The Pirate Bay on SOPA, Hollywood, and copyright.

The Pirate Bay issued a press release on SOPA yesterday, reminding people how Hollywood originated, in light with the American movie industry’s support for SOPA and PIPA.

If you don’t know SOPA or PIPA, it will do you good to temporarily stop looking at your Facebook timeline and spend a few minutes reading about them. After all, once SOPA and PIPA are made into laws, you won’t be seeing Facebook, either. And that’s just the start of the end of the Internet as you know it.

INTERNETS, 18th of January 2012.
PRESS RELEASE, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

Over a century ago Thomas Edison got the patent for a device which would “do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear”. He called it the Kinetoscope. He was not only amongst the first to record video, he was also the first person to own the copyright to a motion picture.

Because of Edisons patents for the motion pictures it was close to financially impossible to create motion pictures in the North american east coast. The movie studios therefor relocated to California, and founded what we today call Hollywood. The reason was mostly because there was no patent. There was also no copyright to speak of, so the studios could copy old stories and make movies out of them – like Fantasia, one of Disneys biggest hits ever.

So, the whole basis of this industry, that today is screaming about losing control over immaterial rights, is that they circumvented immaterial rights. They copied (or put in their terminology: “stole”) other peoples creative works, without paying for it. They did it in order to make a huge profit. Today, they’re all successful and most of the studios are on the Fortune 500 list of the richest companies in the world. Congratulations – it’s all based on being able to re-use other peoples creative works. And today they hold the rights to what other people create. If you want to get something released, you have to abide to their rules. The ones they created after circumventing other peoples rules.

The reason they are always complainting about “pirates” today is simple. We’ve done what they did. We circumvented the rules they created and created our own. We crushed their monopoly by giving people something more efficient. We allow people to have direct communication between eachother, circumventing the profitable middle man, that in some cases take over 107% of the profits (yes, you pay to work for them).

It’s all based on the fact that we’re competition. We’ve proven that their existance in their current form is no longer needed. We’re just better than they are.

And the funny part is that our rules are very similar to the founding ideas of the USA. We fight for freedom of speech. We see all people as equal. We believe that the public, not the elite, should rule the nation. We believe that laws should be created to serve the public, not the rich corporations.

The Pirate Bay is truly an international community. The team is spread all over the globe – but we’ve stayed out of the USA. We have Swedish roots and a swedish friend said this:

The word SOPA means “trash” in Swedish. The word PIPA means “a pipe” in Swedish. This is of course not a coincidence. They want to make the internet inte a one way pipe, with them at the top, shoving trash through the pipe down to the rest of us obedient consumers.

The public opinion on this matter is clear. Ask anyone on the street and you’ll learn that noone wants to be fed with trash. Why the US government want the american people to be fed with trash is beyond our imagination but we hope that you will stop them, before we all drown.

SOPA can’t do anything to stop TPB. Worst case we’ll change top level domain from our current .org to one of the hundreds of other names that we already also use. In countries where TPB is blocked, China and Saudi Arabia springs to mind, they block hundreds of our domain names. And did it work? Not really.

To fix the “problem of piracy” one should go to the source of the problem. The entertainment industry say they’re creating “culture” but what they really do is stuff like selling overpriced plushy dolls and making 11 year old girls become anorexic. Either from working in the factories that creates the dolls for basically no salary or by watching movies and tv shows that make them think that they’re fat.

In the great Sid Meiers computer game Civilization you can build Wonders of the world. One of the most powerful ones is Hollywood. With that you control all culture and media in the world. Rupert Murdoch was happy with MySpace and had no problems with their own piracy until it failed. Now he’s complainting that Google is the biggest source of piracy in the world – because he’s jealous. He wants to retain his mind control over people and clearly you’d get a more honest view of things on Wikipedia and Google than on Fox News.

Some facts (years, dates) are probably wrong in this press release. The reason is that we can’t access this information when Wikipedia is blacked out. Because of pressure from our failing competitors. We’re sorry for that.

THE PIRATE BAY, (K)2012

The Pirate Bay

Let’s help the children of Iligan and CDO by donating books and school supplies.

Rebuild Iligan and CDO libraries

Where to send (personal delivery or through courier):

Quezon City drop-off points
1. Bookay-Ukay (55 Maginhawa St., QC)
2. 78C General Segundo St., Heroes Hill, QC

Makati drop-off points
1. Kanto Gallery (The Collective, 7274 Malugay St., Makati)
2. YesPinoy Foundation (4F Jose Cojuangco & Sons Bldg., dela Rosa cor. Palanca St., Makati)

Manila drop-off point
1. National Secretariat for Social Action/NASSA (CBCP Compound, 470 General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila)

For cash donations, please get in touch with FWGP through the numbers in the poster.

Taken from the Pinoy Cinephiles Facebook group.

The Pope says gay marriage is a threat to the ‘future of humanity’. He needs another wind lashing.

Apologies to those still enjoying their breakfast. News like this is sure to ruin one’s day.

Pope Benedict XVI said on Monday that gay marriage was one of several threats to the traditional family that undermined “the future of humanity itself”.

The pope made some of his strongest comments against gay marriage in a new year address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Vatican in which he touched on some economic and social issues facing the world today.

He told diplomats from nearly 180 countries that the education of children needed proper “settings” and that “pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman.”

“This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself,” he said.

The traditional family the Pope was referring to is likely a nuclear family (i.e., mother, father and children), which is a rather modern concept and, until recently, was not the standard family unit recognized in Western societies. It’s not as traditional as people might think. Extended families are much more common in most of human history, and even now is still adapted in many cultures.

How families are composed have evolved throughout history because of changes in how human civilizations lived. Gay marriage, rather than a threat to the future of families, merely adds a new dimension to the already varied types of families existing today.

Research has already shown that being raised by gay parents is no worse than straight parents and may actually be better than being raised by a single parent. So what is this threat to human dignity the Pope is talking about?

There doesn’t seem to be any argument to gay marriage that amounts to more than “because we’ve never had it before”. If humans consistently stopped themselves from trying out things they never did before, we would still be living in caves.

War is a threat to the future of humanity. So are untreatable diseases, destruction of the environment, and overpopulation. But gay marriage? Methinks the Pope needs another strong gust of wind. I doubt that will make him change his mind, but it will still cheer me up immensely.

Pope Benedict XVI is scary.

Pope Benedict XVI: Gay Marriage A Threat To ‘Future Of Humanity’

Lessons from Portugal: Time to end the war on drugs.

Ten years ago, Portugal adopted a different, and initially controversial, approach to drug use by not going through the popular idea of “war on drugs”; the government instead decriminalized drug possession and use. The idea is that drug users should not be treated as criminals to be punished; rather, they were considered patients who needed to be treated.

Critics in the poor, socially conservative and largely Catholic nation said decriminalizing drug possession would open the country to “drug tourists” and exacerbate Portugal’s drug problem; the country has some of the highest levels of hard-drug use in Europe. The recently realised results of a report commissioned by the Cato Institute, suggest otherwise.

The paper, published by Cato in April 2011, found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.

It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the problem far better than virtually every other Western country does.

Forty years later, the “war on drugs” has been found ineffective and pointless. The aggressive stance against the drug users makes for someone impressive news footages but it hardly gives any measurable benefit to society. Even the current US government has decided to change tack and focus on treatment and prevention in its drug policy.

For many years nows, Philippine society has embraced the same “war on drugs” attitude and demonized drug use and users as some of the roots of social decay. I wonder how long will it take for our government to get its head out of its ass and start looking at empirical data rather than listening to hysterical rhetoric. Playing it tough has not really done us anything good, has it?

Time to end the war on drugs

The welfare of one person should not take priority over the needs of so many.

Before anything else, here are websites listing how people could help flood victims of Sendong:

Philippine Red Cross: Emergency Alert: Tropical Storm Sendong
Here’s To Life!: How to help victims of Tropical Storm Sendong

Aerial view of damages caused by flash floods brought by Tropical Storm Sendong in Cagayan De Oro. Image Credit: REUTERS/Stringer
Aerial view of damages caused by flash floods brought by Tropical Storm Sendong in Cagayan De Oro. Image Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

After President Aquino created a controversy for supposedly partying after in the aftermath of Sendong, this story about his youngest sister, Kris, is currently spreading around Facebook and was also quoted in Pinoyexchange (one needs to select and highlight the “hidden” text):

A friend of mine who’s volunteering at ABS-CBN right now texted me. She said they were already at Consolacion to distribute the relief goods to the people, the people were already lining up, when suddenly they rerouted and went back to Balulang. The reason? Kris Aquino is there and they have to fetch her and go back to Consolacion so that she can also help.

Imagine the faces of the people already waiting for the releif goods; All hungry and thirsty and still covered in mud and they all needed fresh clothes to change into…They were shocked to see the ABS-CBN trucks leaving. All they can do is watch and wait for them to come back again. That’s what my friend witnessed just a while ago.

It’s disgusting how Kris Aquino had to be given more importance over the flood victims who desperately needed help. Was is really necessary for all the trucks to leave in order to fetch one person? Couldn’t the ABS-CBN crew begin their relief program and just let Kris just join them when she arrives?

I don’t know whose decision it was to temporarily stop the relief program (to be fair to Kris, I am not assuming it was she who asked for the trucks to fetch her), and I am not belittling ABS-CBN’s efforts to help the flood victims. But an incident like this seems to show misplaced priority on the welfare of one celebrity over those of hundreds of people who truly needed help.

Tropical Storm Washi (Sendong) kills hundreds in the Philippines
PNoy’s ‘partying’ in Sendong aftermath sparks debate on propriety
Valerie draws flak for partying with PNoy during Sendong
Aquino sisters defend PNoy on ‘party’ issue