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PayPal Takes On Kopimism

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Activism – Travis McCrea

Activism – Travis McCrea

For over a year now I have operated a fork of the Kopimist Church (Kopimists of Idaho – a fully recognized church), to process donations we have accepted bitcoin donations and PayPal donations. Today after our final round of phone “arbitration”, both sides agreed that we will not be able to settle our differences and our account will stay banned and we will get our $400 of stored funds in 180 days.

Denying service to a person or group arbitrarily based on faith is against Californian law (the state where PayPal operates), it is in the Unruh Civil Rights Act – California’s expansion on Federal Civil Liberties laws. PayPal has admitted over the phone that their ban against the church was issued because my personal website TUEBL links back on the donate page. Any person who knows the basics of limited liability knows that the Kopimist Church can’t be held liable for the actions of its supporters, especially since it has limited liability incorporation which is required of us to be a church in the state of Idaho.

While many of you may never heard of our church, we tend to host various projects for people and will soon be buying a plane so we can provide rapid response to places in the US and Canada who might have communication problems due to censorship or natural disaster. We have been laying low, slowly building up donations from supporters, and were planning on entering big with our new era K2… we truly believe in Kopimism as a religion and we want the world to know about it.

Right now our only course of action is legal action. We wish it didn’t come to this, because as much as we know PayPal is a horrible company we knew that legal action was going to be expensive and the fight was going to be an uphill battle with their fancy lawyers. We can’t sit back and do nothing though, too frequently PayPal uses it’s banhammer with the carelessness of a bull in a china shop… and it’s our obligation as a church which protects the Internet to remind PayPal that we wont just sit back and let them be bullies.

We need your help though! This battle is going to be expensive… We are looking for donations to help get good lawyers who will help us establish a precedent not only for our church but all Kopimist sects and furthermore remind PayPal they can’t just bully people.

Please donate to 1EVeAuB82MZYtavLb4deQ5MCVhPwnThASB (the wallet which is earmarked for this legal issue and nothing else), even the smallest microdonation helps and shows your support for Kopimism as a true religion.

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About The Author: Travis McCrea

Travis is the 23 year old leader of the Pirate Party of Canada and owner of The Ultimate Ebook Library. Bitcoin Address: 1N4nQdD86mmHMWbRu9KZNz2TJsJu6viWJp

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This article is also available in other languages: Italian.

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Contributors take own responsibility for their comments.

20

  1. 1
    Caleb

    Damn, Paypal does this crap all the time. Best of luck, I’ll have to convert some money to BTC and make a donation soon. Keep us appraised of the situation.

  2. 2
    Max Pont

    PayPal is a totally abusive bully who arbitrarily confiscate and/or freezes clients fund. Anything outside the mainstream is at risk. (Ironic considering that one of PayPal’s first market segments was payment for porn.)

    If you are a political or grass root activist you are at great risk if those who you challenge feel threatened and report you for fraud, racism, misogyny or something similar. PayPal will “close your account”. In Sweden the islamo-critical newspaper Dispatch International had its account frozen, as well as the immigration-critical blog Avpixlat.

    Combine the bullying of the payment giants as PayPal, Visa and Mastercard with the banker-politico ruler’s plan to completely abandon cash in the economy and you have a deadly threat against freedom of speech.

    The tragedy is that we (many Net Activists and Pirate Parties worldwide) don’t stand up and protest when the victims of this bullying come from the other end of the political spectrum. It is easier to protest when the target of Mastercard’s bullying is a web shop that sells sex toys than a xenophobic blog. The Swedish Pirate Party is too concerned with pampering the extreme left wingers among their supporters and have not said a word of protest when Avpixlat and Dispatch International had their accounts frozen.

    This is a shame. To quote the far left wing intellectual Noam Chomsky, “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

    Or to to quote the anti-nazi priest Niemöller from the 1930s:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

    • 2.1
      What?

      “and report you for fraud, racism, misogyny or something similar.”

      Congratulations on using words you don’t know the meaning of. A business, even a heavily regulated one, can indeed refuse to do business with you if you are suspected of fraud, racism, or sexism. Misogyny is just a feminist extension of sexism.

      • 2.1.1
        Max Pont

        My point was that if you are a grass root activist your enemies could FALSELY accuse you of something controversial (such as peddling child porn or defrauding your customers) and PayPal will typically shut you down immediately without listening to your side of the story. This is what happened to the blog Avpixlat. Extreme left wingers launched a massive campaign by falsely reporting to PayPal that they had been defrauded by Avpixlat (who only used PayPal for donations).

        By the way, the Pirate Party’s position is that monopolists with Significant Market Power should NOT have the right to refuse to do business with people just because they don’t like them. What if the only utility provider in your town shut down your electricity just because you voted for the Democrats?

  3. 3
    Paypal Hater

    PayPal’s history of self servicing account freezes and siezures is appalling. Lately they are making a lot of headlines by freezing Kickstarter campaigns, and don’t forget Wikileaks.

    I urge everyone to boycott Paypal like I did several years ago.

    • 3.1
      obama_the_real_traitor

      People still use PP??? Love to see them hacked and have their funds frozen.
      they do this shit to the idiots with PP debit cards imposing crazy restrictions that once left me(due to the fool I was traveling with) sleeping outside a hotel until enough time had passed to be allowed to use the 700 quid in the account.

      PP and it’s users are a joke. I donate but if a site uses paypal they wont get a penny from me and unfortunately getting BTC in the US is almost impossible without giving your entire life history. I love btc but ever since bitinstant dropped guest accounts when those two privligded losers bought it I have not found a decent way to get coin so in the US that is not the easy answer that many think it is. I’m pretty sure it’s a bit easier in the EU but correct me if I’m wrong.

  4. 4
    Some random Swede

    I want to donate, but I dare not yet, because I haven’t figured out how to use Bitcoin anonymously yet. I will keep this in mind though, and try to find out how to do it.

    • 4.1
      Venture

      Use Bitcoin anonymously? You can’t.
      Decentralized != Anonymity
      All bitcoin transactions are open.

      • 4.1.1
        scandinavianpirate

        “Decentralized != Anonymity”

        Not necessarily true.

        All transactions are open in terms that public keys are published. But public keys can be made new (from the private key) for every new transaction… Actually that is the most practical way to do it if you are a shop and want to keep track of individual payments. Instead of getting all payments to one and the same account, when you would not be able to discern from who which payment came. But the “buyer” side can do the same. New public key for his/her transaction.

        • Venture

          “But public keys can be made new (from the private key) for every new transaction.”

          Change keys all you want, there’s always a trail.

          “The main problem is that every transaction is publicly logged. Anyone can see the flow of Bitcoins from address to address (see first image). Alone, this information can’t identify anyone because the addresses are just random numbers. However, if any of the addresses in a transaction’s past or future can be tied to an actual identity, it might be possible to work from that point and guess who may owns all of the other addresses. This identity information might come from network analysis, surveillance, or just Googling the address. The officially-encouraged practice of using a new address for every transaction is designed to make this attack more difficult. ”

          https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Anonymity

    • 4.2
      Some random Romanian

      You can use a bitcoin anonymization service (bitcoin laundry). Check out this page for a list https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Category:Mixing_Services .

    • 4.3
      phillipsjk

      Plausible deniability:

      CoinJoin: Bitcoin privacy for the real world
      https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=279249.0

  5. 5
    coldtoon

    why not team up with eff.org this is a free speech issue and i bet that eff like to tear them a new one for the wikileaks or vpn stunts

  6. 6
    Anonymous

    Not surprising. Paypall just doesn’t care, they are unwilling to take the basic responsabilities that belong to the kind of role they play in society and they will keep doing it until they are forced to stop.
    Not the first or last time they will arbitrarily disrupt their service with no regard to how they hurt people. They also do that to crowdfunding companies and free press and anti snooping service providers and others.
    I don’t know if they are a bank or a credit company or whatever but they ought to take responsibility because the service they provide is just as delicate as those. Please someone give them some competition so we can all say goodbye to the paypall.

  7. 7

    This is just the latest incident where Paypal and/or Visa and Mastercard arbitrarily shuts down the right to handle money for a business or an organisation. We need laws to make sure payment providers are not allowed to abuse their position in this way.

    But the Kopimist faith will continue to grow regardless.

    Here is a Kopimist Gospel that I have written, where I explain how I see the faith:
    http://christianengstrom.wordpress.com/kopimism-level-1-the-creation/

    • 7.1

      Thanks for this. While I understand the general concepts on which Kopimism is based, it’s nice to have such a clearly written description to share with others.

      Incidentally, the post got me thinking about some Information Theory concepts I came across years ago… A quick Google search turned up your follow-up to that post, “Kopimism and the Struggle Against Thermodynamics” as the top result. Thanks again – lots to chew on!

  8. 8
    Pastorvor

    Your problem is that you are using Paypall. I wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole.
    I’d say consider yourself lucky that you are only out $400 and move on. Find a better way to accept donations. Paypal needs to go out of business.

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About The Author

Travis is the 23 year old leader of the Pirate Party of Canada and owner of The Ultimate Ebook Library. Bitcoin Address: 1N4nQdD86mmHMWbRu9KZNz2TJsJu6viWJp

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