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Turkeyâ€™s top religious body has handed down a fatwa in response to a question raised on the issue of illegal downloading. Obtaining content without permission from creators is forbidden, the Diyanet said. Meanwhile, a Catholic Church debate on the same topic raised an interesting dilemma. For millions of people around the world the word of their particular God provides a moral compass for living life in an appropriate manner. While there are plenty of variations, most faiths agree that it is unacceptable to steal, for example. Inevitably there are gray areas and the issue of copyright provides a perfect example. Rightsholders constantly push the notion that infringement is theft so itâ€™s no surprise that some people draw the same conclusion. Over in Turkey the countryâ€™s top religious body has been handling the issue at the behest of citizens. Is downloading content without permission from rightsholders acceptable under Islam? In response to a question asking whether the activity is â€˜halalâ€™ (permissible), the Religious Affairs Directorate, or Diyanet as itâ€™s known locally, issued a fatwa (ruling). Great value should be placed on labor and there should be opposition to â€œunjust enrichmentâ€ from the work of others,â€ Diyanet said. â€œThe Prophet also stressed the importance of paying for oneâ€™s labor on several occasions,â€ it said, warning that â€œ[property] rights violations [are still common] as technology develops and human labor has started to appear in more diverse forms.â€ â€œSuch unfair acts [such as downloading pirated software] not only usurp the individualsâ€™ rights, they also discourage people who work in those sectors from creating new products, turning the matter into a public rights violation in a broader sense,â€ Diyanet said. But it wasnâ€™t only followers of Islam that required guidance on file-sharing from religious bodies this week. The same question was also posed to the Catholic Church via the site Crux. â€œMy boyfriend is a tech geek, by profession and vocation. He was an early adopter of the Internet and believes strongly in its founding values â€” that â€˜information wants to be freeâ€™,â€ the question from â€˜Starving Artistâ€™ began. â€œI admire his geek credentials and tech skills, but thereâ€™s something he does, with pride, that bugs me a lot. He pirates everything. â€œI am a writer, and can earn a living only if other people buy the things I write. I feel my boyfriend is undermining me â€” if not directly, then indirectly. Who is right?â€ The response was predictable â€“ the womanâ€™s boyfriend is â€œstealingâ€ â€“ but the advice for negotiating the problem in the relationship is a novel one. â€œAgree that whenever he spends $7.99 on a movie instead of downloading it for free, the two of you will put a few cents â€” representing the artistâ€™s take â€” in a jar,â€ Crux wrote. â€œWhen the jar is full, the two of you can go out to a romantic dinner and have the kind of human interaction that no download can provide.â€ Crux contributor Chris McLaughlin was underwhelmed by the reply. â€œThe purpose of the copyright monopoly (which is a law of man not of God) isnâ€™t to enable somebody to make money, and never was. Its sole purpose was and is to advance humanity as a whole. The monopoly begins and ends with the public interest; it does not exist for the benefit of the author and inventor,â€ McLaughlin writes. â€œI wonder if the Church would have ever got started at all, if Matthew, Mark, Luke and John had demanded a royalty every time Paul set up in a new city.â€ http://torrentfreak.com/downloading-fatwa-issued-by-turkish-religious-leaders-150201/
Peter Sunde might be sitting in a Swedish prison for the next few months but he's still making his voice heard. Following a recent dispute with authorities over food, the Pirate Bay founder has filed a new complaint after he was denied a meeting with a representative from the 'pirate' Church of Kopimism. Itâ€™s been almost two months since former Pirate Bay spokesman Peter Sunde was located on a farm in Sweden and spirited away by a specialist police unit. Sundeâ€™s destination was VÃ¤stervik Norra, the prison allocated to him following the finalizing of his jail sentence in 2012. The first few days and weeks of Sundeâ€™s imprisonment went silently under the media radar, but by the end of June the former Pirate Bay spokesman was making his voice heard on his prison conditions. Sunde has been both vegetarian and vegan, a dietary choice that has proven difficult during his incarceration. In a letter to authorities he complained that due to his needs not being met, his weight had plummeted 11 pounds (5kgs) in just four weeks. Itâ€™s not clear whether that complaint resulted in any positive action, but just a month later Sunde is making his displeasure known once more, this time over his religious rights. Four years ago a group of self-confessed pirates began a mission to have their beliefs recognized as a religion in Sweden. The Church of Kopimism â€“ which holds CTRL+C and CTRL+V as sacred symbols â€“ eventually prevailed and in 2012 wasofficially approved by the authorities. Just recently Sunde tried to exercise his right to meet with a representative of his chosen religion, but was met with prison red tape in response. â€œThe board of spiritual care (NAV) doesnâ€™t have any representative for the Kopimist faith with whom they cooperate and therefore the Prison and Probation Service should provide permission for electronic contact with representatives from the Kopimist faith to believers,â€ Sunde wrote in his letter to authorities. Whether this complaint will result in physical or even virtual access to a Kopimist priest is not yet clear. However, since Kopimism is an official religion, the authorities may have little choice but to comply. This throws up an interesting privacy-related question that Sunde himself mused over some two-and-a-half years ago. â€œIn some religionsâ€¦thereâ€™s a Seal of Confession â€“ which means that when you talk to a priest in the congregation, the priest has 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,â€ Sunde said in 2012. â€œThis is probably the thing that I love the most with Kopimism as a religion â€“ we can have yet another form of P2P communication â€“ Priest2Priest. With no legal right for anyone to listen in to the conversation perhaps.â€ It seems highly unlikely that Sunde will be allowed an online â€œencrypted confessionâ€ with a Kopimism â€œpriestâ€ anytime soon, but The Church of Kopimismâ€™s legal status could throw up some headaches and dilemmas for the authorities as they try to process Peterâ€™s complaint. Not that he intended that, of course. http://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-founders-religious-rights-spark-new-complaint-140726/