MormonLeaks attorney responds to LDS Church ‘take down notice’

Posted at 6:17 PM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-14 20:17:35-04

SALT LAKE CITY – The attorney for the website, MormonLeaks, fired off a letter to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in response to copyright infringement claims.

Marc Randazza is a high profile first amendment attorney who has represented adult entertainment companies. His latest legal battle pits him against the LDS church. The Las Vegas based attorney is representing former members of the LDS church who run the website "MormonLeaks."

“When someone comes to me with their First Amendment rights being threatened, I have a very hard time saying no," said Randazza.

The group’s latest document dump prompted LDS leaders to issue a "takedown notice."

The church ordered MormonLeaks to remove an internal PowerPoint presentation because they’re copyrighted and are not authorized for distribution by the intellectual property owners.

In the slide, church leaders were shown, “Issues and Ideas Leading People Away From the Gospel,” or what some ex-members call an “enemy list.”

The chart listed pornography, the feminist group Ordain Women, and names of excommunicated podcasters and bloggers.

A third-party site took down the presentation, but it re-surfaced today with help from another hosting company.

“They have a First Amendment right to disclose this information as journalists who receive this information lawfully,” said Randazza.

On Tuesday, Randazza responded in a letter and commended the church for handling past criticisms respectfully, notably with the Book of Mormon Musical.

“One might expect the LDS Church to be offended and to protest it, but instead of doing that they did the best psychological operation I could think of, they said 'wonderful, we'll buy an ad in the playbill and maybe this will get you interested in the church,'” said Randazza.

Randazza also warns the church that their “attempted censorship” backfired causing the documents to be further reproduced and redistributed.

We reached out to the LDS Church for a response and were told they had no further comment.

“I have a funny feeling they're going to come to the conclusion that it's better to embrace transparency rather than try to put it out,” said Randazza.

Read the letter here and see the latest documents released here.