An Anti-Kopimist using her Power to Censor Honest Journalism

Hello Kopimists,

I would like to take a moment to share with you this article, in which it is described that the Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, contacted a newspaper and had a story about her and her daughter pulled. The details of the story, which you can read for yourself, are partiularly interesting beacuse they raised questions about the lawfulness of Gov. Haley’s actions regarding family employment. Please read the article for yourself and, if you feel moved by this blatant anti-Kopimist action, to contact the governor’s office or share the story with your friends and family.

Ctrl+V, Ctrl+C,
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Taking Copyright’s Pulse

Hello Kopimists,
It is important, as Kopimists, that we be aware of those anti-Kopimist organizations lurking in the world.  Do not forget that the ultimate goal of the anti-Kopimist is to prevent ownership, eliminate property rights, and to criminalize all sharing without payment to the rights-holder (who we no longer can assume is the artist).  In a pre-internet age, people of the Kopimist mindset would have little or no way to educate themselves with respect to current anti-Kopimist actions being taken across the globe.

Fortunately, the wonderful people at several non-profit and academic institutions have teamed up to provide excellent articles on this exact subject.  They describe specific ways in which you or your peers might be vulnerable, or protected, from copyright-based attacks from the anti-Kopimists.  Their website, found here, while not a site for legal advice, is a wonderful place to educate yourself about anti-Kopimist techniques and practices.  Seeing a formal copyright complaint can be a sobering and unexpected experience. The least we can do is look, listen, and learn. Despite the prevalence of anti-Kopimism around the world, we remain faithful that some day the true value of Kopimism will be known to the population at large, evolving our culture into better harmony with its ancient origins.

Seed the faith,
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A Kopimist’s Thoughts

Image Courtesy of TBBack

Since it’s official acceptance in Sweden, a torrent of confusion has followed the rise of Kopimism. People struggle with something that calls itself a religion, yet is silent on common questions that religions are expected to answer, questions like Who made us? What happens after death?  and What does the special underwear do?   After fielding some similar questions from curious friends on and offline, I thought this would be a good place to start exploring Kopimism.

The fact is, the simplicity of Kopimism has confused the world.   And the real question is, amid this confusion, can it possibly fulfill the role of religion?

Well I think so.

The skeptics are right, of course, that Kopimism lacks many of the qualities we’ve come to expect from religious philosophies.  It has a simple core that basically boils down to Copying, mixing and disseminating information is right.  There are some nuts and bolts in there, too, but the fact remains that Kopimism doesn’t cast a wide net over believers’ lives. It doesn’t tell you not to cheat on your wife.  It doesn’t tell you what parts of your body to cover.  It doesn’t tell you what food to eat.  It doesn’t tell you what to say before a meal or before you die.  Kopimism has exactly what all religions begin with: a core.

So does it need more? Does it need to cast a wide net?

Not at all.

It’s 2012.  We live in a digital culture that has the unprecedented power to experience life communally, to share life and culture everywhere, to anyone, all the time.   And we exercise this power.   Frequently.   We see it every day, we drive it, we revel in it, we love it, and sometimes we fear it a little too.  Religion reflects culture, and Kopimism is a perfect reflection of a culture whose unifying feature is sharing.

And another feature of this digital culture?  It’s global.

Ours is a culture that threads across continents, languages, beliefs and customs.  This digital culture is one based on a multitude of others, all woven together with the power to share anything across those continents, languages, beliefs and customs.

And Kopimism can reflect a multitudes of cultures, exactly because it sanctifies this one unifying feature.  This core.    Copying, mixing and disseminating information is right.   The lack of other, traditional aspects of religion is exactly what gives Kopimism its strength. If it extended more of a net, it wouldn’t, accurately  represent the values of this twenty-first century digital culture.

And the world isn’t getting less digital.

The world isn’t getting less connected.

~Aelius Blythe,
Author, blogger, digital rights activist

Welcome Slovakia into the Kopimistic Tradition!

Hello Kopimists,

We’d like to welcome a new Church to the Kopimist family.  The Missionary Church in the Slovak Republic has established a website.  It is currently under construction, but it should be in full swing shortly.  It can be found here.

If you would like to show your support for Kopimism in the Slovak Republic through Facebook, you can find them through this link.

We hope our friends in Slovakia Republic inspire the multiplication of even more churches!

Copy and Seed,
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Welcome the Australian Church of Kopimism

Hello Kopimists,

Let’s take a moment to welcome our brothers and sisters in Australia to the growing list of Kopimism-practicing nations.  Their website can be found in the link bar, and here.

Copy and seed,
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Another Pirate Bay Proxy

Hello Kopimists,

It’s unfortunate that one website, The Pirate Bay, acting in the spirit of Kopimism, is being intensely targeted by so many pawns of the copyright industry.  You don’t need me to tell you that Google, UK ISPs, India, Belgium, and The Netherlands have censored The Pirate Bay from citizens in each respective country. These actions have been taken due to the susceptibility of fascist regimes to the abhorrent demands of despicable anti-Kopimist interest groups, resulting in the worldwide persecution of Kopimists. We fully support the seeding of Pirate Bay proxies such as www.justflickit.net and the dozens of other proxies out there that allow users to search for TPB torrents without directly accessing the site. We encourage copying and seeding for the purpose of worship and the celebration of Kopimist ideals. Spread culture widely and broadly, as it cannot exist otherwise.

If it feels good, share it,
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We are a Missionary Religion, not the Pirate Party

Dear Kopimists,

There seem to be several rather shallow conversations about Kopimism lately.  I would like to take this opportunity to clear up some concerns that people have regarding our missionary religion.

Comment 1) Kopimism is like communism/socialism/liberalism

Firstly, communism, socialism, and liberalism are a socioeconomic and political philosophies of governance.  Kopimism is a religion.  We do not involve ourselves with politics.  Secondly, liberals and communists are often concerned about production of material goods, sharing physical property, and establishing coercive, authoritarian regimes that control peoples’ daily lives.  We are interested in multiplying data and through this multiplication, knowledge and culture.  We are not interested in depriving one group of some subset of intellectual property for the benefit of another.  Copying is not stealing.  Remixing is not stealing.  People who group Kopimism with these political philosophies seem not to understand anything about Kopimism or liberalism.  If you spend a bit of time reading about them, you might see some differences immediately.  I suggest using Wikipedia – it’s a wonderful expression of Kopimist ideals.

Comment 2)  If everyone copied everything and resold it as their own, no one would make anything.

This is a logical extreme and does not exist in the real world.  The exact opposite statement could be made in terms of copyright protection: if all forms of intellectual property protection were applied to the extreme and if new ones were created that infinitely extended protection of intellectual property, then no one could open a book without paying for it.  Education, entertainment, and cultural expressions in all of their forms (art included) would become so expensive that only the incredibly wealthy would be able to afford any significant exposure to them.  The world would slip into intellectual and creative darkness due to lack of access.  Innovation would be hampered due to the ability of one creator to live off of the royalties from a single creative act.  Furthermore, people would lack inspiration to build upon the innovation of others because they would be unable to access new creative works.  See, I can do that too.  It’s equally absurd.  Plagiarism and the unauthorized sale of others’ creative content is a completely different subject.  Kopimism does not condone these acts.  We advocate copying and sharing for religious, not financial, reasons.

Comment 3) If Kopimists believe in Kopimism then they should give away all of their personal information.

no u.  Kopimism does not mandate that its members share all of their personal information or even all of their data.  Sharing is a voluntary, timeless, and wonderful act.   We encourage people to share their data, and we believe that the copying, remixing, and seeding of data are holy acts that should be applauded.  Additionally, Kopimism fully supports the use of encryption during worship and strongly values personal privacy.  Please do not make things up about our religion  so that you have an easier time disagreeing with it.

 

I hope this clears up a few misconceptions that people have about the religion that are not already covered elsewhere on this site and on the Swedish site.  If you have any personal questions or would like advice about worship, please feel free to contact us.  You may also want to check out our IRC chatroom (we have a few on different servers) on irc.telecomix.org #kopimi, port 6669 (port 6697 for ssl connection).  If you need instructions for using IRC or are having problems connecting, please contact us via e-mail (found in our contact section).

Datalove be with you all,

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Kopimist Education

Hello Fellow Kopimists,
I would like to take a moment to highlight a bastion of Kopimist values on the internet, MIT OpenCourseWare.  This website, hosted by MIT, is a collection of 2000 MIT courses published under a Creative Commons license.  When I say courses, I don’t just mean lecture videos.  The MIT lecture videos by themselves are viewable on the MIT YouTube channel, as are Stanford Courses, and Berkeley Courses.  The MIT OpenCourseWare pages contain far more than the average “open access” fare, including lecture videos, lecture transcripts, subtitle options, course assignments, and even exams with solutions for each course.  It is positively refreshing to see Kopimist principles at work in the upper echelons of academia.

This is your ongoing opportunity to get hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of world-class education freely and legally.   The only thing you can’t get with these courese is an enthusiastic answer to your burning questions by an experienced professor.  For the cost of tuition nowadays, I’d say that most of us are willing to go without that particular perk of live lectures.

Information brings light to darkness, and right now MIT is shining a bigass laser beam in all directions.  We can only hope that other institutions follow suit and seed their lectures.

Let the data flow,

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The Massachusetts Pirate Party Discusses Kopimism

Fellow Kopimists,

We are thrilled to see that Kopimism was discussed recently at the 2012 Massachusetts Pirate Party Conference!  The great presentation, courageously delivered by Lauren Pespisa, can be found here.

If you would like more information on the Massachusetts Pirate Party, feel free to visit their website at www.masspirates.org

To the troll in the video who attempted several times to attack Kopimism: sir, you should not bring a legal argument to a religion fight.  Expecting any religion to provide a logic-based mandate for every single action that one might take is absurd and offensive.  It insults the basic moral fiber of Kopimists and all of humanity to outright demand a total moral code of conduct from anyone purporting to have a new perspective on issues of our time.  Are we nothing but slaves to our omnipotent Gods?  This kind of expectation is typical of someone living in the shadow of Judeo-Christian dogma embedded in an overly-authoritarian governance structure.

Copying and disseminating information is ethically right.  Copymixing is sacred and a sign of respect.  These ideas do not deal in any way with compensation of any kind for the transfer of information, nor do they place mandates on Kopimists.  People decide for themselves where they draw the lines.  People decide what they release and what they choose to keep private.  Please, try listening before you speak.  Who knows… you might end up sharing a bit in the end!

Sharing my data
every day
every way,
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Stormy Weather Ahead for Kopimists

Fellow Kopimists,

As a religion, we do not actively engage in political debate of any kind.  When SOPA and ACTA were up for debate, we politely abstained from railing against the injustices brought about by specific pieces of legislation or particular congresspersons.  Unfortunately, fellow Kopimists, a very different assault on our ability to worship is happening now.  It is much harder to see, and much harder to stop, than any public piece of proposed legislation.  It is the willful filtering and censorship of the internet by the very private entities that provide the service, internet service providers (ISPs), in the United States of America.

Hogwash you say?!!? Not in my country you say!!?!! The original CNET News article can be found here.

There is nothing secretive or conspiratorial about it.  Several major ISPs that provide internet service for millions of users are going to start automatically monitoring your activities.  If they THINK that you are infringing on someone’s copyright, then they’ll notify you.  They’ll keep records of all potentially infringing acts.  If your internet connection continues to be used for potentially-infringing activities, they will send you more notices, and eventually they may decrease your bandwidth or temporarily suspend your internet service.  These are not small, obscure ISPs we’re talking about.  These are Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon.

If a telecom company were to set up monitoring software for telephone lines to identify and record any conversations that they deemed inappropriate, there would be an instantaneous and immediate shift in subscribers.  Law-abiding people would flee the service to use other, less-intrusive services simply for the preservation of their privacy.  Due to the limited infrastructure and relatively small number of companies running broadband services, for many people that is just not possible.  Many users will not have access to an internet connection run by a non-privacy-invading company.

Now, in order to determine if you’re potentially infringing on copyright law, the ISP will need to determine 2 things: what internet locations you are visiting, and what type of data is being exchanged with those websites.  This is effectively the same as being forced to wear an ankle bracelet in exchange for being on a piece of private property (like a store or college campus).  Once this infrastructure is in place, it is almost laughably easy to abuse it.

As Kopimists, we respect the free flow of information.  We want to share our data, and we want others to share theirs.  How, then, could someone stop their ISP from determining what websites are being visited?  It is called Tor, and it can be found here.  Please look into it, and set up a relay if you can.  It is important to note that Tor is used for legitimate governmental and private communication EVERY SINGLE DAY by thousands of users.  The people who run Tor are amazing individuals, working almost tirelessly to help Kopimists and other like-minded individuals use the internet for creative, life-improving purposes, even when their service providers or governments would force them to do otherwise.  Tor has proven particularly useful in opening up internet-based lines of communication in countries where governments actively censor free speech between individuals and the outside world.  There are many informational videos about Tor on their website as well as YouTube and perhaps hundreds of interesting articles on a variety of websites.  There information is there for you to learn.  Please, learn about Tor and support this wonderful system.

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