Supreme Court of Canada rules on ‘copyright’ in the context of education

The Supreme Court of Canada has handed down a ruling that covers copyright issues as they relate to educational institutions.  It’s ruling is not exactly supportive of the copyright cartel…

From Dr. Michael Geist’s commentary on the ruling:

‘The Supreme Court of Canada issued its much anticipated rulings in the five copyright cases (ESAC v. SOCANRogers v. SOCANSOCAN v. Bell – song previews, Alberta v. Access CopyrightRe:Sound) it heard last December (my coverage of the two days of hearings hereand here). It will obviously take some time to digest these decisions, but the clear takeaway is that the court has delivered an undisputed win for fair dealing that has positive implications for education and innovation, while striking a serious blow to copyright collectives such as Access Copyright. ‘

In my never-humble-opinion, the ‘copyright issue’ in our society suffers from the same difficulty in being heard that the ‘atheist issue’ does:  it is impossible for individuals who are simply speaking for themselves (whether they be individual people who are defending their property rights over copyrighted items they have purchased or individuals who simply do not belong to any religious organization) to be heard over the voices of well organized groups with ample funding (whether they be religious organizations or industry representatives).

It is my hope that the ruling, which says it is the consumer’s rights and not the copyright holders that must be given the broadest consideration, will discourage the initiation of frivolous lawsuits which maliciously target people and make the lawsuit process itself a punishment.

Pat Condell: Waiting for Jesus


Egyptian MP Hamdi Fakhrani: I Was Beaten Up by President Morsi’s Supporters

A duly elected member of the new Egyptian government appeals the President’s decision to the courts for a fair ruling:  for this, he is attacked by a mob of Islamist Muslim Brotherhood thugs who tear his clothes and, had the police not intervened, would have torn him to pieces.

This does not bode well for the future lives of regular Egyptians…

The Arab Anti-Islamist League Presents an Iraqi Anti-Islamist Black Metal Band

Meet JANAZA and their ‘Burn the Pages of Quran!’

Touted as the first Iraqi woman-fronted black metal band – politics aside, it’s actually good music.

Anahita, who fronts the band, was recently asked via a Facebook interview:

What would happen to her and her compatriots if religious authorities discovered their actions?

“A simple answer. They would kill me, and kill all of my friends, by cutting off our heads.”

From the same article:

She’s not alone in her fight. Seeds of Iblis (“Iblis” is an Arabic word for the Devil) features five men and one other woman besides Anahita herself (Epona, who has also spent time in the now-defunct black metal band False Allah) who handles the vocals and lyrics, and released their first EP, Jihad Against Islam, in 2011 via French label Legion of Death. This band is even more unrelenting, crafting songs like “Sex With Muhammad’s Corpse” and “Inverted Hilal.” One of the band’s guitarists, Yousef, pulls double duty in Tadnees, another virulently anti-Muslim outfit who, together with the aforementioned projects, style themselves as part of an “Anti-Islamic League.”

Music is an effective way of spreading ideas, and ideas are the best weapon against all forms of dogma.

Plus, it’s good to see that at least some places, culture is still playing the important role of holding a mirror up to society!


Yet another reason why ‘blasphemy laws’ must be abolished

Every religious person should oppose ‘blasphemy laws’ with every fiber of their being.


With ‘blasphemy laws’ in place, it is impossible to have freedom of religion.

Every religion has, as its central tenet, the bold and uncompromising claim that it and it alone is ‘the righteous path’ to wherever or whatever it proclaims people ought, according to its teachings, be on the path to.

Even if we set the anti-theists, atheists and non-theists aside and accept the religionists’ claims, it is impossible for more than one of these religions to actually be true.

Therefore, every single time that someone preaches/teaches one religion, he/she is necessarily committing blasphemy against every single other religion.

Thus, if blasphemy laws are actually enforced, we’ll soon have jails filled with religious teachers/preachers!!!

Plus, there will, of course, be the added complications – for those of us living in constitutional democracies – that enforcing ‘blasphemy laws’ necessitates that The State police the dissemination of religious dogma, which is fundamentally incompatible with the principles underlying our legal systems.

Sure, ‘blasphemy laws’ are seen by many as a measure to protect religious freedoms, but if you really think about it, they are the most certain way to prevent the teaching of any religion at all!

But, don’t take my word for it:  we have real-life examples of this mechanism in action from countries where the enforcement of ‘blasphemy laws’ (which really mean anti-blasphemy laws) is sending clerics to jail.

Yes, we all know that Iran is trying Christian preachers for blasphemy – but, well, what do you expect from Iran?

And, yes, we know Christian preachers have been tossed into jail for blasphemy for holding Bible study classes inside their homes in Pakistan – but, well, it’s not like Pakistan is a bastion of good governance, right?

And good luck even finding a Christian or Jewish religious teacher who could potentially commit such blasphemy in Saudi Arabia…

So, let’s not use the most extremist countries as examples.  Let’s look at Indonesia, long touted as an example of how multiculturalism can work in a tolerant, moderate Muslim country:  a Shia cleric has been sentenced to two years in jail for – you guessed it – promulgating Shia teachings, which was not to the liking of the influential local Sunni clerical council.

From The Jakarta Globe:

‘The judge said that Muluk had propagated Shiite teachings in his village of Nangkernang, where a nearby branch of the country’s top Islamic clerical council dubbed the denomination “deviant” from mainstream Islam.’

Human Rights Watch has further details:

‘“The Indonesian government should immediately drop the case against Tajul Muluk, which highlights the threat Indonesia’s blasphemy law poses to religious freedom,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The government needs to reverse the growing trend of violence and legal action against religious minorities in the country.”’

. . .

‘The Coordinating Board for Monitoring Mystical Beliefs in Society (Badan Koordinasi Pengawas Aliran Kepercayaan Masyarakat or Bakor Pakem) is a coordinating body under Indonesia’s Attorney General’s Office with branches in every province and regency under local prosecutors’ offices. According to the 2004 Public Prosecution Service Law, Bakor Pakem has the responsibility to provide “oversight in respect of religious beliefs that could endanger society and the state.” Bakor Pakem normally sits under the intelligence division of the public prosecution office, and works closely with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the police, the military, local governments, and religious establishments.’ 

Let’s take a stand for religious freedom and ensure that ‘blasphemy laws’ are gotten rid of worldwide!

Remember, the end never justify the means.  Rather, the means always define the end