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Piracy Idle Politics

Filesharing Now an Official Religion In Sweden 358

Posted by timothy
from the but-do-they-have-snacks-and-coffee? dept.
bs0d3 writes "Kopimism is now an official religion in Sweden. Kopimi beliefs originated with the Swedish group called Piratbyran who believed that everything should be shared freely online without restrictions from copyright. Leader Isak Gerson, has recently had some disagreements with the Swedish Pirate Party where many people disagree with all religions." Here's the official website for the "Missionary Church of Kopimism."
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Filesharing Now an Official Religion In Sweden

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  • by TheTruthIs (2499862) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:45PM (#38587398)
    their holy scripture?
    • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:50PM (#38587442)
      I would rather bet on the Creative Commons license. ;-)
      • Re:Is the clipboard (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Joikas (2545684) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:55PM (#38587532)
        Creative Commons license, and GPL for that matter, are pro-copyright by their very definition. Only public domain is anti-copyright.
        • by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:04PM (#38587648) Journal

          PD isn't exactly anti-copyright. Technically, you can take a Public Domain work, change it (even a little, add a space), and copyright it yourself. It is more of a "copyright irrelevant" non-license. You don't have to worry or think about copyright at all, if you choose. Literally, you, me, and everyone here can all claim copyright on virtually the same Public Domain work, legally.

          Of course, if you copyright it, you can't take away anyone's right to copy or use the Public Domain version all they want.

          • by Luckyo (1726890)

            Except that you copyright the work using something other then public domain for it when you perform the operation you're mentioning. Which makes your entire argument against PD completely irrelevant, as by same definition I could argue that very act of thinking of an idea is pro-copyright, because I could eventually copyright the contents of the idea. The merit of that argument is identical to yours.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            PD isn't exactly anti-copyright. Technically, you can take a Public Domain work, change it (even a little, add a space), and copyright it yourself.

            No, you can't. If you take a public domain work and change it only a little bit, you've created a derivative work of the public domain work, and the expired copyright that once applied to the public domain work now applies to your new derivative work. And by the way, if all you did was add a space, it wouldn't even be considered a derivative work, it would still be the same work. In order for a new copyright to attach, your changes would have to be significant enough to be considered "transformative" whi

            • Re:Is the clipboard (Score:4, Informative)

              by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @05:36PM (#38589252) Journal

              No, you can't.

              Yes you can. Public domain means you give up all rights: period. This means anyone can copyright a modified version of your work, or technically, an unmodified version as well. They can't take away your giving it into the Public Domain, but once you put it in the Public Domain you have ZERO RIGHTS to enforce it, because it is no longer licensed by you. Only those "harmed" could ever sue for their right to use Public Domain. Do your homework AC. Public Domain means it is owned by EVERYONE, and EVERYONE can do ANYTHING they want with it. Including copyrighting their own version of it.

            • by istartedi (132515) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @06:10PM (#38589698) Journal

              No, you can't. If you take a public domain work and change it only a little bit, you've created a derivative work of the public domain work, and the expired copyright that once applied to the public domain work now applies to your new derivative work

              Public Domain isn't like GPL. There's no "copyleft" or "contamination". The original text of the Consitution for example is Public Domain. You can't copyright it. OTOH, if you have James Earl Jones read it you can copyright the recording under the fullest extent of copyright law. You could even print it in a fancy font and copyright that. The closest thing to "adding a space" would be to take a photograph of it and copyright it. You can do that. The only difference between your copy and anybody elses would be subtle variations of color in the noise bits of the image. They're all yours, the original document and its text is all ours.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Creative Commons license, and GPL for that matter, are pro-copyright by their very definition. Only public domain is anti-copyright.

          Didn't RMS say something like: If there were no copyright, the GPL wouldn't be needed.

          My take on GPL is that it uses/subverts a bad tool for something good (keping free stuff free), while its creator would rather see no copyright at all (everything always free). Hardly pro-copyright...

          • Ok, but in a non-copyright world I would have absolutely 0 obligation to share changes for source, or publish source for anything I make. I think the goals of anti-copyright and Free software are at opposition here - one says "copy freely, do what you please", the other says "copy freely, you must let others copy too!", which is a restriction that could have no weight or bearing in a no copyright world.

      • by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:59PM (#38587594) Journal

        Depends, if they were Evangelical Kopimists, then the GNU/GPL is the only TRUE gospel. Not only do you accept It into your life, but you must spread the word in all your earthly works.

        The ones that follow the Creative Commons are like the people who only go to church on Christmas and Easter. They aren't real believers, they are "just in case it is true, at least I will get into heaven" believers.

    • No, that is the holy sharing grail.

    • by Narishma (822073) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:15PM (#38587778)

      As long as Clippy isn't their prophet we are safe.

      • As long as Clippy isn't their prophet we are safe.

        "It looks like you're starting a religion. Would you like help?"
        (_) Add animated clipart [burningbush.gif]
        (_) Create a bulleted list of [5] [7] [10] [12] Commandments - [_] Autofill?
        (_) Increase top margin for nails - [_] Add guide marks?
        [_] Don't show me this heresy again.

    • by wedge3d (1167577) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @09:21PM (#38591442)
      Every byte is sacred.
      Every byte is great.
      If a byte is wasted,
      God gets quite irate.
    • by mjwx (966435)

      their holy scripture?

      No, But when you die, your soul goes to Pirate Bay.

  • It could be worse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by obarthelemy (160321) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:46PM (#38587404)

    They could preach slavery, rape, murder, hating on gays/women/divorcees.
    Oh wait, that would probably let them justify having a state on top of a religion ^^

    • by prakslash (681585) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:57PM (#38587564)
      Although they are only preaching "harmless" digital copying, followers of a religion can still be prosecuted for their actual practice if it is deemed criminal under the prevailing laws.

      "Freedom of Religion" rights enshrined in the constitutions of most countries rarely provide for exceptions to go against the prevailing laws. So, this new religion won't change anything. A better path is being followed by the Pirate Party who actually seeks to change the prevailing laws around information copying.
      • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:10PM (#38587708)
        That depends upon how good the religion's lobbyists and lawyers are. The US has a few cases of that sort of thing - surprisingly, not all Christian. A native american tribe managed to successfully challenge the Migratory Bird Act so they could sacrifice federally-protected golden eagles as part of their rituals, and won. The Amish are very well known for it, because their lifestyle has a great many minor conflicts - things like requiring all buildings be produced entirely within the community, which means they can't use fireproofing treatments for wood required by state law. It really comes down, as so much does, to a combination of legal skill, funding and the luck of finding a sympathetic court.
      • Fun fact: In Finland, the only person you should confess a murder to is a priest. Even the court can't force a priest to break the secrecy.
      • by Blue Stone (582566) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:18PM (#38587808) Homepage Journal

        I dunno. Seems to me that religious institutions get plenty of opt-outs form the law when it comes to discrimination against gays.

        The rule seeming to be that if you codify your prejudice, it's OK.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by LordLimecat (1103839)

          Seems to me that religious institutions get plenty of opt-outs form the law when it comes to discrimination against gays.

          Not having to perform a marriage ceremony is not a violation of someone's rights.

          This is the same as that whole "can a doctor be forced to perform an abortion, even if he thinks it is murder" thing, and its really scary that some people think the answer is yes, and fail to see how thats a fundamental violation of the doctor's rights.

          • by Blue Stone (582566) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:56PM (#38588218) Homepage Journal

            >Not having to perform a marriage ceremony is not a violation of someone's rights.

            Not having to = allowed to discriminate against. Have I got that right? Thought so.

            Tell you what, I'll be prepared to have a serious discussion with you when you're prepared to defend the 'right' of others to discriminate against you in the same way as you wish to discriminate against others. That sounds fair, doesn't it? Quid pro quo and all that.

            • by apcullen (2504324) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @06:28PM (#38589894)
              This is one of the most ridiculous slashdot comments I have ever heard. Religions have always been allowed to discriminate.

              Should a rabbi be forced to perform a wedding ceremony for me then, even if I'm not Jewish?
            • by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @06:59PM (#38590210) Homepage Journal

              If you are a male, have you ever discriminated against a female for a potential relationship based on anything, her looks, age, race, religion, job, status, anything?

              If you are a heterosexual male, have you ever discriminated against a potential relationship with gay males?

              If you are an employee, have you ever discriminated against your potential employer based on the offered pay, conditions, type of work, location, etc.?

              If you are an employer, have you ever discriminated against your potential employee based on salary expectations, conditions, type of work, location, etc.?

              I can go on forever here, but you are not seeing the forest for the woods.

            • Wait, youre refusing to agree with me. Thats a violation of my rights, correct?

              I want to be clear what your position is here-- are you saying that it is discrimination for a priest / pastor to refuse to perform a marriage ceremony because it goes against his beliefs? Can you clarify whether you think it is permissible to compel him to perform the ceremony or else lose his position?

          • by jpapon (1877296) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @04:03PM (#38588272) Journal
            Well, if the mother asks for it, and the doctor is the only one available to perform the procedure, then he should be forced to, or forced to retire. The doc signed up to be the caretaker of health for the community, and must perform his duties, or step down. You seem to think the doctor's rights as the health professional of a community supersede the rights of a woman towards her body. The doc can't push his ethics on others, he has no right to force a woman to keep her baby. He can do his job, or he can do what everyone else does, and quit. Simply saying "no" is not an option, and sets a dangerous precedent. What happens when the doc declines to give gays treatment for STDs? Or any other of the myriad of times when an MD is forced to treat someone whos religious views clash with their own?
            • by Americano (920576)

              This is the beauty of a free market, and free will. The doctor can't force the mother to keep her baby, and the mother can't force the doctor to perform medically unnecessary procedures that he has a moral objection to. The doctor is free to decline to provide the procedure, and the mother is free to go find another doctor who will perform the procedure.

              I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a doctor practicing today who would refuse to perform an abortion if the pregnancy posed a legitimate danger to the

            • The doc signed up to be the caretaker of health for the community, and must perform his duties, or step down.

              Scary issue #1: you seem to have forgotten that "doctor" is a private profession. It is generally not run by the state, and the doctor has every right to perform a non-vital procedure for any reason he chooses.

              Have a cyst and hes the only one able to remove it, but you called him a jerk and he is refusing? Tough luck, hes not a public servant. Just like as an IT guy I could refuse to do work for a lobby firm dedicated to hate speech, he has the right to choose his customers.

              Scary issue #2: There is no r

  • by Ukab the Great (87152) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:48PM (#38587428)

    sectarian violence between Kopimists and the ABBAnites over lost royalty tithe income.

  • so. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:50PM (#38587444)
    So he who toil and grule for months on end to make good to benefit many... Shalt not receive reward or compensation, for they create media and that shall be bread enough alone.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by VortexCortex (1117377)

      Let me put it to you this way. I'm a freelance programmer. I only get paid when I work. Most of the time I'm not working in any framework, it's all my code that I have "copyright" over that I'm being paid to adapt for others. Once I sell and/or install the system for the company or individual, they do not pay me royalty for each and every copy. It's like I'm an employee in just about every other field. Lawyers don't get paid when they're not working, neither do mechanics...

      Now, I write very modular

      • Re:so. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by prakslash (681585) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @04:45PM (#38588662)
        Huh? Your analogies are all screwed up. You provide a "service" as a freelance programmer to do custom jobs. The software copies that your previous company sold were standardized "products". Your previous company didn't screw itself because it was "creating artificial scarcity". It screwed itself because it got greedy and charged more than its competition selling a similar product.

        According to your model, if a customer needs a good text editor, they should hire a programmer to write a new one or to create one from existing code? Or, should they just obtain an existing one made by a company that already makes good text editors? May be you will say, they should obtain the existing one but they shouldn't have to pay for it? Well, how does the text editor company ensure that it recovers its costs without someone else buying the first copy for $39.95 and freely distributing to everyone else? That is why copyright laws have a place even for digital media.

        As for being successful in the business, the market already works: you make something and you sell it to cover your costs and make a profit. To survive, you do it better than your competition. It doesn't mean you have to adopt a "pirate model".
  • Joke (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:51PM (#38587472)

    Does anyone really take things like this seriously? This and the "Pirate Party" only hurt copyright reform movements. Not to mention that if "everything should be shared freely online without copyright", the GPL wouldn't be able to protect code anymore.

    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      Does anyone really take things like this seriously? This and the "Pirate Party" only hurt copyright reform movements.

      This? I doubt it, although it's always satisfying (if potentially counterproductive) to see people stretching the definition of 'religion' in order to exploit its preferential treatment.

      As for the Pirate Party, I'm genuinely glad they exist. On balance I'd probably choose zero copyright over the mess we have now, although it's a close run thing, but realistically I think 15-20 year terms and an end to the legal abuse of copyright for censorship purposes are all we actually need to fix the system. In either

      • Re:Joke (Score:5, Informative)

        by ACS Solver (1068112) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @06:30PM (#38589926)
        Having recently started living in Sweden, I familiarized myself with the Pirate Party a bit more closely. The claim that they want to abolish copyright is simply false - they are proposing a reform, although admittedly one that curbs copyright very significantly. They do want to get rid of patents entirely, believing they hinder innovation. What they want to do with copyrights is to reduce them to 5 years, after which works get released into the public domain. 5 years is a short period, but it differs very significantly from the idea of abolishing copyright.
    • Re:Joke (Score:5, Insightful)

      by muuh-gnu (894733) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:32PM (#38587946)

      > only hurt copyright reform movements.

      How exactly? Your alleged "serious" copyright reform movements never achieved anything of significance. The Pirate Party has achieved siginificant visibility in Europe. They have seats in the European Parliament, in the Berlin parliament and will probably get seats in the German federal parliament next year. They have already forced major parties to seriously rethink their internet policies or risk losing the whole sub-30 generation.

  • Religious Freedom (Score:3, Informative)

    by ZerXes (1986108) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:56PM (#38587546)
    This might be interesting, due to some Swedish laws on religious freedom the Swedish police might have problems trying to seize the servers and computers of this followers as they are only practising their religion.
    • by Joikas (2545684)
      No, they can seize all they want. Religions don't exempt you from laws.
      • Except in some status of USA.
        • Damn... some states of USA.
      • Re:Religious Freedom (Score:4, Interesting)

        by init100 (915886) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @11:30PM (#38592278)

        Actually, they do. In Sweden, hate speech is illegal except if you do it because of your religion. A few years ago, a pentecostal pastor said that gays were "a cancer in society". He was charged with hate speech and convicted, but the conviction was overturned because freedom of religion trumps other laws (including laws against hate speech) in the EU.

        There have been other instances. Last year, a muslim man was applying for a job at a company. At the interview, he refused to take the hand of the female boss while shaking the hands of other men. When the Swedish Public Employment Service because of this incident concluded that this man didn't make a reasonable effort to get a job, they retracted his social security payments. He complained to the public anti-discrimination board and they filed suit against the employment service, charging that he had been discriminated against because of his religion, a court case which they won. That he himself had discriminated against the female boss because of her sex was obviously considered irrelevant, as religion and multiculturalism apparently trumps equality between the sexes in Sweden.

  • I was just saying the other day that the Bible could of been harder to create if someone claimed broadcast rights when Jesus spoke to crowds, not to mention copyright restrictions with no one able to locate the authors or figure out who inherited their rights when they died. So, perhaps this is in line with Christianity.
    • US copyright law sets the term of an individually authored work as life plus a fixed term. If the bible is indeed true, then the copyright to those speeches is still held by Jesus - he never died. Wouldn't matter much though, as the instruction to spread the word could easily be seen as permission to copy.
      • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@nOSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:29PM (#38587900)

        Jesus did die, he rose from the grave by conquering death - according to the Bible, it's one of the key tenants of Christianity. Now, how would copyright law handle that?

      • by oneiros27 (46144) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:43PM (#38588066) Homepage

        You bring up an interesting point ... but he did die, and was resurrected, so there *was* a time of death to begin the timer ticking for the fixed term.*

        But if someone's brought back to life after a long period (eg, cryogenically frozen and we find a way to restore it), does the 'fixed term' reset, or did their time frozen get subtracted from when they die the second time? (eg, you get frozen, then thawed 40 years later ... then die 20 years later, do you get 70 years from then, or 30 (remaining of the 70), or 10 (the counter never stopped)?

        And what does this mean for zombies, vampires and the other undead? I mean, the current wording is:

        endures for a term consisting of the life of the author and 70 years after the authorâ(TM)s death.

        So, as there's a gap between their life and their death, what does this mean for holders of copyright who become vampires? (zombies might not be an issue, as they died and were re-animated)

        * Unless you go with the theory that bungled the crucifixtion and took him down when he was simply conconcious, so he never died, and the shroud of turin was evidence of a warm body.

  • MacChrist (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Jesus copied bread & fish to the people... How should the bakers and fishermen get paid?
    I'd say, sue Jesus!

  • Help! Help! I'm being repressed! ... bloody Romans.
    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Perhaps they should just share the admin passwords to their site so we can fix it.

    • by itchythebear (2198688) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:07PM (#38587678)
      came here to see the violence inherent in the system
      left satisfied.
    • by cheesecake23 (1110663) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:08PM (#38587694)
      Since their webpage is slashdotted, here is the official press release from the Church of Kopimism:

      The Church of Kopimism is recognized by the state of Sweden

      Just before Christmas, the Swedish governmental agency Kammarkollegiet registered the Church of Kopimism as a religious organisation. This means that Sweden is the first country to recognize kopimism as a religion.

      The Church of Kopimism have tried to become registered as a religious organisation by Kammarkollegiet for more than a year.

      - Since Kammarkollegiet has been strict with formalities, we had to apply three times, a happy Gustav Nipe - board chairman for the organisation - says. He continues, I think it might have something to do with the governmental organisations abiding by a very copyright friendly attitude, with a twisted view on copying.

      For the Church of Kopimism, information is holy and copying is a sacrament. Information holds a value, in itself and in what it contains, and the value multiplies through copying. Therefore, copying is central for the organisation and its members.

      Being recognized by the state of Sweden is a large step for all of kopimi. Hopefully, this is one step towards the day when we can live out our faith without fear of persecution, says Isak Gerson, spiritual leader of the Church of Kopimism.

      The Church of Kopimism is a religious organisation with roots from 2010. The organisation formalizes a community that's been well spread for a long time already. The community of kopimi requires no formal membership. You just have to feel a calling to worship what is the holiest of the holiest, information and copy. To do this, we organize kopyactings - religious services - where the kopimists share information with eachother through copying and remix.

      Copy and seed.
  • I'm not sure how Sweden's freedom of religion works but here in the US there would atleast be a decade of legal battles to establish their church's fundamentals and then severe restrictions on how the file sharing would work since it would at best be legal between two coreligionists of this church but not amongst others. I find it intriguing that the new political tactic is to approach things using religion's exemption rules to try and create a gray area and call a law into question. It's effective but at w

  • by SgtChaireBourne (457691) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:22PM (#38587836) Homepage
    Rick Falkvinge of the Swedish Pirate Party has a short writing on it, "Filesharing Approved as an Official Religion in Sweden [falkvinge.net]".
  • Kreatism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by poity (465672) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:28PM (#38587892)

    If only they'd get behind a religion of fervent creativity, production, and free dissemination of their collective work. This freeloader image they give off will hurt their cause more than help it.

  • Great idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:29PM (#38587902) Journal

    If a pyramid scheme can give itself a fancy name like Scientology and claim the status of religion and get the free pass that goes with it, why shouldn't file-sharers? If anything I hope this highlights the undue respect that is given to religion and the inappropriate treatment of "faith" as a virtue.

    • by Dogtanian (588974)

      If a pyramid scheme can give itself a fancy name like Scientology

      Please bear in mind that while it may be a way to extract large amounts of money from people by dubious means, that doesn't make it a "pyramid scheme" [wikipedia.org], the latter of which's name reflects the structure of that particular scam.

  • Great! (Score:4, Funny)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki AT cox DOT net> on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:51PM (#38588170)

    now who do I pray to to get more seeders on my torrents?

  • by leereyno (32197) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @03:23AM (#38593420) Homepage Journal

    I have a serious problem with the idea of governments rubber stamping religions as "official" as this goes against the principle that church and state are separate.

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