Author: Carsten Agger Published: January 7th, 2012
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.
You write Free Software because you want to contribute to the community. It’s an act of social activism. It’s about sharing and helping out.
This April I got a mail from Chris Larsen, a doctor working in Rwanda, where he was asking OpenERP the scripts to upgrade to 6.x, since they needed to have the latest Medical version. The response he got was that the scripts were not publicly available anymore. If they wanted to upgrade, they would have to pay a support contract to OpenERP. This is the typical example of a vendor lock-in. They change the rules (even the license) and then the user becomestheir prisoner.
That very same day I started the implementation of GNU Health (previously called “medical”) in the Tryton platform. Believe me, this was frustrating and it meant a lot of work, but I had to guarantee the future for the health centers.
That effort paid off. Today Health (GNU Health) is an official GNU package (health.gnu.org), the United Nations Universityhas adopted it, and everyday health centers are downloading it from the GNU official site. Obviously, the GNU Health version that today is an official GNU package runs under Tryton, a community-based project.
I just got an email today that a health center in RDC ( Democratic Republic of Congo ) after testing the functionality, will be using GNU Health under Tryton.
Open Source has become the refuge for some speculators, who apply digital lock-ins, by, for example, not releasing the upgrade scripts. This is not fair. It’s not ethical. It’s not thinking about the community. It’s being selfish and greedy. Lastly, it’s not respecting the underlying software.
OpenERP and Tryton need Python, Postgresql and GNU/Linux. If Python or Postgresql would impose a support contract fee to be able to upgrade, they would not exist. So, none of us have the right to break the evolution chain.
So, a word of advice . Make sure you use Free Software. This is more than just a license. They should be community-based projects.
En Arduino er en mikroprocessor, som har den egenskab, at den er usædvanligt nem at komme i gang med. Den er også 100% fri og åben hardware i den forstand, at specifikationerne er helt åbne, og du kan designe din helt egen variant, hvis du har lyst. Folk har brugt Arduinoer til at bygge robotter, blinkende lamper til tøj, 3D-printere, musikinstrumenter og meget mere.
Herunder ses for eksempel en Lilypad, der primært er beregnet til at sy på tøj:
Du kan finde en liste af Arduino-relaterede projekter her. Det er en teknologi med mange kreative muligheder, som det også fremgår af filmen.
PS: Hvis du bor i Aarhus-området og er interesseret i at lege med Arduino, bilder jeg mig ind, at der stadig er nogen ude i OSAA, som man kan betale for, efterhånden som man bruger dem. Tag ud til et af Hack Aarhus‘ møder en tirsdag kl. 17.00 og tal med folk om, hvordan du kommer i gang.
Den sydafrikanske regering udgav i 2002 en rapport om Free/Libre and Open Source Software in South Africa (opdateret flere gange, bl.. i 2004), og den indeholder en række scenarier for den umiddelbare gavn af fri og gratis tilgængelig software, som i sig selv er grund nok til at læse den:
Sipho has good reason to be pleased with himself; he has just submitted a groundbreaking PhD thesis at a leading South African university. Using advanced concepts in mathematics and physics, his thesis, “QVM: the Quantum Virtual Machine”, proposes an ingenious algorithm to speed up the conventional PC beyond the wildest dreams of classical wisdom.
QVM will make light of computer resource hungry fields like environmental and climate modelling, determination of protein structure and function, discovery of new drugs, complex industrial simulation and design etc. It will also lead to a host of completely newapplications that inevitably accompany such a major computational advance.
Sipho cannot wait to publish a paper in a high impact international journal giving full details of QVM principles and design. He also intends to place a full software implementation on the Internet, allowing anyone to download and use it on a standard PC. No license fee, no royalties. They can use the software as they please –learn from it, modify it – as long as they do not repackage and sell it for private commercial gain and attempt to stop others from using the free distribution.
His friends are horrified – he could license QVM to a global computer company and make a fortune. The university is horrified – it could license QVM to a global computer company and make a fortune. His supervisor is horrified…
But Sipho stands his ground. He firmly believes in the freedom (or should that be obligation?) to publish academic work supported by public funds – software included. His own research benefited immensely from the use of software distributed under similar conditions.
He is also mindful of a moral obligation to seek the greatest economic gain for the country from publicly funded research. But this only strengthens his resolve. He is convinced that greater benefit can accrue to South Africa’s scientific and economic fortunes through his suggested route than by surrendering such a major scientific breakthrough wholesale to any single company, whether it is foreign (almost certainly) or local.
“Is he very foolish or simply ahead of the game, like he is in his research?” his friends puzzle. “Is he really acting in the country’s best interest or is he a well-meaning but naïve academic?” wonders the inquiring public. “Should a man like this even be allowed a choice on the matter?” fumes the university’s deputy vice chancellor for research.
Funeka is a schoolteacher with a mission: to give her dusty, rural school the very best. She launches a campaign to build a computer lab and approaches various businesses for help. To her delight, one company donates 20 computers that are being replaced, but the company will keep all their software licenses for their new machines. She also has to find her own educational
Delight turns to horror when she discovers that it will cost many thousands of Rand for software licenses, including licensing the educational software the dealer tells her she needs. To make matters worse, casual inspection reveals that the content is geared to American schools, using unfamiliar baseball metaphors and the like.
Meantime, Funeka’s students have been doing some legwork of their own. They have contacted a young IT company that has offered to network the computers and connect them to the Internet. When the company’s network guru calls by and finds computers with no software, she installs Linux and associated free software on all of them, sets up the network and Internet connection and even gives the students a preliminary driving lesson on using the software and surfing the Internet.
While Funeka agonises over raising a software budget, the students spend many days probing, exploring and discovering new things. Within a short time they have learned to do creative projects by searching the Internet and sending email around the world for facts they can’ find in the tiny school library. Using tools and examples from other Web sites, they soon start designing their own school Web site and developing content like a Web-based newspaper covering school and local community issues.
When she learns of all this, Funeka is amazed at the creativity of her students, and decides that her original idea of what computers should do is completely wrong. She had thought of the computer as just another passive medium of instruction. Funeka quickly adapts to this awakening, and promptly arranges a session on the Internet – given by her students to members of staff. They are all amazed that all this has happened without the school having to pay a cent in software licenses.
They also heartily approve when the students explain their plans to design a community resource for guided access to government Web sites. The one concern the students have is that they are often unable to read files downloaded from government sites. The problematic files are in a format that requires proprietary software to read.
I begge tilfælde er scenarierne særdeles realistiske. Det er egentlig ret meget ude af trit med almindelig akademisk skik, at universiteterne kan finde på at sælge vigtige ideer til det private erhversliv, for slet ikke at tale om at patentere dem. Hvad Sipho gør, er det eneste oplagte og det bedste for såvel Sydafrika som hele verden, men desværre er det ikke sådan, det altid går.
Og hvis skolerne baserer sig på fri software, kan de både undgå store udgifter til licenser og få langt bedre muligheder for at tilpasse systemerne til deres egne lokale behov. I Sydafrika betyder det ikke mindst, at man kan få lokale virksomheder eller sågar frivillige til at hjælpe til med at oversætte programmerne til et af de elleve officielle sprog. Så behøver man heller ikke vente på, at Microsoft eller de andre store leverandører tager sig sammen til at levere en oversat version – med fri software kan man altid oversætte programmet selv, hvis man har lyst.
Eksemplerne er mange og lærerige, og det var slet heller ingen skade til, om en dansk politiker eller to også kastede et blik på denne rapport.
Raspberry Pi Foundation vil bygge en Ubuntu-PC til næsten ingen penge og på størrelse med en USB-stick:
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK registered charity (Registration Number 1129409) which exists to promote the study of computer science and related topics, especially at school level, and to put the fun back into learning computing.
We plan to develop, manufacture and distribute an ultra-low-cost computer, for use in teaching computer programming to children. We expect this computer to have many other applications both in the developed and the developing world.
Our first product is about the size of a USB key, and is designed to plug into a TV or be combined with a touch screen for a low cost tablet. The expected price is $25 for a fully-configured system.
How would you use an ultra-low-cost computer? Do you have open-source educational software we can use? Contact us at email@example.com.
128MB of SDRAM
OpenGL ES 2.0
1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
Composite and HDMI video output
SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)
Raspberry Pi device running Ubuntu 9.04
Raspberry Pi device with attached 12MPixel camera module
Facebook har besluttet at fejre det kongelige bryllup i Storbritannien ved at slå ned på ytringsfriheden. Helt specifikt har Facebook netop 29. april besluttet at lukke mindst 50 politiske oppositionssider, skriver anticutsspace:
The Anti-Cuts Space London facebook group has been taken down without warning or permission. In the last 12 hours, facebook has deleted around 50 sites. Message people in extant groups to warn them, and tell them to get on your email list or twitter account instead. Screw you Zuckerberg.
FACEBOOK PAGES THAT HAVE BEEN DELETED IN THE LAST 12 HOURS:
Open Birkbeck, UWE Occupation, Chesterfield Stopthecuts, Camberwell AntiCuts, IVA Womensrevolution, Tower Hamlets Greens, No Cuts, ArtsAgainst Cuts, London Student Assembly, Beat’n Streets, Roscoe ‘Manchester’ Occupation, Bristol Bookfair, Newcastle Occupation, Socialist Unity, Whospeaks Forus, Ourland FreeLand, Bristol Ukuncut, Teampalestina Shaf, Notts-Uncut Part-of UKUncut, No Quarter Cutthewar, Bootle Labour, Claimants Fightback, Ecosocialists Unite, Comrade George Orwell, Jason Derrick, Anarchista Rebellionist, BigSociety Leeds, Slade Occupation, Anti-Cuts Across Wigan, Firstof Mayband, Don’t Break Britain United, Cockneyreject, SWP Cork, Westiminster Trades Council, York Anarchists, Rock War, Sheffield Occupation, Central London SWP, North London Solidarity, Southwark Sos, Save NHS, Rochdale Law Centre, Goldsmiths Fights Back
Hvorfor? Facebook vil åbenbart ikke længere tolerere ubekvem modstand mod regimet i Storbritannien; måske de har fået klager, eller også har de selv besluttet, at den slags politiske sider er “upassende” på en social hyggeside.
Set på Boing Boing, hvor Cory Doctorow advarer mod faren ved at satse for meget på Facebook – især for politiske græsrodsbevægelser:
Facebook is not suited to the purpose of organizing political causes. It may be an easy place to mobilize people, but between its capricious management and the ease of mining it for social graphs, it is an authoritarian secret policeman’s best friend and a censor’s bosom buddy.
“Capricious” er nøgleordet her. Noget af det mest problemtiske ved Facebooks politiske censur er – ud over det simple faktum, at den er der – at den er så vilkårlig, for ikke at sige komplet uberegnelig. Alle græsrodssider kan potentielt være lukket i morgen, og det gør det svært at stole på den (indrømmet) potentielt set store gennemslagskraft, de faktisk kan have.
Den egyptiske blogger og aktivist Hossam El-Hamalawy har i efterhånden årevis samlet billeder af egyptiske Stasifolk – medlemmer af det berygtede sikkerhedspoliti, der som deres vigtigste opgave har haft at udpege og nedkæmpe regimets modstandere, og det med ganske ubehagelige metoder – på sin Flickr-konto.
Den slags synes Flickr imidlertid ikke, at deres “pro”-konti skal bruges til, for nu har El-Hamalawy fået dette brev fra dem:
Det lyder jo meget tilforladeligt med begrundelsen om, at man kun må have billeder, man selv har taget – eller gør det? Masser af mennesker lægger billeder, de ikke selv har taget, på Flickr, og det sker der næsten aldrig noget ved. Man aner, at det må være politisk motiveret – at Flickr nok synes, det er hyggeligt, at folk bruger siden til at lægge feriebilleder og den slags op.
Som El-Hamalawy selv gør opmærksom på: Billederne blev taget ned “because of ‘copyright infringement’”. Men der har næppe været fremsat noget krav om en sådan krænkelse af ophavsretten, eftersom billederne var bidraget af folk, der gerne ville have dem frem. Der er snarere tale om en politisk motiveret “proaktiv” censur fra Flickrs side.
Moderselskabet Yahoo! synes også, det er fint nok at angive folk, der engagerer sig i kampen mod et diktatur som det i Egypten eller Kina – men hvis nogen bruger deres tjeneste til at dokumentere et dikatorisk regimes overgreb , kommer de pludselig i tanker om reglerne. Det er ærligt talt skammeligt og udstiller svagheden i det “nye” Internet – de meget store og centrale sider som Amazon, Google, Facebook og Flickr bliver også til et “single point of censorship”, hvor Censur 2.0 let kan få alt til at forsvinde fra de få steder, folk læser.
Men var den egyptiske sikkerhedstjeneste overhovedet så slem, at den fortjener at blive udstillet, dokumenteret og sammenlignet med Gestapo, SS og Stasi?
There were worse dictatorships, yes, but the problem was not simply an aging, authoritarian president, his ambitious son and his corrupt entourage. It was that, for the sake of regime preservation, a sprawling security apparatus collected information on citizens, manipulated them, cajoled and threatened them, humiliated them. State Security did not just, as its role should have been, keep tabs on possible terrorists and criminal networks. It ran Egypt on a day-to-day level, super-imposing itself onto the regular bureaucracy, acting as an intermediary.While ministries shuffled paper and red tape, state security kept tabs on people. This goes beyond the issue of torture, which it certainly practiced abundantly, or the racketeering, blackmailing and other schemes its officers carried out with impunity. What those who gained access to its offices discovered is that, much like the Ministry of Transport might keep an inventory of its buses and trains, State Security maintained an elaborate database on citizens, the threats they represented, their weaknesses, relationships and other every little detail of their lives.
This process that had its own chilling logic, reminiscent of the “banality of evil” Hannah Arendt chronicled in Nazi Germany, Andrei Almarik in the Soviet Union, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck in East Germany, or Ariel Dorfman in Pinochet’s Chile. What it boils down to is that a vast bureaucracy existed simply to perpetuate itself and those in charge. Consider the neat categorizations of the population–“Muslim Brothers”, “Communists and human rights activists,” etc.–or the recent allegation that the Ministry of Trade paid a monthly retainer of LE174,000 to its own state security watchers to get them to write positive reports.
Whatever counter-terrorism and other legitimate roles State Security played, this must have been a relatively minor part of what it did: most of its resources were dedicated to the humdrum task of keeping tabs on those Egyptians who, for whatever reason–wealth, political opinion, media influence, foreign connections–posed a potential threat to the regime.
Flickr-gruppen Piggipedia er endnu ikke fjernet, men det er givetvis kun et spørgsmål om tid. El-Hamalawy opsummerer selv situationen således:
And once again, @flickr you should b ashamed. The only people u made happy tonight r police torturers. Way to go.