Lidt baggrund om den svenske “kopireligion” Kopimi

Fildeling og “piratkopiering” er nu anerkendt som religion i Sverige, med CTRL-C og CTRL-V som hellige symboler. Man må forstå, at juridiske indgreb mod The Pirate Bay fremover vil være at betragte som en krænkelse af religionsfriheden. Bag initiativet, der selvfølgelig skal betragtes som en slags spøg, ligger en elegant finte over for musik- og film-industriens “pirat”-bekæmpere:

In an interview in 2007 or 2008 (I believe, not sure about the date) the swedish lawyer for the MPAA, Monique Wasted, got a question about her views on the people advocating file sharing. Her answer was that “It’s just a few people, very loud. They’re a cult. They call themselves Kopimists.”

She called file sharers “a cult”. But she should know, because besides working for Hollywood she’s also been working as a swedish legal counsil for the church of Scientology. She has for instance helped them sue the swedish government over copyright infringement for putting their bible up as publicly viewable evidence in a court case.

It made me think that it might be benefits to look at what we do as a religious movement. One of the fun things working with The Pirate Bay has always been that we’ve started lots of fun crazy projects. Some work, some (most) fail. I started researching what kind of angle it would give us if we registered a religion.

When the Swedish state church was split from the government, a law about religions was passed to make it possible for anyone to get their religion accepted as long as they had some sort of organisation. The law states that the content of the religion itself is never tried, only that the organisation is there. The law is hence very wide and in order to not be abused for economical reasons, that part of the religion is a separate step, So you won’t get any money from the government (or tax benefits) without a lot of more bureaucracy. But that’s not interesting in this case.

The more interesting thing is that religions in general (I will not go into details here, it’s fun to find out for people in the end) are a bit more protected than political movements. In Sweden the law about freedom of religion is absolute – which means that no other law is higher. That means that laws that is designed to, for instance spy on you, might not be allowed if you commit yourself to your religious act.

In some religions (I don’t know about Kopimistsamfundet yet, maybe they can answer) there’s a Seal of Confession – which means that when you talk to a priest in the congregation, the priest have to keep what you say confidential. This is respected in some countries as law, where the courts can not make the priest testify against the individual. And some religions – at least the Mormons as far as I know – consider all members of the church to be a priest. This is probably the thing that I love the most with kopimism as a religion – we can have yet another form of P2P communication – Priest2priest. With no legal right for anyone to listen in to the conversation perhaps. This must be researched.

Since I’ve had a lot of things to do, projects to start, my church was never started. My working name for it was Church of Copying Kopimists (or short: C.O.C.K. just for the lulz). I told some friends about my idea and in the end they really liked it. This is one of the essential things with how the internet and kopimism works – if you don’t do it, someone else will. I didn’t have to do the work, since the idea that spread was good enough. After a year of iterations it actually worked.

Link: Kopimi as  religion

Casper Christensen og Frank Hvam: Bare download vores film

– I skal sgu ikke være bange for at piratkopiere filmen. Download den – fyr den af – og lav den i mange kopier. Casper og jeg har det sådan – og det er med hånden på hjertet – at når vi tæller sammen hvad vi er blevet snydt for af penge, så er det ikke piraterne der har snydt os. Det er distributørerne og producenterne der har snydt os, det er ikke jer søde piratbrugere … Fyr den løs!

Distribution via download er jo også blevet en del af den virkelighed, som filmmagere og musikere må forholde sig til i disse år. Det er uden tvivl langt klogere at ride med den bølge fremfor at forsøge at svømme imod den.
Klovn - Frank Hvam og Casper Christensen

Rusland bruger Microsoft til at lukke kritiske medier

Typisk strategi for et diktatur, der prøver på at opretholde en illusion om, at tingene går lovligt til: De russiske myndigheder laver razziaer efter piratkopieret software hos aviser og tidsskrifter, der kritiserer regeringen – og ikke hos de officielle medier.

Dette er en strategi, som meget vel kan blive brugt til at kvæle alternative medier og græsrodsbevægelser også i Danmark. Løsning: Drop Microsoftprodukter. Brug fri software.

Cory Doctorow fortæller på Boing Boing:

Russian police use the pretense of enforcing Microsoft’s copyrights as an excuse to raid the offices of human rights, environmental and dissident NGOs, and Microsoft has not intervened to stop it, even when the groups are using legitimate, licensed copies of Microsoft software. Police often claim to have discovered pirated software on seized computers even before examining them, and claim that the investigations come at Microsoft’s requests. Microsoft lawyers have cooperated with raids on opposition newspapers, whose editors say that the raids would not have taken place without Microsoft’s complicity. During raids, police have been spotted removing Microsoft “Certificate of Authenticity” stickers on confiscated PCs. Microsoft’s lawyers testified in support of police claims that pirated software was found on PCs, even though the court later found that the PCs were never examined.

Interviews and a review of law enforcement documents show that in recent cases, Microsoft lawyers made statements describing the company as a victim and arguing that criminal charges should be pursued.The lawyers rebuffed pleas by accused journalists and advocacy groups, including Baikal Wave, to refrain from working with the authorities. Baikal Wave, in fact, said it had purchased and installed legal Microsoft software specifically to deny the authorities an excuse to raid them. The group later asked Microsoft for help in fending off the police. “Microsoft did not want to help us, which would have been the right thing to do,” said Marina Rikhvanova, a Baikal Environmental Wave co-chairwoman and one of Russia’s best-known environmentalists. “They said these issues had to be handled by the security services.”

Microsoft executives in Moscow and at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., asserted that they did not initiate the inquiries and that they took part in them only because they were required to do so under Russian law.

Russia Uses Microsoft to Suppress Dissent

Update, 14. september: Så meget jeg end mener, der kan være grund til at kritisere Microsoft for deres misbrug af eget monopol og generelt underlige forretningsmoral, har de tilsyneladende faktisk slået bremsen i her, efter historien var oppe i New York Times.

Stephen J. Vaughan-Nichols skriver:

After the New York Times reported that Microsoft lawyers have helped Russian authorities to raid advocacy groups and newspapers in the name of copyright enforcement in recent years, Microsoft slammed on the brakes on its copyright enforcement policies. Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith wrote in his blog, “We want to be clear that we [Microsoft] unequivocally abhor any attempt to leverage intellectual property rights to stifle political advocacy or pursue improper personal gain.”

What’s even more impressive was that Smith then wrote, “To prevent non-government organizations from falling victim to nefarious actions taken in the guise of anti-piracy enforcement, Microsoft will create a new unilateral software license for NGOs that will ensure they have free, legal copies of our products.”

With this move, Microsoft stops any government from using Microsoft software licensing as an excuse to seize computers and shut down organizations. Of course, governments can also find another excuse, but Microsoft won’t be a party to their efforts to suppress dissent.

Det kan dog stadig bruges mod kritiske medier, hvis de ikke er NGOer, måske. Men noget er noget. Lad os holde øje med, hvordan historien udvikler sig.