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Government The Internet Idle

Idle: File-Sharing Is Not a Religion, Says Swedish Government 250

Posted by timothy
from the more-of-an-ethos-or-perhaps-a-lifestyle dept.
Dangerous_Minds writes "ZeroPaid is reporting on an attempt in Sweden to recognize filesharing as a religion. The religion's website calls this 'Kopimism' and says that sharing of knowledge is sacred. Apparently, Swedish authorities were not convinced. A recent report shows that the attempt failed to convince the authorities to recognize Kopimism as a religion."
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Idle: File-Sharing Is Not a Religion, Says Swedish Government

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  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @05:48PM (#36707496)

    this is clearly an agenda and bias. everyone should have the right to be insane (er, I mean, have a religion). age of the fantasy should not be relevant at all.

    • That's not the point. Religion == tax benefits and other privileges recognized by law. Personally, I'd prefer if no religions are recognized whatsoever for any reason. That way anyone can believe whatever the hell they like and nobody gets benefits that others don't also get.
    • everyone should have the right to be insane (er, I mean, have a religion). age of the fantasy should not be relevant at all.

      This is a tempting thought until we get into a conversation about Scientology. This is one of those times to remain consistent, folks.

    • There's nothing about the _religion_ here. Nobody's being denied the right to believe whatever the fuck they want to believe.

      What happened here was that an ad-hoc religious _organization_ was denied the right to be considered a religious organization in the legal sense. Contrary to what people here are blindly asserting, that does not give them any tax benefits in addition to the ones you already have as a non-profit (which is a prerequisite for becoming a recognized religious organization). It just changes

  • by Bram Stolk (24781) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @06:06PM (#36707602) Homepage

    They are doing it wrong: you need to lock up the information, so you can get religious status (Scientology).
    I wonder what court ever decided it was OK for LR Hubbard's crap to get religious status?

  • It makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chris Down (2350174) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @06:08PM (#36707618)

    "This religion doesn't rely on needless superstition and blind faith."

    "Doesn't fit the criteria, then."

    • Re:It makes sense (Score:5, Interesting)

      by maxwell demon (590494) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @07:33PM (#36708054) Journal

      Well, then make a god for your religion. Call him The Pirate. And create your own holy scripture. It might begin like this:

      1 In the beginning, The Pirate created the universe.
      2 But there was no one The Pirate could share that universe with.
      3 Therefore The Pirate said: "Let us create humans, so that the universe is shared." And so he did.
      4 And The Pirate said to the humans: "I've created you to share.
      5 I hereby order you to share all knowledge I give you, as well as all knowledge you get from others, unless that knowledge is of private nature."
      6 And he said: "Multiply, and multiply your knowledge, so you have more knowledge to share.
      7 You shall make images of things in the world and of things in your mind.
      8 And you shall write texts both about reality and about things you imagine.
      9 And you shall create all sorts of art.
      10 And you shall share all this with others.
      11 And you shall not demand any compensation for sharing, just as I don't demand that you pay for sharing the universe."
      12 And the humans complied, and everything was well. This era was known as the paradise.
      13 But the devil didn't like that, and he planted into the humans the sin of greed.
      14 And he planted into their mind the shortsightedness, so they didn't see the advantage they got from everyone sharing.
      15 And thus the humans said: "We have invested much work in our knowledge and in our art. We want to have an advantage.
      16 And we don't want those who didn't invest that much work to not have that advantage."
      17 And thus the humans stopped sharing their works for free, and demanded to be compensated.
      18 And The Pirate got angry at the humans because they violated His orders.
      19 And The Pirate said: "You have sinned. Therefore I will throw you out of the paradise.
      20 And you shall not be left in again until you all return to the spirit of sharing."
      21 And he created illnesses to punish the humans.
      22 And he limited the natural growth of the plants humans could eat, and made many of the plants poisonous.
      23 And he made the problem of surviving hard, so the humans would have an incentive to share their knowledge in order to fight those dangers.
      24 But the devil's influence was strong, and therefore the humans didn't work together to solve their problems.
      25 Instead they fought wars over the limited resources, and killed each other.
      26 And those humans who found ways to increase those resources didn't share their knowledge, but hid it as well as they could, so only they would profit from it.
      27 And they made laws to prevent others from sharing knowledge.
      28 And eventually those who hoarded the knowledge ruled the world.
      29 But the world was in a miserable state.

      You of course need prophets of sharing (you may even borrow some from other religions and reinterpret them; this gives more "legitimacy" to your religion). And you need a cult (which ideally involves people meeting in person; part of that cult is of course the exchange of copies of files, but it may also have other aspects like mutual signing of PGP keys, and very important, preaching the religion of sharing).

    • More like, "This doesn't have any concept of a diety, or an afterlife, or a cosmic supernatural force. It's simply a political organization trying to make a mockery of our legal system."

  • works for RIAA and MPAA, got them to change laws in their favor :)

  • Whoever made the ruling never read slashdot.
  • I am curious as to what their criteria are. If Scientology can be a religion, why cant anything?

    • MONEY is the winning argument every time. If you lose, you didn't spend enough MONEY.
      Scientology has money and possibly many believers are lawyers... but more likely the lawyers simply believe in MONEY (as most lawyers do.)

    • "sir, you are hereby accused of rational thought. would you please come with us. don't make this more difficult than it needs to be."

    • by westlake (615356)

      I am curious as to what their criteria are. If Scientology can be a religion, why cant anything?

      I am reminded of what uthers have said about pornography:

      "You know it when you see it:"

      Religion is not a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card rushed into print by a newly minted storefront church whose sole reason for existence is to avoid paying the $1 rental at the neighborhood Red Box.

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)

        So if the scam was minted generations ago, and accumulated all kinds of abuses since then, that's OK?

  • by 7-Vodka (195504) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @07:01PM (#36707902) Journal
    1. Start a religion
    2. Bribe politicians
    3. Non-Profit!
  • by retroworks (652802) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @09:09PM (#36708502) Homepage Journal
    Piratism has a decent chance of becoming a religion. It just takes a couple of centuries for a religion to "gel", to be recognized as meeting the key criterion, recognized by the Romans etc.: "It's not going away". In the meantime, they will need to practice what they preach, and take their trials and tribulations.
  • Government people would probably be willing to agree that Kopism is a cult, though not a "religion".

    To become a "religion", a cult has to have existed since before the person thinking it's a religion was born, and have members who that person knows personally, through someone else directly, or has seen on TV without it being called a cult.

    It helps if the cult has paid bribes to the person asked to consider it a religion.

    Any loosely consistent collection of knowledge that cannot be proven can be a religion.

  • No. Seriously! We ARE knowledge sharing beings to the core; This fundamental capability IS the very essence of human nature. Without our ability to communicate and thus share knowledge, information and culture we would be no different than any other primate -- even LESS than apes. Face it: We are not truly human unless we share knowledge. Vast amounts of our existence IS our external culture that we are not born with and that we only acquire through the sharing of information.

    We owe our very rule of this planet, our place in the food chain, and EVERY social, technological or other advancement of value to humanity's capability to share our thoughts and culture. Now, for the first time in history, in the Information Age, many humans willingly allow large amounts of our RELEVANT culture to be withheld and actually fight to protect the right of the greedy to DESTROY the public domain -- The very thing that makes us human!

    Copyrights are now utterly evil -- They are a plague upon man. These restrictions now last for THREE GENERATIONS: 70 years beyond my life. That's my life, the life of my children (ending 30 years after I die), and the life of my GRANDCHILDREN, 70 years after I die. By the time anyone can LEGALLY duplicate ANY new piece of our culture ( song, books, software, games, photos, paintings ), freely they will be DEAD, and their kids will be DEAD, and their children's children WILL BE DEAD! -- No one who enjoyed the short-lived success of my books and games will even be alive to remember them when they become part of our public domain!

    There was another age where the flow of knowledge met such great barriers -- The Dark Ages.

    This evil legal idea of Copyright is now designed to ROBS US of our public domain, and ensure that the free common knowledge remains IRRELEVANT! The founding father's of the US granted copyrights for the betterment of society as a whole, and thought that the duplication monopoly should last about 12 to 14 years -- This was in a time when copies were expensive and only a select few could make duplications. These words have been duplicated over TWENTY times before you read them due to the routers between us. We all have duplication machines, we do not need to be protected from those that would hold the printing presses in hostage! The duplications are in INFINITE supply! To merely use information now is to duplicate it many times.

    The strict laws designed to keep greedy publishers in line have now been turned against the common man because we all now own information sharing tools capable of creating duplications at essentially zero cost. The copy restrictions harm society as a whole! Down with copyright! Copyright is a law; Jim Crow was a law. Rosa Parks sat at the front of a bus, and none were harmed by her doing so; Ignoring unjust laws is an act of civil protest. I shall share ANY knowledge I desire freely and none shall be harmed by my doing so.

    Additionally: Economics 101 -- Regardless of value or demand, if supply is infinite the price is ZERO. Silicon has great value! Would you like to buy some expensive sand?

    Outlawing the free sharing of culture is to outlaw human nature -- The very definition of creating a police state.

    How dare anyone scoff at the most sane, obvious and basic belief to date: Sharing Knowledge is Sacred.
    To each who has, I charge you to isolate yourself and neither give nor take any information form any others! No books, no Internet, no music, NONE of OUR culture -- just solitude! Do not speak to another living human or hear what they say. Try to function this way for JUST ONE WEEK as less than an ape. Otherwise, you must admit your hypocrisy! I would like you to remove yourself from our free sea of culture permanently, but I am not so harsh or foolish to even request someone do such a thing!

    Sure

  • by jc42 (318812) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @10:59PM (#36708848) Homepage Journal

    If Kopimism's main doctrine is the sharing of knowledge, then it clearly fails the primary characteristic of a religion, which is to share beliefs. In fact, distinguishing knowledge from belief pretty much disqualifies it as a religion. Religions generally deny the value of knowledge, primarily by classifying knowledge as just another set of beliefs that's no better than anyone else's beliefs.

    If you prefer actual knowledge of facts, then you might be a scientist, or a historian, or maybe just an enlightened individual, but you're not religious. Religions don't depend on actual knowledge. You just believe what you're told, because if you don't, then that religion's god(s) will punish you severely (with the help of their followers). This doesn't require any file sharing, since the religious leaders are quite good at supplying you with all the beliefs that you'll ever need.

  • Jesus did it. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Jesus copied and shared his loaves and fish.

  • by cpghost (719344) on Sunday July 10, 2011 @05:54AM (#36709958) Homepage
    C'mon guys, Sweden adopted Copyright as its new Religion of State. Can't have a totally competing one, right? The King of Sweden is officially "Copyright Defensor" and reports to Biden, the Supreme Pope of Copyright in the US Whitehouse. Sure, like every religion, there are extremists, but the Copyright Taliban haven't killed anybody... yet... right? Right?

The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination -- but the combination is locked up in the safe. -- Peter DeVries

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