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April 16, 2011 3:21 AM   Subscribe


 
from the second link: All people should have access to all information produced.

As proof of your faith, please give me your bank acct. number and PIN.
posted by dubold at 3:24 AM on April 16, 2011 [17 favorites]


I'd like to know what proportion of "koptimists" actually ever produce any meaningful, copy-worthy content.
posted by gene_machine at 3:52 AM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm down. Also, come September when NZ's copyright laws change, I expect you guys and the UN to come bail me the fuck out.

Its religious persecution here, man. All I'm trying to do is download the Drake album so I have something to listen to while I play with baby kittens.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:06 AM on April 16, 2011


All I'm trying to do is download the Drake album...

Love the Drake!
posted by rain at 4:13 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pie Jesu Domine.. ⌘-C!
dona eis requiem.. ⌘-V!
posted by lemuring at 4:14 AM on April 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


Screw the Drake.
posted by Splunge at 4:18 AM on April 16, 2011


This site needs a bury button.
posted by Yakuman at 4:46 AM on April 16, 2011


In related news, Jesus has been sued by the Breadmaking Association of America and the Fishmonger Industry Association of America for making illegal copies of loaves and fish.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:47 AM on April 16, 2011 [25 favorites]


Knowledge is probably the only thing I hold sacred.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 4:52 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a 'certain songs they get so scratched into your soul' kind of guy. That dosen't include remixes. Quotes of older songs in newer songs is okay, but not remixes or mash-ups. Whenever I hear a remix or a mashup of a song I like I do feel like a believer encountering a blasphemy.

I do believe in the search for knowledge and truth, though.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:23 AM on April 16, 2011


This is all getting needlessly messianic.
posted by randomkeystrike at 5:27 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


As proof of your faith, please give me your bank acct. number and PIN.

It's pretty sad that something so willfully obtuse would get so many favorites.
posted by DU at 5:42 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's pretty sad that something so willfully obtuse would get so many favorites.

I dunno. "All knowledge to all" is pretty silly. It reminds me of the time when I was very small and was told that "God was always watching me" and I asked "Even when I'm pooping?"
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:50 AM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


the grass is always more willfully obtuse on the smuggy side of the street
posted by kitchenrat at 5:55 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


My messiahs are musicians and artists and filmmakers and game creators. I'd prefer that they got paid, at least sometimes. I copy and pirate but I always try to buy when I can and give back in the form of merchendice and tickets.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:56 AM on April 16, 2011


Does this religion have an online store where I can get a St.Cory medal?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:56 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know what these guys are about, but I can think of a couple of vital differences between a bank acct # and a movie, news article, song, encyclopedia, video game or textbook.
posted by DU at 5:59 AM on April 16, 2011


I also think the point of sharing knowledge is to preserve it. If you've got the only copy of an out of print album by a small band than by all means share it. If own one of 100 copies of an out of print adventure game than spread that around. But I'm sure that knowledge of The Dark Knight or the new Decemberists album will not be lost if you don't torrent it.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:00 AM on April 16, 2011


As proof of your faith, please give me your bank acct. number and PIN.

It's pretty sad that something so willfully obtuse would get so many favorites.
Well, the actual problem is that PINs are really a horrible identification system. There's no reason why you couldn't use a system that didn't rely on secret information, such as a biometric. You could use a retinal scan to get money out of an ATM.

For internet sites you could use a crypto dongle. The problem here is that you would still rely on a secret (a private key) but it wouldn't be something that anyone, not even you, would know, and copying would be physically impossible.

But anyway there is a difference between privacy and copyright.
posted by delmoi at 6:00 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


As proof of your faith, please give me your bank acct. number and PIN.

This is like saying free speech is a farce if its proponents refuse to go out in public and scream "Hitler!" all day long
posted by crayz at 6:12 AM on April 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


If the koptimists don't literally think that literally all knowledge including bank account numbers and so forth should be shared, they probably shouldn't have written that line in their manifesto.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:24 AM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Stop taking it so literally, guys. Freaking militant akopimists. You're just as bad as the fundamentalist kopimists.
posted by callmejay at 6:34 AM on April 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


As proof of your faith, please give me your bank acct. number and PIN.

This is like saying free speech is a farce if its proponents refuse to go out in public and scream "Hitler!" all day long


No it's not. Unless you place a lot of value in being able to scream 'HITLER' in your own house when noone's listening.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:36 AM on April 16, 2011


It's pretty sad that something so willfully obtuse would get so many favorites.

It's not willfully obtuse at all. "All knowledge to all." Not "all knowledge, except for certain reasonable exceptions necessary to a functional society, to all, again with certain necessary exceptions."

This is like saying free speech is a farce if its proponents refuse to go out in public and scream "Hitler!" all day long

First, free speech proponents only advocate the freedom to choose what speech to engage in or not engage in, whereas this religion affirmatively calls for the sharing of all knowledge with everyone.

Furthermore, very few people would say there should be absolutely no limits on the right to free speech, whereas this religion pretty clearly seems to be calling for absolutely no limits on the sharing of knowledge.

But anyway there is a difference between privacy and copyright.

Not in an "all knowledge to all" society. In that case there is neither privacy nor copyright.

Well, the actual problem is that PINs are really a horrible identification system. There's no reason why you couldn't use a system that didn't rely on secret information, such as a biometric. You could use a retinal scan to get money out of an ATM.

PINs aren't great, but biometrics a) often aren't secret and b) suck in their own way. So, for example, if I have a scan of your retina then I can build a fake eye and fool a retina scanner. And once that secret is out you're screwed because you can't get a new retina.
posted by jedicus at 6:37 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


i await the forthcoming schism between the keyboardists and the right-click dialogists with interest
posted by pyramid termite at 6:39 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Stop taking it so literally, guys.

Nothing on the page indicates it isn't meant to be taken literally: "All knowledge to all...All people should have access to all information produced."

The only exception they talk about is, bizarrely, communications privacy: "It is a direct sin to monitor and eavesdrop on people. [A]bsolute secrecy is holy in the church of kopimism. In the individual pastoral care and confession with the kopimist priests (the Ops), priests are protected under Swedish law by an absolute professional secrecy."

So all knowledge to all, except for whenever someone decides it should be secret. And all people should have access to all information produced, except for church secrets.

I have an idea for a new religion. It will have two simple tenets. First, everyone has a sacred right to have cake at all times. Second, everyone has a sacred right to eat cake any time they want.
posted by jedicus at 6:42 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


third, marie antoinette is a saint
posted by pyramid termite at 6:43 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nothing on the page indicates it isn't meant to be taken literally

And Leviticus ends with "HAMBURGER"?
posted by callmejay at 6:44 AM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


So all knowledge to all, except for whenever someone decides it should be secret. And all people should have access to all information produced, except for church secrets.

Maybe if this whole thread wasn't in it for the lulz... it's pretty clear by "information" they're talking about creative works produced for others, and arguing that it's a moral imperative to share subjectively valuable works within your possession with other people. Whether or not you like that idea or think these people are overly simplistic and naive (they are), pretending that they're advocating breaking into people's houses and publishing their home movies on youtube or running "cat /dev/rand > THE WORLD" is just stupid
posted by crayz at 6:51 AM on April 16, 2011


Well, the actual problem is that PINs are really a horrible identification system. There's no reason why you couldn't use a system that didn't rely on secret information, such as a biometric. You could use a retinal scan to get money out of an ATM.

Biometric data is still data, and therefore falls under "All knowledge to all". So.... hold still for the scanner, please. This won't hurt a bit.

Really, it's a dumb rallying cry, and a sophomoric approach to the problem. And I say this as someone who is pro-copyright-reform.
posted by Leon at 6:53 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sebmojo: "Unless you place a lot of value in being able to scream 'HITLER' in your own house when noone's listening."

So there is this thing where under certain circumstances where the body is kind of overtaken by this chemical rush it is hard to control one's involuntary exclamations and such. I mean I'm just glad I stopped saying "oh god" every time.
posted by idiopath at 7:06 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Furthermore, very few people would say there should be absolutely no limits on the right to free speech

"Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech"
posted by crayz at 7:07 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Kinda like Lois McMaster Bujold's Betan society, where "Access to information shall not be abridged" is written into their constitution.
posted by Soliloquy at 7:13 AM on April 16, 2011


I'd like to know what proportion of "koptimists" actually ever produce any meaningful, copy-worthy content.

I don't know any creative people who don't pirate anything.
posted by empath at 7:35 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


You could use a retinal scan to get money out of an ATM.


You can change your pin. If someone figures out a way to fake out a biometric (retinal, fingerprint, etc.) how does someone change that?
posted by fellion at 7:50 AM on April 16, 2011


To be fair, knowledge could be not the term they're looking for. I've never actually seen information technology feathered by laws and I'm not really sure how I uplooad any thing.

If these guys are able to further murkify the file-sharing issue by wrapping religion around it, good on them.
posted by BeReasonable at 8:04 AM on April 16, 2011


Nothing on the page indicates it isn't meant to be taken literally: "All knowledge to all...All people should have access to all information produced."

To be fair, they are presenting themselves as a religion, so this statement could be explained as metaphor or an ineffable truth. We shall have to wait for the catechism and the subsequent schism.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:14 AM on April 16, 2011


Furthermore, very few people would say there should be absolutely no limits on the right to free speech

"Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech"


Right, except from the very beginning it was understood that 'the freedom of speech' did not mean "the absolute freedom to express anything, anytime, anywhere." The Constitution itself provides for limitations on free speech. The Patent & Copyright clause, for example, allows the government to restrict speech. It's likewise well understood that sharing military secrets with the enemy would constitute treason, as defined in the Constitution.

And that's without getting into what the Framers understood 'speech' and 'the freedom of speech' to mean at the time.
posted by jedicus at 8:33 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's pretty sad that something so willfully obtuse would get so many favorites.

Look, the world has enough religions that make all-encompassing rules with unpleasant consequences, so if you're going to come up with a new one, maybe try and aim a little higher?

Really, it's a dumb rallying cry, and a sophomoric approach to the problem. And I say this as someone who is pro-copyright-reform.

exactly. I'm all for trying different approaches to fix the issues with copyright and/or filesharing, but attempting to swaddle your hard drive like the Baby Jesus is not fooling anyone.
posted by dubold at 8:45 AM on April 16, 2011


This site needs a bury button.

Total tangent, but one of my favorite things about MetaFilter is that there's a little button that lets you say, "Hey, I appreciate this, for whatever reason!" but there isn't a little button that lets you say, "No one should see this, ever, because I disagree with it!" and the first little button does nothing except indicate that someone appreciated something, for whatever reason and only that if someone is so inclined to let favorites remain visible.

As for the kopimists, I basically agree with what they have to say but I'm starting to wish that someone else would make the case for filesharing in a reasonable, practical and ethical way, instead of just turning the rhetoric and righteous indignation up to eleven. Having watched file sharing debates play out over and over again, I want to be on the side that supports beauty, art and human joy, not the side that supports "the way things have always been," so I understand the impulse to write a great big manifesto, but I'm not sure great big manifestos add as much to beauty, art and human joy as being able to honestly talk to each other without the taboos could.
posted by byanyothername at 8:51 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


The best thing about this thread is that it has the phrase "crypto dongle" in it.
posted by rifflesby at 8:57 AM on April 16, 2011


And that's without getting into what the Framers understood 'speech' and 'the freedom of speech' to mean at the time.

Yeah, but look what you're doing:
1) assume you know what they mean by information and sharing, and call it stupid
2) point out that they also say people have the right to "privacy" and "secrecy", and act as though it's a bizarre contradiction

Is there just no possibility you've misunderstood what they're advocating, in the same way that a literal reading of the first amendment or a great deal of other absolutist-sounding philosophical/moral statements would lead to absurdities?
posted by crayz at 9:00 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is there just no possibility you've misunderstood what they're advocating, in the same way that a literal reading of the first amendment or a great deal of other absolutist-sounding philosophical/moral statements would lead to absurdities?

It's possible, but religious documents are often intended to be read literally and absolutely, whereas legal documents are meant to be interpreted and construed, often within a changing legal or social context. Maybe they should stick "subject to revision; not to be taken literally" on the page.

Let's look closer. The Constitution says "free speech except for, at a minimum, these fairly well-defined exceptions." This religion says "everyone must share all knowledge, except these really poorly-defined exceptions that threaten to swallow the rule."

Within the terms of the religion you can fake a copyright by simply claiming that a given creative work is being "communicated" and thus must be held in "absolute secrecy." I'm not "selling you a copy of a movie," I'm "communicating the movie to you, which you must not share with anyone." So that's kind of silly. Clearly one principle or the other must be compromised, but nothing on the page suggests there's room for any compromise. Not when it uses absolutist religious phrases like sacred, holy, sin, and, well, absolute.

But you only get that far if you treat the religion as a bona fide expression of religious belief rather than as the file-sharing equivalent of the "smoking marijuana is part of my religion" defense, which it quite obviously is.
posted by jedicus at 9:17 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


You could use a retinal scan to get money out of an ATM.

Any enjoy it when you can't take money out because you just ingested an NSAID or something else. Have retinal scans improved in the last 10 years?
/derail
posted by yerfatma at 9:19 AM on April 16, 2011


So, for example, if I have a scan of your retina then I can build a fake eye and fool a retina scanner.

Anyone who takes the time, resources and trouble to build a perfect, scanner-fooling copy of my eyeball, in all detail, is hereby welcome to all of the money I have in my bank account. And I'll give them all the cash I have on me if I can have the eye afterward.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 11:25 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


the actual problem is that PINs are really a horrible identification system

I don't know of any banks that use PINs as an identification system.

You cannot reason clearly about security without understanding the difference between identification and authentication. The rest of the ATM derail in this thread is a fine example of that.
posted by hattifattener at 11:50 AM on April 16, 2011


Biometric data is still data, and therefore falls under "All knowledge to all". So.... hold still for the scanner, please. This won't hurt a bit.

Yeah, but having your retinal scan doesn't mean they can get the money out of the bank. They'll still need a way to fool the machine, which would hopefully be difficult.
posted by delmoi at 2:07 PM on April 16, 2011


"PINs aren't great, but biometrics a) often aren't secret and b) suck in their own way. So, for example, if I have a scan of your retina then I can build a fake eye and fool a retina scanner. And once that secret is out you're screwed because you can't get a new retina."

Oh yeah? Stare at the sun through a pair of high powered binoculars for a while.
posted by Splunge at 2:46 PM on April 16, 2011


my connection: I was given a "special thank you" credit (for doing, er, pretty much nothing) in the RIP Manifesto movie.

my cred: I worked for big labels for >10 years, then later in life, "switched sides" and worked for Creative Commons for >5 years on their music remix site.

my take on MeFi's take on "piracy": there are many very vocal and opinionated folks here who made a set of decisions about the world in 1975 (or based on the world frozen in time around 1975) who could use a walk around the block and some mind expansion.

my take on this religion post: not really helpful.
posted by victors at 3:16 PM on April 16, 2011


>> As proof of your faith, please give me your bank acct. number and PIN.

> It's pretty sad that something so willfully obtuse would get so many favorites.

What's yet more obtuse is denying that proliferation can reduce scarcity, and reduce value, and therefore cause losses... thereby having the same effect on you that me giving away your ID or banking data can.

Doubtless FREE STUFF can increase the value of the network that offers it (and obviously, swell the coffers or strengthen the hand of those who control or extract tariffs from that network); but the network's charity in this regard will just as surely reduce the value of the nodes on that network.

And to wish for that, is to wish not for a future of freely-sharing volunteer artisans, fed by waters from an endless spring and manna and mushrooms, but one controlled by the whims of distributors and behemoths, middlemen and gatekeepers.
posted by darth_tedious at 3:35 PM on April 16, 2011


Thinking in absolutes is an oxymoron.

But it does sure help get one out of all that hard thinking! That's why religion is great - it lets one say, "I'm done arguing about this. I'm calling it a religion, so if you point out how what I'm saying needs nuance or more thought put into it, you're a jerk."

Man...every time I start talking about religion I get so irritated with all of its crapitude...
posted by HotPants at 3:36 PM on April 16, 2011


"religious documents are often meant to be read literally and absolutely"

Really? Since when does that ever happen? I'm pretty sure most of the bible is stories and metaphors and nobody can agree what it all means....
posted by stillnocturnal at 5:06 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


But yeah, turning something into a religion because it seems like an easy way out isn't going to solve anything, prove anything, or achieve anything in my opinion
posted by stillnocturnal at 5:07 PM on April 16, 2011


Hi, I'm looking for a plate of beans, have you guys seen it anywhere?
posted by freebird at 8:21 PM on April 16, 2011


What's yet more obtuse is denying that proliferation can reduce scarcity, and reduce value, and therefore cause losses... thereby having the same effect on you that me giving away your ID or banking data can.
I don't really understand the point though. What you're asking for is artificial scarcity. The entertainment value of a movie doesn't go down if you torrent it instead of buy it, but the value to the creator does. But so what? Why is it everyone else's responsibility to volunteer to deprive themselves of media in order to benefit the creators and their middle men?
And to wish for that, is to wish not for a future of freely-sharing volunteer artisans, fed by waters from an endless spring and manna and mushrooms, but one controlled by the whims of distributors and behemoths, middlemen and gatekeepers.
This is just paranoia. Bittorent maybe pays the rent of a few guys in Sweden. It's actually closed system DRM stores like iTunes or Kindle store that take a big chunk (like 30%) of the sale of digital items. So it's actually the reverse. Uncontrolled media makes no money for anyone
posted by delmoi at 3:32 AM on April 17, 2011


I also think the point of sharing knowledge is to preserve it. If you've got the only copy of an out of print album by a small band than by all means share it. If own one of 100 copies of an out of print adventure game than spread that around. But I'm sure that knowledge of The Dark Knight or the new Decemberists album will not be lost if you don't torrent it.

Raises the question of what's the cut off point? And what if the copyright holder would prefer you did not copy the work, are his rights to be ignored just because they can be? There are plenty of artists/writers/musicians who are just as happy to have their early work forgotten. (Though I appreciate your intent to reward the creators in some or other.)

The religion thing is just a specious sham - but then, a lot of the arguments for denying copyright are specious shams, so no surprise there.

The entertainment value of a movie doesn't go down if you torrent it instead of buy it, but the value to the creator does. But so what? Why is it everyone else's responsibility to volunteer to deprive themselves of media in order to benefit the creators and their middle men?

Wrong question. Question really is, why is it your right to take entertainment value without paying for it? Why do you get to decide that you are the special snowflake that gets stuff for free and on your own terms while others (chumps, apparently) pick up the tab?

What creators and middle men are asking you, nay, requiring of you is to respect the market place, that is, the concept that a creator/rights holder can free offer his goods and you are free to take the deal, reject the deal, or counter offer on the deal.* You are NOT free to say eff you, I'm taking the product now and for nothing because I feel like it and I can. That would be theft, however much some want to put sophistic (not to say sophomoric) arguments to the contrary. (I suppose the pirate party does own up to it in their jokey way, but traditionally we hang pirates, and quite rightly so.)

There are good reasons for the copyright arrangement, and they include general welfare, not just enriching Disney. Encouraging creators to create, and investors to take a chance on big projects. See, in the long term, if nobody pays, then the creators and media men stop creating and mediating product. No Madmen or for you or anybody. (This is why the stage hand unions are behind the copyright protection movements. They have jobs. They would like to continue to have jobs.) Call it paranoia if you will, but "you get what you pay for" works on the macro scale as well as micro, and if the money dries up, people give up creating in favor of working at the post office.

Y'all got a free ride in the early days of the internet. You could do it, you could do it in the shadows, you could do it without having to face the people whose stuff you were taking. That appears to be changing.

*(And realistically, pretty much any media rapidly comes down in access price. Hardbacks to paperbacks, first run moves to dvds, full prices cds to cut-outs, and most of it available at the library. Creators and middle men already in effect give out a great deal of what they produce. For others to insist, and often quite angrily, I notice, on yet more more more is more than a little shabby.)
posted by IndigoJones at 7:10 AM on April 17, 2011


No Madmen or for you or anybody.

I would happily trade ALL future creative production by paid artists for the right to give all human beings on earth access to everything which has ever been created to this point. You think no more albums, no more movies, no more novels, no more tv series if we legalize file sharing? I think you're very, very, wrong, but even if you're right, I don't care. I'm willing to make that trade.
posted by empath at 8:26 AM on April 17, 2011


Bad news, guys. The MPAA has explained that copying is not worth it at all. This is like if the Large Hadron Collider disproved Heaven.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:40 PM on April 17, 2011




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