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File-Sharing Recognized as Official Religion in Sweden
Politics
Written by emperorbma   
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 19:50

From TorrentFreak:

Since 2010 a group of self-confessed pirates have tried to get their beliefs recognized as an official religion in Sweden. After their request was denied several times, the Church of Kopimism – which holds CTRL+C and CTRL+V as sacred symbols – is now approved by the authorities as an official religion. The Church hopes that its official status will remove the legal stigma that surrounds file-sharing.

All around the world file-sharers are being chased by anti-piracy outfits and the authorities, and the situation in Sweden is no different. While copyright holders are often quick to label file-sharers as pirates, there is a large group of people who actually consider copying to be a sacred
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emperorbma  - obvious hook is obvious...   |2012-01-04 20:23:07
Personally, I'm a bit sympathetic with their concerns although I obviously don't agree with deifying the notion of copying. Given the legal travesties of SOPA and ACTA, I'm becoming still more convinced that the government not only doesn't have our best interests at heart but that, instead, it is rapidly becoming a tool of oppression that is directly antithetical to its God-given purpose of ensuring we can live a peaceable God-fearing life (cf. Romans 13).

Instead, in our society, we must be kowtowed to all the artificial, hypocritical, rent-seeking monopolies that the government choose to support and in whose name it outlaws freedom of speech and fair trading. Defending oppression is, in itself, evil and merely ignoring it results in the oppression spreading like it did in the Third Reich.

If anything, I am of the opinion that we Christians don't complain vociferously enough on this topic, so someone had to fill that gap with Kopimi.
laika  - re: obvious hook is obvious...   |2012-01-07 23:35:21
emperorbma wrote:
Instead, in our society, we must be kowtowed to all the artificial, hypocritical, rent-seeking monopolies that the government choose to support and in whose name it outlaws freedom of speech and fair trading. Defending oppression is, in itself, evil and merely ignoring it results in the oppression spreading like it did in the Third Reich.


Yummy! Please, sir, I want some more!

emperorbma wrote:
If anything, I am of the opinion that we Christians don't complain vociferously enough on this topic, so someone had to fill that gap with Kopimi.


I think we'll be seeing this tactic being applied in more situations. It's easy to imagine it being effective in places where government wants to stay out of defining what is or isn't religious and wants to appear impartial regarding different religions.
WebbedFeetOfClay   |2012-01-08 19:20:32
Quote:
If anything, I am of the opinion that we Christians don't complain vociferously enough on this topic, so someone had to fill that gap with Kopimi.


Or perhaps, rather than complain (which we seem to have become incredibly hyper-proficient at) we should use this as the wake up call for realizing the distinction between the reign of Caesar and the reign of Christ. We do so much vicariously through petty politics and forget where our treasures/hearts ought to be.
(fitting thread to pop in and say hello on after long absence.)
emperorbma   |2012-01-09 17:53:40
Welcome back, WFC. Long time no see.

WFC wrote:
Or perhaps, rather than complain (which we seem to have become incredibly hyper-proficient at) we should use this as the wake up call for realizing the distinction between the reign of Caesar and the reign of Christ.


Certainly, our treasure isn't in the world. The problem is that we cannot completely disengage from the world as Christians lest we ignore the harvest. (A harvest which the source of that treasure intends us to be active in gathering...)  We are called to manifest the Kingdom of God into this world and to do so we must be free to learn and teach and act on the principles of that faith and to search for tools and techniques that can be used to benefit everyone.

For me, the government's current penchant for pandering to rent-seekers represents a willingness to destroy the tools of free communication that the Internet provides. It seriously undermines that freedom to learn and, therefore, undermines its purpose to ensure that people can live peaceable, God-fearing lives. If one cannot learn freely, one cannot recognize unfairness. If one cannot learn freely, one cannot learn how to help others. If one cannot learn, cannot be taught the Gospel of Christ.

The government is willing to throw this freedom under the bus so that the rent-seekers can get money by their obsoleted business practices that may have worked once in the past but have now met an infinite competition that technological progress has enabled. Instead of trying to find a way to live in this new economy, they want to shackle it and prevent people from being able to use it to benefit everyone else. Instead of sharing knowledge, they lock it away in copyrights and patents for hundreds of years (cf. current standard limit is Life+120 years for copyrights) so people can never use them without paying exorbitant amounts of money. This was not the purpose of copyright or patents which were to secure, for a limited time, the monopoly only to ensure that the science and art are published in a way that leaves them free to advance. In this way, the greedy and the wicked will rob the poor people to serve their rich, corrupt, selves. May God have mercy on the souls of those who do this, since His Scriptures strongly rebuke such tactics.

Is it right that the cure for cancer should be locked into a Patent for 40 years? Is it right that a researcher is prosecuted for discovering flaws in security algorithms because the DMCA doesn't protect it? Is it just that we lose the freedoms of fair use because of overzealous prosecution that doesn't distinguish parody and attribution from commercial infringement? To merely turn a blind eye to the injustices in this world is to ignore a critical piece of the tapestry that Christ Himself taught.  We may render unto Caesar, but we are not slaves of Caesar. We are, rather, servants of Christ and as servants of Christ we are also called to oppose tyranny are we not?

It appears to me as though our country, and many others, are turning into the Orwellian nightmare that we for so long believed of Soviet Russia and China. Instead of being representatives of the people, they have become slaves of evil tyrannical organizations that only have the interests of the rich at heart.  Likewise, they have begun to use the fear of terrorism and economic hardship as a tool to gain more powers just like what happened in 1929 Germany.

Lest we forget, in the West we are not slaves of a king but rather we are free subjects of a republic. The authority is not merely something that belongs to the President or the Congress, but it is a thing that belongs to the People that we have entrusted to these representatives. If they are not prosecuting their God-given responsibilities is it not fair that we should criticize them? To criticize is not to rebel against a just authority. Rather, it is to point out the injustices wrought by an imperfect authority, in a world corrupted by sin, so that it may address them and better serve God and the people who it is called to watch over by God...
SteveGus   |2012-01-09 23:59:17
A fine speech; but I do think perspective is in order.

The masters of the government praised by Paul as an agent of providence were guys like Nero and Caligula. They never did get the succession thing down, so emperors tended not to die in their beds; it was assassination by the successor's agents, or it was civil war, much of the time. All the while, until Diocletian at least, the emperors pretended to be observing all of the legal formalities of the republic, and governing with the consent of the Roman senate. What's astounding about Rome is that not only did it survive in some form a thousand years, but that people continued to look back at it with inexplicable nostalgia for centuries more.

It's proven easy to rule the American people with fear --- largely because, in the big scheme of things, and despite the machinations of Soviet spies or Islamist terrorists, we really don't have all that much to be afraid of. Not like our grandparents did. Not like their grandparents did.

We do rather resemble Rome, in that the forms of our institutions endure while in fact apparently being captured by an oligarchy. Worse, because it's an oligarchy, it's hard to poison the ruler. (At least, it's hard to poison the rulers without a level of collateral damage I'm not yet prepared to accept.)

God's still in charge. And we still have it easy. Way easy.
emperorbma   |2012-01-10 09:43:28
Fair enough. It's just easy to be disappointed since one of the constant prayers of the Church is that the government be guided by God's wisdom rather than evil machinations.
emperorbma  - Report: Aftermath of 1/18   |2012-01-20 20:20:44
Well, the good news is that the SOPA/PIPA thing does seem to have stalled the two bills a little but...

The bad news is that in the meanwhile, the Copyright lobby managed to:
a) Try to bully Canada into making DMCA-like laws.
b) Push the EU to ratify ACTA.
c) Completely annihilate the security of the public domain from being re-copyrighted in the US via the SCOTUS. (2 dissent, 1 abstain, 6 in favor)
d) Shutdown Megaupload.

*sigh*
Fight is not over by a long run and it seems like one step forward is two steps back with these corrupt politicians that run our governments.  Personally, I becoming convinced that this won't be over until we are in the second Dark Ages at this rate. The concept of a public domain has been utterly raped and there is no security to ensure that works of our common heritage will remain free for people to use. Now it's just a matter of time until they try to recopyright the Bible, because you know they will... too much money to be had. We practically need a GNU "Free Public Information" license to offset this now. All I can say is that the Copyright lobby is composed entirely of robbers and thieves and they apparently own the government.

This battle is no longer about "Render unto Caesar" but rather it is about decrying that Caesar is again, quite blatantly, burning down the Library of Alexandria, which by no means belonged to him or his empire at that time. (But whoo boy, Caesar is doing a massive landgrab right now...) Information is something that should be free for both the Church and for those who do not know Christ, yet Caesar and his backers have decided that it is theirs to conquer. In this, I pray earnestly to God that they FAIL and are reproved with the full fervor due them for this invasion. By destroying the Public Domain (and with their stalled assassination attempt on the Internet), they have declared that copyright is no longer merely a privilege bestowed by We the People on productive members so they may earn a temporary benefit for advancing the state of "Useful Arts and Science," but rather that it all belongs to the greedy rent-seeking publisher middle-men who have undertaken to turn it into their piggy bank at the cost of robbing all future generations of their heritage.

What disappoints me most is that, looking at the supporters of PIPA and ACTA on OpenCongress, some of the biggest supporters of these laws were groups that are nominally Christian like the Gospel Music Association.  These laws are a travesty to the Gospel of Christ, whose teaching was to publish the Good News to all people freely not to censor their right to acquire information and study. We live in a society where singing "Happy Birthday" is illegal, for God's sake! It does not glorify God for public, common, information to be hidden from everyone. You can justify a temporary copyright but the current holders of copyright have proven that the "limited times" of the Constitution is meaningless by constantly extending it. Forever less a day is still a "limited time" and this is the precise loophole that the Copyright cronies have exploited to gain first life+70 terms then life+120 years.  As I see it, any sane copyright should be limited ONLY to the lifespan of the author or, ideally, to an economically sound limit where "first mover advantage" is still reasonably acquired.  However, as it stands, there is no upper bound to this madness and, now that Congress can retroactively extend copyrights, so there is also no lower bound to this either. Effectively, we, the People, (be us of a God-fearing persuasion or not) are being robbed while we sleep on the job.

I don't believe this is a fight we Christians can honestly ignore if we are to serve the glory of God.
emperorbma   |2012-01-20 20:27:21
Also, FWIW, I'm still happy for the small victory. Sometimes that's all we get, I think.
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Our valuable member emperorbma has been with us since Thursday, 03 April 2008.

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