on with the work. (I am of course refering to that weird letter).

Sad, sad, sad that brittish law (and american law ... but then one is more used to american law always serving the one with the most monetas as per the dictum "serve the money shall be the whole of the law") simply judges ... how shall i put this .. because it isn't that they judge in favour of the caliphate which bothers me ... but that they judge against other OTO:s

What do the members of the caliphate think? Is this legitimate according to you?

Well, well.
c u round
n


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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19/06/2008 12:52 am  

I'm rather excited about the updates on progress on "Confessions" and the appointment of Stephen King as editor of an unabridged "Magick Without Tears" - his editing of "Legend" was really rather impressive.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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 Anonymous
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Posts: 0
19/06/2008 1:36 am  
"adonia444" wrote:
I get a 'referral denied' message Ian...is it my settings or a bad link or something? I'd like to see this poster. I wasn't aware of it either.

Thanks!


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
19/06/2008 3:27 am  

Thank you 666TSAEB. I was just wondering if the link was bad for everyone or just me. I tend to have constant computer issues though so I should have just figured as much. Goblins or something, who knows. Anyway, I did manage to look it up all by myself after I posted but thanks anyway, that was very kind of you. 🙂

93 93/93
K


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 Anonymous
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19/06/2008 4:00 am  
"ianrons" wrote:

The outcome of the legal resolution of this controversy has always seemed inevitable to me.

Maybe, but in the end it was much more one-sided than I think anyone was expecting. And in any case, whilst the OTO v. Motta judgment seems like it couldn't have gone the other way, I expect it didn't seem that way to McMurtry! Incidentally, nobody has said this yet, but this verdict is IMO of the same magnitude as McMurtry's victory.

That case is a moot case considering it wasn't a lawsuit to determine if which OTO was the true OTO but which held a copyright that neither had a claim to at that point! See the Naylor/Symonds case for what I mean. The CA trial is a joke anyway.


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 Anonymous
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19/06/2008 5:36 am  

unrelated: in the movie 'romperstomper' with russell crow, if you look close in one particular scene his girlfriend is laying out thoth cards.


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 Anonymous
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19/06/2008 9:03 am  

Forgive me for my ignorance Lashtal but is that the same Stephen King famed for his horror books? 🙂


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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19/06/2008 9:10 am  

No - different one. Although if it was the one you're thinking of that would certainly help the sales of Crowley books!

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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 Anonymous
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19/06/2008 9:31 am  

As an ex-member of TOTO, I am indeed saddened by this outcome. Grant was using the name OTO long before McMurtry popped up again, so I'm sure even he must feel a little miffed by all this. I do note that Breeze does admit however, that the appeal was granted on a technical point of law, and not on their claims to historical legitimacy. Of course, COTO members won't care about that, a win is a win, they'll say. But to my mind, that's not a "real" win. It's a bit like winning the London Marathon, but only because all the other runners were disqualified; still doesn't make you the best runner.
And for Breeze to say the litigation wasn't instigated by them is disingenuous to say the least: Starfire's action was a preemptive strike: TOTO had received a number of prior threats, and had Starfire not instigated the action, a reverse action would have soon been forthcoming. So the battle was inevitable from the moment COTO registered the trademarks: why else would they?
It was Starfire/TOTO that was cornered, and fighting for the right to continue using the name they've been using since the mid-1950's, as opposed to an organisation that had only been using the name since the mid-1970's. Still, I'm sure they'll just carry on doing their thing, under whatever name comes up.

Regardless of this outcome COTO are, like all the rest of us, a modern revival. They only won this case because they registered the name OTO as a trademark before anyone else did, just like they only won the copyright case because they thought of buying it before anyone else did, and not because they are an unbroken continuity from Crowley's original OTO. Not that that will stop them claiming that, of course:) The waffle about Virgin and cookery books is rubbish: of course it doesn't apply. There are other organisations across the globe using the intials OTO, none of which have anything to do with religious or occult matters (an auto traders springs to mind, for one). COTO cannot sue these, as there would be no confusion. Virgin would be able to, because the Virgin group of companies is so diverse that confusion could possibly arise. But Virgin and COTO are hardly similar (except perhaps in age).

Membership: there are considerably more active members in one camp, and considerably less active members in the other, than the instances quoted. It's been demonstrated before, and admitted by a IX degree member, that COTO counts everyone who ever joined as a "member", whether they are still a member or not, whether they are active or not, and have even massaged the figures by counting grades rather than actual heads, so someone who was once a Minerval but has moved up is still counted amongst the Minervals, as well as being counted amongst their higher grade. Only sheep are impressed by the size of the flock.

Noxlux, sorry to disappoint you, but the document you're referring to was merely a hoax, and shouldn't be taken seriously.


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 Anonymous
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19/06/2008 10:51 am  

The idea that you can copyright initials is wrong, else why do we have the AA - Automobile Association, Alcoholics Anonymous etc etc. As far as I read it, the caliphate can call themselves "The OTO" but that doesn't stop, say, the Albion OTO calling itself "The Albion OTO" since the name is complete in itself, but we'll see.


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 Anonymous
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19/06/2008 11:06 am  

I agree with Alastrum that it must be an issue of trademark. The same thing occured with the symbol of chaos which Michael Moorcock thought and designed in the early 60's (for one of his Elric of Melnibone novels), then it was used by occult groups, gaming companies e.t.c. till sometime in the 80's, when Games Worksop registered it as a trademark and Mr. Moorcock never won the case in the court.

The main point though is who tries to get the 93 current a step ahead and not just recycle the same stuff all over again. In view of that, I'd cast my vote with Mr. Grant's Ordo (This doesn't mean that I do not recognise the important work done by some COTO members).


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 Anonymous
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19/06/2008 11:49 am  
"lashtal" wrote:
She did not, therefore, rule on the validity of our historical legitimacy.

Oh good. Then the description of the Typhonian OTO as a "spurious OTO organanisation" could conceivably be libellous.


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 Anonymous
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19/06/2008 11:50 am  

I just found this on the BBC's website, and thought it rather apposite to this thread:

"I used to be a litigation lawyer and I used to maintain that there were at least six versions of the truth: 1) what your client genuinely believed was the truth; 2) what the documents suggested to me was most likely to be the truth; 3) what the client on the other side genuinely believed was the truth; 4) what the documents suggested to the lawyer on the other side was most likely to be the truth; 5) what the judge would decide the truth had been on the basis of everything before him or her; and, lastly and almost least importantly, 6) what the truth actually was!"


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 Anonymous
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19/06/2008 12:44 pm  

Maybe now Thelemites can put this to bed and actually get on with the real work.


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 Anonymous
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19/06/2008 1:29 pm  

It seems that this case ruling is analogous to claiming that the O.T.O. has violated the Registered Trademark of Bass Ale for using the triangle in their lamen, and it's about as ridiculous...


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the_real_simon_iff
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19/06/2008 1:50 pm  

93!

What I don't understand is why there are so many people who think that doing something solely for copyright/monetary reasons is a bad thing. Wouldn't it be a lot more outrageous if the lawsuit had been about who is the "real" OTO? Okay, maybe it would have been cooler if every organization could use the word OTO to its liking, but it would also be cool to see for example Grant's or Bertiaux' work in cheap paperback editions, but this is unfortunately not a perfect world, so why complain about it? I sincerely hope that after a while everybody can appreciate that if one talks about let's say "The Official Organ of the OTO" you don't have to expect a "Which one?" or a "That's not the real one!". You then have the OTO, the Typhonian Templars, the Albion Templars and what not, all of them working more or less on some Reuss/Crowley-OTO-based systems, and internally everybody can still think "But we are the real one!" or "They are the illegitemate ones!" - if really anybody who thinks about the origins of this order can put any value on that, apart from copyright/monetary reasons I mean. As someone who is not affiliated with any of these orders I really welcome this chance for "peace".

Love=Law
Lutz


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lashtal
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19/06/2008 2:26 pm  
"Alastrum" wrote:
It's been demonstrated before, and admitted by a IX degree member, that COTO counts everyone who ever joined as a "member", whether they are still a member or not, whether they are active or not, and have even massaged the figures by counting grades rather than actual heads, so someone who was once a Minerval but has moved up is still counted amongst the Minervals, as well as being counted amongst their higher grade.

"Demonstrated" by who, Alastrum? I'd be very interested in your evidence for the allegations in this paragraph.

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LAShTAL


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joe93
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19/06/2008 3:25 pm  

"Spurious"?! No amount of heavy handed Rumpole can obscure where the real creative Current is coming from in this argument. Picking on nerds with specs [i.e. Woody] is a good way to draw attention from the fact that they don't seem to be able to create anything as extraordinary as K.G's Typhonian Trilogies etc.
Still, I'm looking forward to the new edition of The Confessions; doubtless featuring their beloved Logo™ all over the shop... Bah! 😕


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 Anonymous
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19/06/2008 4:06 pm  

Paul,

Back when I had a relatively minor role both in Starfire and TOTO, I used to get a lot of emails from quite senior COTO members: there used to be a lot more dialogue than outsiders tend to think. Many of these members (and by senior, I mean up to and including ninth degree) would express sympathy with us, and Grant's work, and bemoan the fact that their great and mighty leader seemed hell-bent on involving the Order in legal battles instead of just living and letting live. These individuals told us many things about various inner workings and goings on and shenanigans: it would have made my hair curl if I had any left:) And yes, some of that info included "evidence", as you call it. Naturally, these people, although they didn't like the way Breeze ran things, stayed on in the hope of better times ahead, and devotion and loyalty to one's Order is something I can respect, even if I don't agree with what that Order does. These individuals asked me not to divulge their names publicly, as several outspoken critics of the Grand Master Beta's regime had already been expelled or sidelined, and these individuals didn't want to suffer the same fate.
So I'm sure you'll understand when I say I prefer to honour my pledge of silence, and even though I'm no longer connected to TOTO, I don't believe that frees me from my obligation, as to the best of my current knowledge, they are still senior members of COTO.


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 Anonymous
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19/06/2008 4:17 pm  

93 Lutz,

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
93!

What I don't understand is why there are so many people who think that doing something solely for copyright/monetary reasons is a bad thing. Wouldn't it be a lot more outrageous if the lawsuit had been about who is the "real" OTO? Okay, maybe it would have been cooler if every organization could use the word OTO to its liking, but it would also be cool to see for example Grant's or Bertiaux' work in cheap paperback editions, but this is unfortunately not a perfect world, so why complain about it? I sincerely hope that after a while everybody can appreciate that if one talks about let's say "The Official Organ of the OTO" you don't have to expect a "Which one?" or a "That's not the real one!". You then have the OTO, the Typhonian Templars, the Albion Templars and what not, all of them working more or less on some Reuss/Crowley-OTO-based systems, and internally everybody can still think "But we are the real one!" or "They are the illegitemate ones!" - if really anybody who thinks about the origins of this order can put any value on that, apart from copyright/monetary reasons I mean. As someone who is not affiliated with any of these orders I really welcome this chance for "peace".

Love=Law
Lutz

As a fellow 'independent,' I agree. I don't think its so much about money, either, but about avoiding confusion, as I noted above. There is really not that much money involved, after all, but there can be a great deal of confusion.

By way of my own example: In the early seventies, Man, Myth and Magic was published as a magazine in the USA. On the editorial board sat Kenneth Grant, presented as "the worldwide head of the OTO." However, in Francis King's The Rites of Modern Occult Magic published in the USA around the same time, was the account of Grant's expulsion from OTO by Germer in 1955, "withdrawing all authority to work a Camp, Lodge or Temple of the OTO." The result: Confusion. There were still the Swiss, then McMurtry and Motta... Confusion. Fortunately, there was the message of Thelema itself to serve as an anchor, and I sought calmer seas in which to navigate the way of my Will.

Today, in the interest of new inquirers, I welcome the enforced clarity with regard to the use of the word "OTO." I also very much appreciate the value of Grant's work, and that of the many of the other players in this controversy over the years.

93 93/93
Camlion


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5326
19/06/2008 4:23 pm  
"Alastrum" wrote:
These individuals asked me not to divulge their names publicly, as several outspoken critics of the Grand Master Beta's regime had already been expelled or sidelined, and these individuals didn't want to suffer the same fate.

Ah, I see.

No evidence available to scrutiny, then. Not that you're obliged to provide any, of course: it's just that I've never heard this rumour recounted in such unequivocal terms before.

And just to reiterate: I'm not a member of any Thelemic organisations (although I was, briefly, a member of what you we're currently calling TOTO in the early eighties) and LAShTAL.COM is entirely impartial and non-partisan in such matters.

Interesting times...

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
19/06/2008 4:34 pm  

I can't confirm anything else alleged, but I know when I was intitiated into the Caliphite OTO in the 80's it was explicitly told to me that once initiated you are a lifetime member of the OTO as long as you are in good standing (not kicked out), regardless of whether you pay dues or whether or not you maintain any communication or participation.

At the time of my involvement there was another individual who had been I* but out of the loop for MANY years - he renewed his dues and was promptly initiated into the II*.

So; if everyone who cycles through the initiation loop is counted as active members, it will not reflect the number of ACTUAL active participating members.

I may still be counted as a member, even though I have not had any contact with the order since 1989, no longer consider myself a member of the order, and no longer consider myself a "thelemite."


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4064
19/06/2008 4:44 pm  

My thanks to Bill Breeze for his remarks, and for the reiteration of friendship. I emailed Bill several evenings ago to offer my formal congratulations - albeit through gritted teeth - but would like to make my own comments, both on some points raised in his statement and some general remarks on this trademark case.

It is not quite the case that, as Bill alleges, Starfire brought proceedings against OTO Inc. We merely exercised our right to lodge with the Trademark Registry our opposition to a trademark application that we believed to be invalid. As a matter of fact, it is only in the course of opposition proceedings that a trademark application is subjected to anything other than a cursory examination. Neither is it the case, as Bill clearly believes, that we were acting on behalf of the Typhonian O.T.O., an organisation that has no existence as a legal entity. Starfire was acting on its own behalf.

I note the reference to the Typhonian O.T.O. as spurious, but I believe it tb be no more spurious than, for instance, the McMurtry OTO. There is no direct lineal descent from Germer to anyone, with the possible exception of the Swiss O.T.O. Thus, though a variety of people assert that OTO Inc is the sole legitimate O.T.O., I fear that they may have done so in error.

Whether or not groups other than OTO Inc continue to operate in the UK in the wake of this decision remains to be seen. A trademark being by definition a mark used in the course of trade, it might not be a straightforward matter. Paragraph 124 of the decision is pertinent, and I quote for those perhaps not familiar with the detail:

"Appeal Hearing Officer" wrote:
What of the argument that the Applicant will be obtaining a monopoly right that
could be used to prevent the Opponent and others from using the term OTO? In the
first place, it is not clear that the Applicant would be able to do so. The Act affords
various defences that might apply. In the first place, the use of OTO as the name of
an organisation may not amount to “use in the course of trade” or use “in relation to
goods or services” as required by the infringement provisions in section 10.
Secondly, there may be a descriptive use defence under section 11(2)(b) of the Act.
(While I have held that the Marks are not descriptive of the goods and services for
which the Applicant is seeking trade mark protection, that does not preclude the
possibility that in certain circumstances the name OTO might be used descriptively
by others.) Thirdly, there might be a defence based on earlier use in a particular
locality under section 11(3). I say nothing about the merits of any such defence in a
given situation, but I mention them because I do not think it is right to assume, as the
Opponent claims, that neither it nor Albion OTO nor the OTOF would be able to use
the name OTO again once the Marks were registered by the Applicant.

Of course, this opinion is littered with caveats, and I shall not be taking any particular course of action based upon it. But there may be some braver souls than me out there.

It is my opinion that in years to come, this Appeal decision will be seen as a watershed in the history of the O.T.O., with radical and far-reaching implications. In the meantime, though, I should like to thank those people who aided this Opposition with Witness Statements. I would also like to thank from the bottom of my heart those many people who offered us their support in the several years that it has taken for this matter to be resolved.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1836
19/06/2008 7:14 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
It is my opinion that in years to come, this Appeal decision will be seen as a watershed in the history of the O.T.O., with radical and far-reaching implications.

93, Michael!

Watersheds and radical changes can of course be "good" as well as "bad" things. Do you think that this will be in review a "good" or a "bad" day in OTO history? And are you talking about the "new and only OTO" history or the histories of all OTO derivates? As I said, for an outsider this decision might finally bring some kind of "peace", but how do insiders think? Someone said this is all about money and copyrights, if this is true, would there be any radical inner changes by this re-labelling?

Thanks in advance
Love=Law
Lutz


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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1836
19/06/2008 7:25 pm  
"joe93" wrote:
Picking on nerds with specs [i.e. Woody] is a good way to draw attention from the fact that they don't seem to be able to create anything as extraordinary as K.G's Typhonian Trilogies etc.

93!

This is stupid I think. You are free to prefer your branch of OTO, but I am sure "your" branch would have also tried to milk the media industry had they used let's say some Steffi Grant artwork to promote their product. There are copyrights, like it or not, and sometimes these are held by someone you simply do not like.

"joe93" wrote:
Still, I'm looking forward to the new edition of The Confessions; doubtless featuring their beloved Logo™ all over the shop... Bah! 😕

That's a little hypocritical, isn't it? You simply can put a KG sticker over the logo, who by the way did not exactly remained anonymous when he published his edition of the Confessions.

Sometimes all this feels like Microsoft and Apple: their respective fans tend to give up all common sense.

Love=Law
Lutz


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Walterfive
(@walterfive)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 856
19/06/2008 8:16 pm  

Sethur666: 'Concievably libellous?" Hogwash! Concievably irrelevant, you mean. "Erroneously attributed origin" seems to fit hand in glove. Get over it, Mary.

The Party Line under HB is that Mr. Grant was expelled from the Order by Karl Germer in 1954. That's pretty specific and pretty well-established. Do your homework. If he used to dance with the Rockettes and was fired, would he have legal recourse to call his new chorus line "The Rockettes"? I think not. That would be (to put it kindly) 'erroneously attributed origin.'

I've nothing against Mr. Grant or the Typhonians, mind you. I'm proud to own the recent "Outside The Circles Of Time", "Carfax Monographs" and Spare book.

As far the bean-count debate over membership is concerned, be aware that Initiators in the Caliphate are told that beyond the Minerval Degree, initiation in the Man of Earth Triad creates a life-long and lasting link with the Order, and even if an individual stops paying their dues they are (normally) only considered to be "inactive" and may reassert their affiliation with the Order at time simply by becoming dues-current. The further one goes through the 1st -P.I., the more firm those bonds become by the nature of the oaths taken at each degree. With that in mind, I find the suggestion of 3000 person membership in the Caliph's O.T.O. to be entirely comprehensible, i.e. that between current active members and inactive M.O.E. initiates of 1st Degree or Higher there have been 3000 people initiated since 1976. Any suggestion otherwise I find rather disingenuous.

Alastrum: One can *call* any aggresive action "a pre-emptive strike." It remains the case that this lawsuit was not initiated by the Caliphate against the Typhonian O.T.O.

NoxLux: You ask "What do Caliphate members think of this?" Well, at least here in the U.S.A., you have to remember that the Caliphate is pretty much the only game in town for Thelema. Claims by Berrson or Eales or anyone else about S.O.T.O. exist only on websites and isolated pockets of seemingly very bitter freaks who can't get on with their lives and put the past behind them. The bile that we see spewed on various unmoderated Yahoo lists from supporters of would-be O.T.O.'s like last years alleged Isreal Regardie O.T.O. lineage suggest these people are cut of the coarsest cloth and from the dregs of trailer-park society. The Typhonians put out very nice books, but they don't have a presence "here" in the common conception. They don't have a Camp or Lodge in any State that I'm aware of, and certainly don't have operating and initiating bodies in dozens of cities and towns across the Country and around the World the way the (Caliphate) O.T.O does. So I hope you'll forgive the common perception here that the Caliphate O.T.O. is (or might as well be) the only O.T.O. That's the reality tunnel here in the States. That said, most Caliphate members are probably unsurprised at our victory in this and in all the other lawsuits that the Caliph has won, when we think about it at all; our track record in legal victories is very high according to our organization's publications and source announcements. Those claiming that these victories are "minor" or "meaningless" seem to many of us like Aesop's fox's complaint that "those grapes were probably sour anyway." Business matters are settled in the court of law every day, and "Lady Justice is blind." Complaining that she hasn't been provided with a seeing-eye dog is rather beside the point. Those matters have little if anything to do with our internal organization's operations of fellowship and fraternity, our oaths to each other, the bonds of brotherhood, or our raising our initiates to be Master Magicians.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
19/06/2008 9:02 pm  

the_real_simon_iff wrote,
Do you think that this will be in review a "good" or a "bad" day in OTO history? [As] I said, for an outsider this decision might finally bring some kind of "peace", but how do insiders think?

As an insider I think - and hope! - this was a good day for OTO. Crowley mentions OTO often - the Book of Thoth, MWT, all over the place. This decision makes it more likely over time that people seeking OTO based on Crowley's writings of it, will find us. There will be less confusion among querents as the other affected groups accomodate themselves to the ruling. I think Ian is right, and that this decision will enter our legal folklore, along with Motta and the rest.


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
Joined: 1 second ago
Posts: 0
19/06/2008 9:02 pm  

To me this is sad news. Whilst I am not a member of any OTO it has always been the Typhonian OTO and the work of Kenneth Grant that has inspired me the most. It is this work which has opened doorways which I find magically interesting and spiritually growing and whatever their future name they will always have my support and be in the place where my heart lies.

The die has very much been cast in a way which perhaps reflects our own personalities. The Calipate being very left brained has preserved Crowley's work and word to the letter and whilst perhaps there is an opinion that this organisation has been too commercial I do look forward to the new version of Confessions, not because it will replace the version Grant and Symonds worked on, but because it will complement it.

The Typhonian OTO however is very right brained and (to me at least) energises the current of magic from our mythological past through to our present being. I feel this is important because whilst Crowley's input is massive, he is dead and gone and for the current to live we need the work of people like Kenneth Grant to bring it into our times and make it part of our mythology, our own magickal paths.

I do wish we could all work together on the work however because both "sides" have a lot to offer and we shouldn't really be opposing each other at all. I dont believe that issues such as money, trademarks or having an OTO inc should override the work of our very souls.

Best Wishes

Paolo


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
19/06/2008 9:13 pm  

Paul,
No need to provide evidence, even if my pledge allowed me to, firstly because it's not really a major legal issue how the COTO "big themselves up", as you young folk put it, and secondly because others here have already confirmed it now. I just wanted to correct those who proudly crow about 3000 members, when the real truth is that there have been 3000 people who happened to join since 1976/7. If the TOTO counted all their members in the same way, they could probably match or even beat that. Hell, more people have probably been expelled from the TOTO than that LOL.:)

Walterfive, as I said, we'd received several threats of impending doom, and the COTO had already registered the trademark: an aggressive act, clearly designed to initiate an attack. You can say the lawsuit was not initiated by the COTO, but if you see an army marching towards your town it becomes a moot point who fires the first arrow:)


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joe93
(@joe93)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 49
19/06/2008 10:44 pm  

Sometimes all this feels like Microsoft and Apple: their respective fans tend to give up all common sense.

Sure - the two Bills have a lot in common...
I have nothing to do with any OTO, never have, never will. I have a Mac and a P.C. My point was that Grant strikes me as rather more original in a broader artistic and literary sense than these trademark crazy custodians. Calling his order "spurious" whilst bragging about who you've sued strikes me as "stupid" and "hypocritical" - haven't they got better things to do? Like try to develop a Nu Aesthetic?
Choose the LOGOS over logos™. Oh, and Think Different 😉


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
19/06/2008 11:14 pm  

The pledge was a personal one I made to the individuals concerned, not to reveal their names, not an official requirement of the Order! Surely you got that? I thought it was quite clear... I did state that they had asked me not to...

So your info differs. Fine, like I said it's no big legal issue. And others here have said pretty much the same thing, that members are still counted as members even if they haven't seen hide nor hair of them for years. Which is a bit bizarre, some might say dishonest, but there you go... it's not something I lose sleep over.

As for asking me questions about official TOTO business, which I think membership figures would come under, I'm no longer qualified to speak on their behalf, and I don't particularly want to get into a kiss-and-tell about 'My Life in a Love Cult':) I'm very proud to have been a member, and I remain with it in spirit, if not body. If it's that important to you, I suggest you ask Mick. All I can really say for certain is that, in the particular capacity I was operating in, I'd see at least one application for Probation per day, for every day over the several years emails were routed through me. Whether all those applications were successful, I can't say, but that should give you at least some idea of the levels of interest. Funnily enough, many of the applications used to begin with something along the lines of :"I used to be a member of the OTO here in the States, but I haven't been in contact with them for a couple years..."


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4064
19/06/2008 11:43 pm  
"Walterfive" wrote:
The Party Line under HB is that Mr. Grant was expelled from the Order by Karl Germer in 1954. That's pretty specific and pretty well-established. Do your homework.

Actually the Party Line is that he was expelled in 1955, as Germer's letter to Grant clearly shows. Perhaps, Walter, it might be a good idea to do your own homework before suggesting that others do theirs? Just a thought. 🙂

Fraternally,

Michael.


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