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.

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

Imelda pwns Pnoy, and Jesus with a penis.

It seems Imelda could do something Pnoy couldn’t: shut down a “blasphemous” exhibit at the CCP:

Meet our new Philippine President: Her Excellency, Madame Imelda Marcos
By Raïssa Robles

When Imelda Marcos went to the Cultural Center of the Philippines and asked it to shut down an art exhibit, it promptly did.

When presidential spokesman Ed Lacierda was asked what the Office of the President intended to do with the same art exhibit, he washed President Benigno Aquino’s hands for him and said: “I think we should not be involved in a matter that is purely a decision made by CCP and this is about art.”

Whether the President likes it or not, he is involved because the CCP is directly under him. That’s what the CCP website says.

But this is just in. According to radio station DZMM, President Aquino has reacted negatively to the exhibit. He said it was insulting and that freedom is not absolute.

PNoy said this after Imelda Marcos had stepped in and wielded presidential power for him. I don’t know if he ordered the exhibit to be closed as well. In any case, Imelda Marcos beat him to it.

It’s an amusing incident, and the quoted Imelda Marcos soundbite was classic Imelda:

After seeing the exhibit I was really shocked because it was not only ugly, it was not true, it was not at all beautiful because there were statues and pictures of saints and Christ with horns and with his penis up and it was really a desecration of a spiritual symbol for Catholics.

But I agree with Raïssa Robles’ concern about how CCP seems to take Imelda Marcos’ opinion on what art is to be the standard to judge the merit of an artwork.

I’ve heard about the controversial CCP exhibit (titled “Kulo”, with Mideo Cruz’ “Poleteismo” as the piece causing so much furor) the round-about way: colleagues talking about how they heard it in the news, with me not really bother to see it myself. The typical reaction people have is outrage and indignation over the apparent “blasphemous” treatment of religious symbols.

One time, my manager greeted me on the floor and asked me if I hear about it. I shrugged in agreement. She said something like how it was offensive, implying that the work went beyond what is covered by artistic license.

I couldn’t agree with my manager, though. Art as a form of expression is not meant only to please its observer. Nor does it require to follow consensus or approval. It might be truer to say that art is meant to elicit reaction; whether it is a positive or negative reaction is beside the point.

That is not to say that we should abandon notions of good or bad art. Everyone is free to criticize the merits of an artwork, such as on the basis of technique or context or relevance. But that also means everyone should be given the right to view an artwork should they wish to.

The removal of the CCP exhibit purely because it offends some people’s religious sensibilities was censorship. This country has always believed censorship to a way to protect the minds of its people against corrupting influence.

Raïssa Robles went on to point out how reactions from various personalities over that exhibit was a display of religious fundamentalism. And I could see her point. I may not use that word myself since I think the reaction was a knee-jerk protectiveness over what we think is our religious pride (how ironic), but it might as well be the same thing.

It’s the same way we Filipinos violently react over some foreigner making an apparently racist remark against us while ignoring the casual racism we ourselves practice. We really are a country of narrow-minded jerks sometimes.

I’ve now seen photos of the “Poleteismo” online. Really, I’ve seen worse.

More links from the Interwebs:
Meet our new Philippine President: Her Excellency, Madame Imelda Marcos
Official CCP Statement on Closure of ‘Kulo’ Art Exhibit
Mideo Cruz’ “Poleteismo”: When Art is Condemned