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Finally, A Solution To The DMCA 465

morcego writes: "Well, finally someone came up with a solution to the DMCA problem. You can read it on the archive of the Humorix list." Well, combine this with my ULC Reverendship, and we're well underway *grin*.
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Finally, A Solution To The DMCA

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  • Freedom of Religion? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kenyaman ( 458662 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @02:37PM (#2222294) Homepage
    Freedom of Religion? How 'bout Freedom of Speech? We've already eroded freedom of religion to the point that kids have to fight hard to convince their school administrations to allow Bible clubs, even though such groups are explicitly legal. Oh well. :)
    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @02:59PM (#2222391) Homepage Journal
      The arguments aren't whether kids are allowed to form Bible clubs, but whether allowing the clubs to use school property constitutes state support of religion. My own view is that it does not, but reasonable people may differ on this point.

      • by flatrock ( 79357 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @04:11PM (#2222743)
        The second ammendmnet to the US consittution:
        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

        If the school allows other clubs, then they should allow bible clubs equal access. Otherwise they are prohibiting the free exercise of religion, abridging those student's right to free speech, and preventing them from peaceably assembling on property that is available to others.
        • Foolish me, but i thought the Second Amendment of the US Constitution pertained to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms [].

        • The second ammendmnet to the US consittution:
          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion[...]

          Actually, that's the first amendment. The second amendment is the one that discourages Congress or the states from messing with the first one .

        • Um, wrong amendment, but never mind.

          I actually agre with you... although Gay and Lesbian clubs, Satan Rules clubs, and the rest should be permitted as well.

          Frankly, the reason that such clubs are not permitted is that so many so-called conservatives tried for so long to pass laws that enforce the legitimacy of school prayer, which was a huge ethical, moral, and constitutional quagmire. These laws would have done nothing but make it legal for schools to provide a forum for one religion (Christianity) at the expense of others (and atheism IS a religion). Had said conservatives really wanted nothing more than to encourage prayer among the faithful and defend freedom of religion, they would have pushed the kind of "let's you and me pray and stick up for ourselves if anyone tries to stop us" prayer that's come into vogue in the last year or so. And they would have spared us 20 years of assaults on the Constitution.

          But they didn't do that. They spend 20 years trying to sneak in de facto state endorsement of religion; their aims were not honest, and their methods (stealth candidates) and agendas (school-led prayer; an answer to a problem that no one had) gave the lie to their alleged goals. Now they are paying the price in a backlash against anything that resembles their tactics, even when, as in the case of student bible clubs, there is no good reason to forbid them.

          So you should really be complaining to Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, et al..

      • try replacing Bible Clubs with Gay and Lesbian Student Aliance:

        The arguments aren't whether kids are allowed to form Gay and Lesbian Student Aliances, but whether allowing the clubs to use school property constitutes state support of homosexuality. My own view is that it does not, but reasonable people may differ on this point.

        Kinda falls on it's face when you apply it to someone else's pet group, don't it?

        Don't forget to recomend government restrictions on gun ownership because "militias" no longer serve a useful purpose now that constitutionally banned standing armies exist. Also, you might argue that the government should be alowed to billet those troops in your house because only criminals have things to hide. Reasonable people can differ, right?

  • by WinDoze ( 52234 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @02:39PM (#2222301)
    Also note that having sex with a dozen teenage chicks at a time is part of my religion.
    • Terminology (Score:5, Funny)

      by virg_mattes ( 230616 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @02:56PM (#2222377)
      > Also note that having sex with a dozen teenage chicks at a time is part of my religion.

      Actually, by the time they're teenaged, they're not "chicks" any more. They're just "chickens" at that point.

      • by Skynet ( 37427 )
        Actually, by the time they're teenaged, they're not "chicks" any more. They're just "chickens" at that point.

        And if you want to get REALLY specific, they would be "hens." I don't think that guy would want to boff the rooster. ;-)
    • Also note that having sex with a dozen teenage chicks at a time is part of my religion.

      Ms. Poundstone, another outburst like that and I'll find you in contempt of court.

  • Article (Score:2, Informative)

    by viper21 ( 16860 )
    The article in question can be found here []

    Hope this helps out. I always hate it when we slashdot a story this quickly.
  • by Deltan ( 217782 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @02:41PM (#2222311)
    Does this mean that if I sin & distribute DeCSS but confess to it in the DMCA house of god, the evidence can't be used against me in court?
  • LOL!! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Telek ( 410366 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @02:42PM (#2222317) Homepage
    Then the Great Programmer leaned back in his executive chair, and gazed upon the newborn Universe.

    And frowned. He knew those sentient humans would be a problem. Even after He had sweated over a hot terminal for thirteen days, those humans were ungrateful. They called their place of existence the "Universe", not the "Great Programmer/Universe".

    Richard M Stallman, eat your heart out...!
  • by gughunter ( 188183 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @02:46PM (#2222326) Homepage
    If American Indians can't eat peyote for religious rituals, I doubt this idea will fly either... but still, it's a nice thought.
    • actually they can on following certain laws, such as only on reservations etc.
      • So thats what we do....

        We just need to have geek concentratio...errr reservations that we can put these religious fanatics in. Then we could monitor all of their movements, I mean so we could provide them with all the freedoms they desire.

        Then the DMCA could stay in effect for everyone else. I believe Utah has some extra space.
      • Not just on reservations. Even Navajos in the military must be allowed to use peyote for certain religious holidays. The chaplains are the ones that acquire the peyote for them. Although they're not allowed to use weapons or machinery or drive for a certain period afterwards.
    • by darkPHi3er ( 215047 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @03:23PM (#2222548) Homepage
      WASHINGTON, DC: Aug 30, 2001

      As Congress furiously discussed what to do with the newly discovered "First Church Of Digital Grepping" and its alleged dogma that requires its members to constantly search through copyrighted materials for sacred meaning and salvation, the lobbying organizations for the entertainment and publishing sprang into action.

      The entertainments' lawyer and lobbyists have already brought about a marked increase in donations of cash, luxury cars, booze, dope and the deployment of hookers.

      One crack addict in a poor neighborhood of DC told us today, "Man, you can't score any good shit with it all going to them Congressmen. We down here smoking Draino and hoping those lobbyists from the entertainment industment get whatever the hell it is they want so we can get our freak back on!"

      Another professional worker in the recreational sex business tells relates a similar story, "Geez, it's normally bad enough here with all these Congressmen around. Can't keep in they pants, anyway. You know how it is, if they ain't doing one of us out here, they doing the American people in there. But with all them lawyers and lobbyists working Congress about that Geek Religion thing, its nearly as bad for a sex worker as it is when they ain't no interns around. That's the worst, it's just every ho for themselves then and pray for new load of interns."

      Sources within the entertainment industry say their goal is the simple protection of the artists.

      One anonymous source said, "Look we all know that the actual artist, the creator who is the principal beneficiary of our actions here. We're going to ensure that the people who create the movies, music and books that we all love and cherish continue to receive their .0000001% of all our net net revenues. We're very serious about this."

      Another source said that perhaps a solution similar to the one used with Native American peoples would be effective in dealing with "The First Church Of Digital Grepping".

      That is, round all them up, march two thousand miles in the middle of winter. Take their computers and ATM cards away from them. Give them habitats in faroff remote Northern rural areas, and allow them to practice their supposed religion two or three times a year, under close Bureau of Geek Affairs supervision.
  • I remember a while back, here in Canada, a bunch of pot smokers made a religion up by saying that pot was god's method of showing us truth and beauty etc. Needless to say, nothing came of that. It's someone's right to refuse blood, but if a child is refused blood due to the religious beleifs of the parents, and death is possible our government would and has 'taken protective custody' of the child. I know that the DMCA is an American law and this loophole looks towards the American constitution, but governments all really think alike. I don't think the U.S. government would tolerate some of the things the Afghan Taliban does. Here, if your wife cheats on you and you kill her, you go to jail. They don't care what religious right you have. I realise the things a joke but we can dream can't we?
  • by faqBastard ( 174444 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @02:50PM (#2222345)
    Of course the news release doesn't give the name of the Great Programmer. (That would be sacrilege or something I suppose...)



    of course, that would explain why humans are so insecure and unstable....

    • "of course, that would explain why humans are so insecure and unstable...."

      Speak for yourself -- that's just for those of you who are made by Microsoft. We open-source humans, although lacking a user-friendly interface, are much more secure and stable, and when instabilities are encountered, patch our problems up in much less time!

      And our interfaces are improving rapidly, too...
    • > BILL GATES!!!

      Serves you right for running strings() on the results of a KERNEL32.EXE XOR'ed with a dump of vmlinux, doesn't it?

      There are Things that Man Was Not Meant To Know.

      (And now you know why there's that no-reverse-engineering, no-disassembly, no-lookee-at-the-executable clause in your EULA.)

  • Yeah! Then Bush will have to support it with his community/religion program. You are therefore compelled to "grep for the divine message" in order to receive Gov't help! This is excellent because it a) gives us a *real* reason to pirate American Pie, and b) pitts the gov't against the MPAA/RIAA in an all out rumble. Where's Jessie Ventura when we need him!
  • by Overphiend ( 227888 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @02:56PM (#2222375)
    The P.I. believes that the holy document was actually written last Wednesday when the High Priest had a little too much to drink.

    This procedure for creating a religion seems pretty popular, I believe Scientology was created that way.
  • Church of Pron (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @02:57PM (#2222378) Journal
    I can remember a pron theater many years ago in the city of Boston that tried to argue that they were a church, and that their films were part of the sacraments for their worshippers.

    Didn't go very far, but you had to admire their gusto.

    - - -
    Radio Free Nation []
    "If You have a Story, We have a Soap Box"
    - - -

  • code review (Score:2, Funny)

    by termchimp ( 173199 )
    Then the Great Programmer leaned back in his executive chair, and gazed upon the newborn Universe. And frowned. He knew those sentient humans would be a problem.

    That's what the Great Programmer gets for writing self-modifying code.

  • Religions (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by scott1853 ( 194884 )
    So what does it actually take to create your own religion? You obviously don't need proof of the existence of a higher power or every religion out there wouldn't be acknowledged. Can I start saying that my god is the "Great Programmer" and get away with stuff, or is there some sort of catch, like you must prove that your IQ is the same as a cabbage to be legally allowed to believe in such things.
    • by Danse ( 1026 )

      Even if he did make it somewhat inflammatory. I'd like to know as well. What makes a religion "legitimate" in the eyes of the government?

      • What makes a religion "legitimate" in the eyes of the government?

        Going totally from memory, it requires "sincere belief". There was some case of a prisoner claiming his religion required some sort of better treatment than he was getting, I think he wanted certain foods, or some such that way. It was pretty clearly a case (like this) of making up a religion for a specific purpose.

        I don't recall it real clearly, but it was something like that. Hopefully this is enough someone interested can find more info about it.
        • Sounds very subjective and prone to abuse. How is a judge or other official to know what someone sincerely believes? Where do they draw the line between someone who simply thinks or feels that they should follow a certain way of life and those that "sincerely believe" that they should follow a certain way of life?

          • Sounds very subjective and prone to abuse. How is a judge or other official to know what someone sincerely believes? Where do they draw the line between someone who simply thinks or feels that they should follow a certain way of life and those that "sincerely believe" that they should follow a certain way of life?

            A campaign contribution of $10 certainly would not indicate that the church is truly sincere about their cause. However a $100,000 campaign contribution probably would. How regularly contributions are made would also be a good indicator of the strength a church's beliefs. This simple formula has worked well for our leaders when determining what's right for citizens for years. I imagine it would apply to a religion just the same as any other group.

            In a courtroom they'd probably have to judge sincerity on the number of high-profile attornies representing you. If you show up with a public defender then you obviously don't care too much about the outcome.

          • Except for exotic laws like was mentioned regarding the IRS, there are some more common-sense policies regarding if something is a religion or simply something contrived to get away with something.

            1. Number of Adherants - Face it, numbers count, and if you can provide a pile of registered voters, most politicians will stay out of your way. Mormonism and Scientology have both improved their polticial standing by increasing their numbers. Of course on a related note, money talks as well, but numbers bring money. In the case of Scientology, they have more clout than their numbers would indicate because their members tend to be wealthier.
            2. Standard Beliefs - If there are some clearly defined rules and "scriptures" to the religion. Clearly the Bible falls in the category, as well as the Book of Mormon, the Koran, books by L. Ron Hubbard, etc. I even heard of one person who got away with bringing the Lord of the Rings books into US Army basic training because he claimed that he was a "Tolkeinist", and worshiped the beings in those books. Oh, and because these "rules" or "commandments" are written down, it makes it harder for you to change your beliefs to fit the moment.
            3. Formal Organization - Again, this is something to do with the IRS, but you can apply for becoming a non-profit charitable organization (which doesn't even require professing a belief in god... some atheistic "social" organizations have been set up this way). Set up the by-laws of your group and prove to the IRS that you intend to spend every dime that comes into your organization. There are a few other regulations, but it isn't all that difficult.
            4. Tradition - It helps if you can prove that your organization was started before mankind kept records. Druids, Wicca, and Judiaism all seem to fit this rather well. Christianity is a somewhat recent upstart religion at just 2000 years. Of course claims to be a "modern" continuation of older rites are done by a number of religions as well.
            5. Break-off splinter groups - You aren't really a true religion until you have had your first major schism. People are fickle and don't want to necessarily follow the "orthodox" viewpoint. Now I'm not calling those splinter groups valid religions, but the ones they splintered off from can be looked on as such. Now just prove who is the splinter group?

            To be defined as a religion doesn't take all of these things, but the more you got, the more it helps. For the most part, judges will use "common sense" for something like proving is a belief system is a legitamate religion. This approach to worshiping code certain can take on many aspects though.

            BTW, using religion as an aspect of political protest has a much longer tradition than even non-violent protests that you see much more commonly, and tends to get neglicted by the ruling governments until they can't do anything about it. (C.F. Christianity and the Roman Empire, as well as the Catholic Church and Communism... especially in Poland and much of Eastern Europe).
    • It does not take too much more than followers, as can be seen from Scientology and Mormanism.

      It's funny how athiests think they are so clever. If they could stop worshiping themselves for a moment, get away from a computer, or get a life they might see some grandure in the world and imagine a creator. Religion might then make sense to them. Dimmer bulbs seem to always be blinded by their own light.

    • The IRS has definite regulations for what constitutes a "church" for purposes of tax exemption. They should be on the IRS web site, if you think you can wade through the bureaucratese. I don't have time. I once read a translation of them into plain English, but since the source was biased, I'd like to see someone else's interpretation. According to this source, you've got to give up a lot of your freedoms to qualify, for instance the minister cannot preach against taxation...

      I don't know how closely the courts follow the IRS in determining whether something is a "religion" for other purposes. Certainly they aren't going to allow just any religious practice. You can dance nude around the oak tree on your own fenced land, but not around the oak tree in the city park, except maybe in some California cities. Human sacrifice is out. You can't burn heretics at the stake. If the Hashashin cult were still around, they just might get an exemption for their marijuana concentrates, but not for assassinating enemies of the faith...

    • Funny that the Universal Life Church, Inc. has been brought up repeatedly in this thread.

      The founder, Kirby J. Hensley, was a guy who didn't believe in tax-exempt status for churches. He fought this law for a long time, even including suing the IRS, and he lost at every turn - (big surprise, eh?).

      As an extreme effort, he figured that he might try to form his own church and make it profit oriented , but not so much that it would look like a disingenous effort. Then, when the IRS turned him down for tax-exempt status, he could use this as a precedent to fight again for repeal of the tax-exempt status of the more mainstream churches.

      Much to his surprise, the IRS granted him tax-exempt status. I think he folded at that point and I guess he figured, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

      At least that's the condensed version of the story I heard when I became a minister with the Universal Life Church, Inc. in 1979. Five bucks and I was a minister. I can marry people, bury people, and legally avoid the draft on concientious objector status. I qualify for any benefit that any other clergy would receive. (I even signed the certificate for my step-daughters marriage. My now ex-wife performed the Pagan ceremony.)

      Additionally, myself and two others can form a local chapter of the church, take a vow of poverty, donate all our secular income to our church (which then takes care of all our bills), and donate our home(s) to our chapter of the church - then the home comes off the property tax rolls as church property.

      The potential tax savings are incredible.

      What does it take to create your own religion? I guess if you follow in the footsteps of ULC, that should be close enough. If someone does, please let me know, I'd join up.

      Open Source Software - it's the difference between Trust and Anti-Trust.
  • ULC eBook? (Score:2, Funny)

    by NitsujTPU ( 19263 )
    Ahh, as my first administration of the sacrement, I would like to decrypt the ULC eBook in order to gain access to the materials needed for an ordination in a box.
  • Just encrypt your own transmissions violating the dmca using Really Obvious Encryption, then if someone charges you, you can countersue because they don't have a license from you.
  • by mrgoat ( 143500 ) <> on Monday August 27, 2001 @03:05PM (#2222431) Homepage

    Actually, I have been having some pretty serious discussions about this with friends of mine, most of whom are grads from divinity and transpersonal psych backgrounds, as well as with my tech friends (the two happen to coincide quite often as well).

    Truth is, freedom of religion pretty much trumps just about every other right in the US. There are exceptions, but in general, even those who have lost on gambles such as polygamy and controlled substances still have a pretty wide berth on just about anything else.

    As such, many of my friends thought that creating a religion that covers code as an expressive form of religion has come up very often. If you think about it, people who have a deep understanding (deep by the average citizens' point of view, shallow in the tech world) of computers and technology are pretty much regarded as witches by most folks out in the world. The best way, my friends and I thought, to fight this kind of mindset is simply to adopt a shroud of religion.

    Hey Joe, you got a problem with the fact that I know things you don't? Well, I know this because God says ITS OK TO KNOW IT. Join my religion, and you can know it too. Just follow the rules. All of the sudden, most of the arguements over whether it should be legal to even KNOW about system security or info sec goes out the window by most peoples' standards if a christian church says its ok, then maybe it isnt the work of the devil, or witches, or evil haxors. Its ok, because god says it can exist.

    Yeah, I know that there is some moral reckoning in how the above is presented that wouldn't wash with some knowledgeable and highly ethical people. I don't care. I care about not being picked out of a crowd because I know something other people don't. I care about having something besides the EFF to back my ass up when someone decides to sue me or press charges over something nobody really understands, but hey, THATS OK to press charges, HE knows TECH. He's GOT TO be a witch/evil haxor/apostate.

    Fact is, I really do think whatever force that holds it all together talks through us and what we do. I don't think that it would be too unusual to start a church or temple or whatever to back that up, and to spread more knowledge around. Yeah, there are the baptists down the street, they are having a bake sale; the Catholics are having roulette night...oh, look over there, that new church, they are having free computer lessons!

    Anyways, we never got around to getting that IDEA off the ground. It was a nice one. However, that may happen in the future. Essentially, at the time, nobody wanted to do the research to write the canon and background literature. Everybody was busy working. Well, now that the bubble has burst, we've got that time. Maybe it will happen, maybe not.

    But really think about it...not many organizations can pull off the kind of stunts that folks need when shit hits the fan. Maybe a religion might not be a bad idea, jokes aside.

    • computers and technology are pretty much regarded as witches by most folks out in the world

      This is more true than you know. The average person regards a computer as a magic box into which you must insert the Holy Offering (CD) begin the ritual incantation (run the installer,) hope that you've appeased it (pre-requisites) and pray for it to work (how many times have you seen somebody say something like "Please work, please work, come on, please work, oh God please work!") and, when things don't work, call upon the Holy Priesthood (sys admins and the like) who then do things which are beyond the ken of mere mortals.

      And how many people regard their computers as sentient and malevolent?
  • by dinotrac ( 18304 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @03:10PM (#2222464) Journal
    It has come to my attention that some of you think that we should incorporate ourselves as a religion based on tightly holding on to our intellectual property and trampling anyone who thinks their pitiful little rights matter.

    This would be pointless. I know that some of you are concerned because some religions have sprung up that worship free speech and such things.

    Just remember what happened years ago when John Lennon made the mistake of saying that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus.

    He was wrong. The Beatles weren't. We, however, are.

    Sincerely yours,

    Jack Valenti

  • by Black Art ( 3335 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @03:17PM (#2222510)
    the First Disassembly of God church.

    In the First Disassembly of God church we seek to reverse engineer the nature of the cosmos and supply weekly diffs and patches at our worship services. (As well as debugging of the faithful, documenting the numberous ways of violating syntax, and distribution of the Wine libraries and /etc/hosts file.)
    • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Monday August 27, 2001 @04:28PM (#2222827)
      > In the First Disassembly of God church we seek to reverse engineer the nature of the cosmos and supply weekly diffs and patches at our worship services.

      Actually, what you describe as the First Disassembly of God church goes back at least 2500 years.

      Its members are called "physicists".

      A guy in a bathtub started it. They named a screw after him. There was another guy who had an apple fall on his head. Another guy drew ellipses and shaded in sections of 'em. Then there was a bunch of devotees who played around with magnets and batteries, and following them, some folks with a thing for that glowing gunk that came out of pitchblende. Someone figured out that you can use the bits that fly off the glowing gunk to bash bits of non-glowing gunk, and that the non-glowing gunk is mostly empty space. You can even take the small bits of gunk that aren't empty space and bash 'em against each other, and see what they're made of. (Even if you can never measure precisely where the bits of gunk are, or how much momentum they have, at any given moment. Uh, we're still working on how God pulled that one off.)

      By the way, if anyone knows what any of this "small-bits-of-gunk-that-you-can't-measure-where-i t-is-and-sometimes-it-acts-like-a-wave hack" has to do with God's other weird hack - the one that makes heavy stuff like apples, move towards other heavy stuff like planets (unless some church member's head is in the way), please apply for membership ASAP. We're pretty stumped on this bit.

  • by MO! ( 13886 )
    Will I be forgiven by The Great Programmer? For I have sinned... In my youth, I did codeth in COBOL!! [cries in fetal position] I knew not what I was doing!!!

  • "The mission of the church is to make digital copies of
    every music CD, every movie DVD, and every printed book and
    then grep the digital version for any tell-tale signs of
    'The Meaning Of Life'."

    That won't be neccessary. I've got a copy of it on VHS that I'll loan you! (Warning: the flick is extremely British.)

A bug in the code is worth two in the documentation.