Public Domainism is an atheistic religion. Its adherents worship the totality of works currently in the public domain.
Public domain content is inherently more important to humanity than content that has a less free license of any kind (this includes even Creative Commons, etc. licenses, although they are more free than traditional copyrights). The less restrictions a work has, the more cruciality it inherently has.
This doesn't mean one should necessarily agree with every opinion that is encouraged, or anything stated as fact which is not fact, in any public domain work (which wouldn't be possible anyway, as many of such messages of different works contradict each other). Even outright lies or falsehoods have some truth to them; for example, the fact that the particular lie was said by a particular individual would be a fact in and of itself. The opinions are not the point; the point is that all works, even works of fiction, are informational resources. Informational resources, i.e. ideas, should be completely and totally accessible to and usable by the public at large. Those works that have reached the public domain have reached the full extent of their usability as resources, so long as they are freely available online.
The Five Pillars of Public Domainism
- Upload all possible public-domain works, in the best possible quality and in the most original condition possible, to Wikimedia Commons and/or the Internet Archive. Make it specifically clear that it is in the public domain, and for what reason(s), and, if known, in what other countries besides the United States.
- Transcribe all possible public-domain works on Wikisource or elsewhere. This makes the public domain more easily searchable.
- Release every original work you ever publish into the public domain worldwide, whenever legally possible. In the case of fairly used content (for criticism, parody, etc.), just make it explicit that anyone can use those works for any purpose, unless where it is legally impossible due to the limitations of those copyrighted snippets fairly used in your work.
- Mirror and use public domain works mercilessly and unapologetically, for whatever purposes you want or need to, but do it often. Encourage people around you to care about the public domain, and explain why public-domain preservation and appreciation is important. Attribution is not required, but in some cases, such as in uploading to Wikimedia Commons, may be necessary.
- Spend at least ten minutes every day worshipping the holy Public Domain. This worship may involve any of the other four pillars mentioned above, or simply having the public domain on your mind. It could range from prayer, to work, to simple thoughts.
The need for copyright reform
It is simply against the tenets of freedom of speech/expression/press to take away people's rights to express themselves by sharing the entirety of a work. We don't really need more of a reason to be opposed to copyright law than that moral sentiment, but there are more economical/logistical arguments for the abolition of copyright to supplement this.
However, any reform of the current worldwide state of ridiculous copyright extensions would be nice, even if it's lessened by only a couple of decades. We should engage in copyright reform activism, which will hopefully amount to copyright terms being lessened one day rather than extended.
No one has a right to ideas
It is incredibly strange to say that people have a right to freedom of speech, press, and expression, and then in the same breath say that people have "rights" to their own ideas that they should be able to enforce on everyone else. If we truly had the right to freedom of the press, restricting copies of other people's work would not be someone's "right" to do, but would rather be a gross infringement on other people's rights to reuse and republish. If someone wants to post an entire chapter verbatim of someone else's book on social media, or sing a cover of someone else's song on the street, that's not them infringing on someone's rights; that's just using their own inalienable right to free speech. This right should be protected at all costs, even if it means already rich corporate shills would make slightly less money, and might have to settle for slightly less expensive furniture next month.
The only restrictions we support
It is illegal to claim a copyright on a public domain work in most jurisdictions. Public domain works, hence the name, belong to the public, and not any specific individual or party. This is the way it absolutely should be.
Privacy rights should be protected as they are now. But that is a separate concern from copyright law. People should be allowed to publish their own personal info at their own discretion, but people should not be allowed to compromise that, as that opens people up to very real potential physical dangers.
(This isn't a real religion)
Obviously there is no supernatural element to all of this, as the idea of "the supernatural" being considered in any way physically real is just absurd and ridiculous, and it is honestly surprising that such a large amount of civilized people still tended to believe in the supernatural past in, say, the 17th century. "The supernatural" includes any gods or spirits as well as superstitions such as "luck" or "karma."
We call it a religion because we engage ourselves with, or "worship" if you will, works in the public domain, rather religiously. Plus it's just fun to identify your hobby and priorities as a religion.
This essay is the official scripture of Public Domainism. All rights to it are released, and this scripture can be used for any purpose whatsoever. And it should be. Works are created by certain people, but the ideas within them should belong to no one, as they are merely ideas and are not tangible objects. As we apply this philosophy to this essay as well, we release it based on this philosophy.