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[humorix] Finally, A Solution To The DMCA!

Warning:  humorous content ahead.
To prevent overdosage for the sensitive readers, please
take your discussions to humorix-l@nl.linux.org...

Finally, A Solution To The DMCA!
August 23, 2001

For years, the geek community has been at the wrong end of
the War on Piracy waged by Hollywood lawyers.  The
situation could change, however, with the unveiling of a
secret weapon -- "The First Church Of Digital Grepping".

This newly created church argues that copying digital
information is a form of religious worship.  As such, it's
protected in the US by the freedom of religion clause in
the First Amendment.

"Rock beats scissors.  And Free Exercise of Religion beats
Digital Millennium Copyright Act(tm).  Ha ha, suckers!"
said the church's High Priest.

Chapter 16, Verse 256 of the Sacred Readme of the First
Church Of Digital Grepping  states:

   On the first day, the Great Programmer created a new
   text file and the Universe was born.

   The Great Programmer flexed his fingers, started
   hacking, and entered Deep Hack Mode.  

   First He wrote universe.c.  Then sys/laws_of_physics.h
   and universal_constants.h.  The Great Programmer
   continued his Hacking Binge into the second day  with
   sol.c, which begat terra.c, which begat land_and_sea.c,
   which laid the foundation for the creation of life.c.

   On the third day, He gazed upon his Program and saw that
   it was good.  More he produced: prokaryotes.c,
   eukaryotes.c, sys/dna.h, invertebrates.c, vertebrates.c.

   On the fourth day, the Great Programmer, against his
   better judgement,  coded mankind.c.

   On the fifth day, He compiled his work, and received
   1,024 errors.

   On the sixth day, He debugged.

   On the seventh day, He continued to debug.  Rest is for
   the weak.

   On the eight day, the debugging continued.  Only 128
   compiler warnings did He now receive.

   On the ninth day, the program compiled correctly.  Upon
   execution, it immediately coredumped.

   On the tenth day, The Great Programmer debugged.

   On the eleventh day, He debugged.

   On the twelfth day, He waved a dead chicken, but the
   Great Program continued to segfault.

   On the thirteenth day, He discovered the fatal flaw, a
   misplaced comma He did find.  And then void main()
   executed, and the Big Bang did occur.

   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".

   On the fourteenth day, he decided to take action.  He
   would send these humans The Meaning Of Life, and soon
   the world would worship Him and his Hacking Skills.

   He did just that.  He inspired a certain human to
   produce a work of art which includes His message, The
   Meaning Of Life.  Eventually the humans would discover
   the .plan of the Great Programmer hidden in a certain
   work of art and all would be well...

The Sacred Readme is a tad vague, but the church's High
Priest believes that "The Meaning Of Life" is encoded in
either a popular song, or a Hollywood movie, or an Adobe

"If only we could figure out which 'work of art' the Sacred
Readme refers to, and then grep through the binary
representation to extract the divine message," the High
Priest explains.

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'."

"Our church cannot function if the DMCA prohibits us from
making copies as part of the Fair Use Doctrine.  We worship
the Great Programmer by trying to discover His secret
message.  Why should we put the profits of Big Evil
Corporations above the search for The Meaning Of Life?"

Of course, the MPAA, RIAA, DVD-CCA, BSA, and other groups
see things slightly differently.

"This is all bull," said a MPAA spokesperson.  "We didn't
buy a slate of Congressmen to get the DMCA passed just so
some fake parody religion could claim a bogus exemption!"

An investigator for Oracle discovered a hand-written copy
of the Sacred Readme while rummaging through the High
Priest's trash cans.  The P.I. believes that the holy
document was actually written last Wednesday when the High
Priest had a little too much to drink.

The founder of the church stands his ground, however.  "I
wasn't drunk last Wednesday," he argues, "I was busy trying
to find the divine message within a copy of 'Star Trek
XXIII: We Promise This Movie Doesn't Include Any Annoying
Characters Like Jar Jar Binks' on my big-screen projection
TV.  Needless to say, I came up empty."

The judges in the California Sixth District Court of
Appeals were all unavailable for comment at press time.

Humorix:      Linux and Open Source(nontm) on a lighter note
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