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UnPromisedLand: In Israel….

a post i saw on facebook …. thought i would tweak  it

UnPromisedLand: In Israel…..

Kopimism, Sweden's Pirate Religion, Begins to Plunder America 'Kopimism' gives internet piracy a place to worship By Jason Koebler April 20, 2012 RSS Feed Print The symbol of Kopimism, a religion dedicated to information sharing. The symbol of Kopimism, a religion dedicated to information sharing. A Swedish religion whose dogma centers on the belief that people should be free to copy and distribute all information—regardless of any copyright or trademarks—has made its way to the United States. Followers of so-called "Kopimism" believe copying, sharing, and improving on knowledge, music, and other types of information is only human—the Romans remixed Greek mythology, after all, they say. In January, Kopimism—a play on the words "copy me"—was formally recognized by a Swedish government agency, raising its profile worldwide. [Rapidshare: Megaupload's Pirates are Unwelcome] "Culture is something that makes people feel much better and makes people appreciate their world in a different way. Knowledge is also something we should copy regardless of the law," says Isak Gerson, the 20-year-old founder of Kopimism. "It makes us better when we share knowledge and culture with each other." More than 3,500 people "like" Kopimism on Facebook, and thousands more practice its sacred ritual of file sharing. According to its manifesto, private, closed-source software code and anti-piracy software are "comparable to slavery." Kopimist "Ops," or spiritual leaders, are encouraged to give counsel to people who want to pirate files, are banned from recording and should encrypt all virtual religious service meetings "because of society's vicious legislative and litigious persecution of Kopimists." Official in-person meetings must happen in places free of anti-Kopimist monitoring and in spaces with the Kopimist symbol—a pyramid with the letter K inside. To be initiated new parishioners must share the Kopimist symbol and say the sacred words "copied and seeded." The gospel of the church has begun to spread, with Kopimist branches in 18 countries. An American branch of the religion was recently registered with Illinois and is in the process of gaining federal recognition, according to Christopher Carmean, a 25-year-old student at the University of Chicago and head of the U.S. branch. "Data is what we are made of, data is what defines our life, and data is how we express ourselves," says Carmean. "Forms of copying, remixing, and sharing enhance the quality of life for all who have access to them. Attempts to hinder sharing are antithetical to our data-driven existence." [ISPs Close to Implementing System to Punish Piracy] About 450 people have registered with his church, and about 30 of them are actively practicing the religion, whose symbols include Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V—the keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste. It's no surprise the religion was born in Sweden—it has some of the laxest copyright laws in the world. The Swedish Pirate Party has two seats in the European Parliament, and The Pirate Bay, a Swedish website that's one of the world's largest portals to illegal files, has avoided being shut down for years. Gerson is happy to allow people who want to open their own branches of Kopimism to copy its symbols and religious documents. "There's been a couple people that asked me [to start congregations], but I tell them they shouldn't ask. You don't need permission," he says. "It's a project, and I want projects to be copied, so I'm happy when people copy without asking." Most Kopimists say they realized they were practicing the religion before they found it. "There are many people who are like me, who always held the Kopimist ideals, but hadn't yet heard of the official church," says Lauren Pespisa, a web developer in Cambridge, Mass., who gave a speech about the religion in March to a group of anti-copyright activists called the Massachusetts Pirate Party. "I think some people are like me and have embraced it officially and publicly, but some people believe in it and don't really want to mix religion and politics."

'Kopimism' gives internet piracy a place to worship

April 20, 2012 RSS Feed Print

The symbol of Kopimism, a religion dedicated to information sharing.The symbol of Kopimism, a religion dedicated to information sharing.

A Swedish religion whose dogma centers on the belief that people should be free to copy and distribute all information—regardless of any copyright or trademarks—has made its way to the United States.

Followers of so-called "Kopimism" believe copying, sharing, and improving on knowledge, music, and other types of information is only human—the Romans remixed Greek mythology, after all, they say. In January, Kopimism—a play on the words "copy me"—was formally recognized by a Swedish government agency, raising its profile worldwide.

[Rapidshare: Megaupload's Pirates are Unwelcome]

"Culture is something that makes people feel much better and makes people appreciate their world in a different way. Knowledge is also something we should copy regardless of the law," says Isak Gerson, the 20-year-old founder of Kopimism. "It makes us better when we share knowledge and culture with each other."

More than 3,500 people "like" Kopimism on Facebook, and thousands more practice its sacred ritual of file sharing. According to its manifesto, private, closed-source software code and anti-piracy software are "comparable to slavery." Kopimist "Ops," or spiritual leaders, are encouraged to give counsel to people who want to pirate files, are banned from recording and should encrypt all virtual religious service meetings "because of society's vicious legislative and litigious persecution of Kopimists."

Official in-person meetings must happen in places free of anti-Kopimist monitoring and in spaces with the Kopimist symbol—a pyramid with the letter K inside. To be initiated new parishioners must share the Kopimist symbol and say the sacred words "copied and seeded."

The gospel of the church has begun to spread, with Kopimist branches in 18 countries.

An American branch of the religion was recently registered with Illinois and is in the process of gaining federal recognition, according to Christopher Carmean, a 25-year-old student at the University of Chicago and head of the U.S. branch.

"Data is what we are made of, data is what defines our life, and data is how we express ourselves," says Carmean. "Forms of copying, remixing, and sharing enhance the quality of life for all who have access to them. Attempts to hinder sharing are antithetical to our data-driven existence."

[ISPs Close to Implementing System to Punish Piracy]

About 450 people have registered with his church, and about 30 of them are actively practicing the religion, whose symbols include Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V—the keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste.

It's no surprise the religion was born in Sweden—it has some of the laxest copyright laws in the world. The Swedish Pirate Party has two seats in the European Parliament, and The Pirate Bay, a Swedish website that's one of the world's largest portals to illegal files, has avoided being shut down for years.

Gerson is happy to allow people who want to open their own branches of Kopimism to copy its symbols and religious documents.

"There's been a couple people that asked me [to start congregations], but I tell them they shouldn't ask. You don't need permission," he says. "It's a project, and I want projects to be copied, so I'm happy when people copy without asking."

Most Kopimists say they realized they were practicing the religion before they found it.

"There are many people who are like me, who always held the Kopimist ideals, but hadn't yet heard of the official church," says Lauren Pespisa, a web developer in Cambridge, Mass., who gave a speech about the religion in March to a group of anti-copyright activists called the Massachusetts Pirate Party. "I think some people are like me and have embraced it officially and publicly, but some people believe in it and don't really want to mix religion and politics."

israel-kopimia.jpeg

kopimism, what is it all about… read me

I am an Op. irc://irc.telecomix.org/kopimi

If you are thinking of joining the temple/church, you should read our values,  as well as the first half of the Constitution in whatever language you  prefer.  If you agree with the mission of the temple/church and the values we hold sacred, you can immediately start calling yourself a Kopimist!  If you would like to formalize your membership with the temple/church, first you should copy one of the Kopimi pyramid images from here  and then register with us using the form https://kopimism.wordpress.com/%D7%94%D7%A6%D7%98%D7%A8%D7%A3/

You can also add me on https://www.facebook.com/kopimi.il

Thank you.

Worship through meditation is sufficient to be considered part of the Kopimist community. A person who identifies with our philosophy, whether formally registered with the Temple/Church of Kopimism or not, is considered a Kopimist.

Kopimism is based on a few basic axioms, which in turn can be traced back to our strong defense of the intrinsic value of information,  We ascribe this value to all information irrespective of its content.  Since information and its intrinsic value are so sacred, Kopimists recognize the following axioms:

  •     Copying of information is ethically right.
  •     Dissemination of information is ethically right.
  •     Copymixing (copying and/or remixing) is a sacred kind of copying, more so than the perfect digital copying,     because it expands and enhances the existing wealth of information.
  •     Copying or remixing information communicated by another person is seen as an act of respect and a strong   expression of acceptance and Kopimistic faith.
  •     The Internet is holy.
  •     Code is law.

You do not need to change anything when becoming a kopimist. Stay believing in whatever you believe in,  whether it is in God, Jesus, Moses, Muhammad or anyone else.  We are not a religion that provides "all" the morality a person needs. Your morals come from you and/or whatever God you believe in.

Philosophy
Copying is a sacred activity. Copying accurate knowledge, in a variety of formats, for the purposes of education helps the world.  My ideal future is one where I own a library of all the books ever written that anyone, poor or rich, can access at the push of a button for no cost.

It is important to note that, I personally believe that knowledge is sacred. The ability to reproduce the information one possesses is sacred.

Kopimism is a religion, one might even define it as a cause.  Like most religions, Kopimism is against stealing. With respect to information, Kopimism disagrees with many copyright holders usage of the word “stealing”.  We wish for the creators of content to receive due credit for the information they create, as is done in academia.  We also believe that creators and owners of content have the right to sell their content.

Kopimists are interested in everyone’s sacred right to reproduce and distribute information.  Copyrighted content, or patents, conflict with these beliefs.  These legal instruments, when applied to content or invention, insist that information, digital or tangible, cannot be copied or distributed respectively.

Our issue with content owners occurs once a copy of the content is distributed to the user.  We believe that this copy, once in the users possession, belongs to the user and that the user can copy and distribute this information at his or her discretion (with due credit where credit applies).  An example of this would be a recipe in a cook book.  Say there is a cook book for sale at a book store and someone sees a recipe on page 8.  Kopimists believe that the reader of the book does not need to get permission from the author of the book to give this recipe to a friend. Furthermore, if my grandmother has an old family recipe that is exactly the same as a recipe on page 11 in the same book, a kopimist does not believe my grandmother would be guilty of copyright/patent infringement.

Kopimism also takes issue with many things that are copyrighted.  We do not believe that the number one can be copyrighted, or the number two, ad nauseum.  Most people inherently believe the same about all numbers, or even mathematics, when presented to them in this way.  This Kopimist belief causes issue with owners of digital content.  All digital content, i.e., mp3s, pdf’s, avi’s, etc, exist on a computer as a single integer. You could give me a digital copy of any file such as an mp3 of Mozart’s Cello Sonata in D Major performed by Yo Yo Ma, and I could show you a single number, in a text editor or on paper, that would be considered protected by the copyright holder of Yo Yo Ma’s music.  Any digital file can be converted back and forth to its corresponding integer.  Furthermore there are many integers, hundreds of thousands, that your computer would read as Yo Yo Ma’s music.

In short, many digital content owners believe that a number can be owned. Even though Kopimists believe that information, i.e., personal information, can be keep secret and that authors have the right to sell the books they write, we fundamentally disagree that this type of (digital) ownership can be held over the integers.

Kopimism: the world's newest religion explained

Kopimism: the world's newest religion explained

Isak Gerson is spiritual leader of the world's newest religion, Kopimism, devoted to file-sharing. On 5 January the Church of Kopimism was formally recognised as a religion by the Swedish government.

 

Tell me about this new file-sharing religion, Kopimism.
We were founded about 15 months ago and we believe that information is holy and that the act of copying is holy.

Why make a religion out of file-sharing? Why not just be an ordinary club without defining yourselves as being a religious community?
Because we see ourselves as a religious group, a church seems like a good way of organising ourselves.

Was it hard to become an official religion?
We have had this faith for several years and one day we thought, why not try and get it registered? It was quite difficult. The authorities were quite dogmatic with their formalities. It took us three tries and more than a year to get recognised.

What criteria do you have to meet to become an official religion?
The law states that to be a religion you have to be an organisation that practises moments of prayer or meditation in your rituals.

What are the Kopimist prayers and meditations?
We have a part of our religious practices where we worship the value of information by copying it.

You call this "kopyacting". Do you actually meet up in a building, like a church, to undertake these rituals?
We do meet up, but it doesn't have to be a physical room. It could be a server or a web page too.

I understand that certain symbols have special significance in Kopimism.
Yes. There is the "kopimi" logo, which is a K written inside a pyramid a symbol used online to show you want to be copied. But there are also symbols that represent and encourage copying, for example, "CTRL+V" and "CTRL+C".

Why is information, and sharing it, so important to you?
Information is the building block of everything around me and everything I believe in. Copying it is a way of multiplying the value of information.

What's your stance on illegal file-sharing?
I think that the copyright laws are very problematic, and at least need to be rewritten, but I would suggest getting rid of most of them.

So all file-sharing should be legal?
Absolutely.

Are you just trying to make a point, or is this religion for real?
We've had this faith for several years.

What has the reaction been from established churches?
I haven't spoken to many of them, but those I have spoken to have been curious, and seen it as an interesting discussion.

Can you get excommunicated from the Church of Kopimism?
We have never thought about it. But if you don't believe in our values then I guess there is no point in being a member, and if you do believe in our values you can't really be excommunicated.

How many church members are there?
Around 3000.

How do you become a Kopimist?
Our site is down for moment, because there has been too much traffic, but when it is up, you just have to read about our values and agree with them, then you can register on the web page.

Is there a deity associated with Kopimism?
No, there isn't.

Is Julian Assange a high priest of Kopimism?
No. We have had no communication with him.

Does Kopimism have anything to say about the afterlife?
Not really. As a religion we are not so focussed on humans.

It could be a digital afterlife.
Information doesn't really have a life, but I guess it can be forgotten, but as long as it is copied it won't be.

Profile

Isak Gerson is a 20-year-old philosophy student at Uppsala University, Sweden. Together with Gustav Nipe – a member of Sweden's Pirate party – and others, he has founded the Church of Kopimism.

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