Episode 3

S2E3 - SCP - Legal Battle & Ethics Committee Orientation

Lets look at a legal battle that's been storming around Russia over the SCP Wiki on that side as well as what that means for all of the SCP sites. We're also going to cover a very mild, clean tale from their website. The original author of this piece is Voct.

http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/ethics-committee-orientation

Transcript

Hey there. Welcome to crickets, campfire. Where today we'll be talking about one of the most ambitious group writing projects, you may not have heard about: the SCP foundation Wiki. We'll be going over what it is and about legal battles they've been fighting. Lastly, we'll be doing a reading from one corner of the site to see if I can convince you guys to head over and take a look.

Now, if you're unfamiliar with the SCP foundation, or as some people know it as secure contain protect, it's a writing project centered around a fictional organization that houses anomalous objects and creatures with the end goal of keeping humanity safe from them. These objects range from a living paper crane, and a gun that shoots lunch, to things that could destroy the world, or the universe itself.

Founded about 13 years ago, this project is a Wikipedia style website that basically means anybody can contribute to it, featuring thousands of entries, detailing anomalies, and stories about the organization itself. Each object has a containment protocol, which is how the organization plans to secure the object, a description of the item and its abilities.

And most often includes other interesting bits of information, like how it was found or experiment logs, and yes, sometimes those are live people. Written by a large and dedicated community, its unique flair has made it popular to adapt to other media, like video games. I bumped into STP through Reddit when it was created, I had gone through a few of the original pages of it and then found a few articles that were simply not interesting to me at the time.

It's funny because I actually moved on from that site. Completely forgot about it until my 11 year old, brought it back up to me. He's been very excited about everything SCP and he's even been playing the games. He's introduced me to a couple of them as well. Now. Why are we introducing SCP what's going on here?

t master administrator, as of:

trademark since at least May,:

As far as we can tell he's completely out of the blue claiming he owns the trademark to SCP in Russia. All of these articles were written by hundreds of independent authors. He's claiming to all their heart work as his intellectual property. They're not fighting this battle alone though. The community came together to fund the lawyers and the court costs with a few notable signal boosts from some online creators, such as a YouTube star, Mark plier, their GoFundMe campaign reached and tripled their initial estimates for the cost of the lawsuit. From the GoFundMe page itself, SCP has updated the anxiously waiting community with, and I quote, "The Russian federal anti-monopoly service has ruled that Duxon violated fair competition laws by using the trademark against Russian social media groups and their content creators.

One content creator in particular was deemed to be owed unspecified monetary damages from the losses Duskin's actions caused them. This is good news. But the fight isn't over as the committee elected to not rule over the registration of the trademark, this means the next step for the STP is too long, larger copyright infringement lawsuit, which I presume is in progress based on the language here. News on that front is slow, but generally speaking, the legal system moves slowly and we're in the middle of a pandemic, so it makes sense that we haven't seen a whole lot of updates. Unfortunately it appears copyright trolls will try and capitalize on even GPL or creative common property, those are properties that you can share alike as long as you contribute the original author. And I'm sure they've done this before, I'm sure they're going to continue to do so. It's just an annoying petty part of humanity that we continue to chase after currency, but enough about all of that onto the piece I'd like to feature. This story comes from the SEP foundation tales section and it's titled ethics committee orientation. It's by a user going by the name of Voct V O C T.

You can visit the direct Wiki page. I'll have it linked down in the description below of this podcast. Brace yourselves. You're going in for orientation.

ethics committee orientation. Good afternoon, doctor, sit down. Your schedule has been cleared. Do not attempt to leave the room until you are told that this session is over the door is already locked, but it is crucial. You pay attention. Good. You are now part of the SCP foundation's ethics committee. This is not a demotion.

Sit down.

Yes, you're terrified. You think you're being punished for some failure, some lapse of judgment, some horrible disaster that you were involved with. You think that your career with the foundation is over. You might've even thought that transferred to the ethics committee as a euphemism for killed. This is not the case.

You'll notice I said killed instead of terminated. That's a deliberate choice on the ethics committee. We don't use euphemisms because of the work that the SCP foundation does. A lot of personnel think that the idea of the foundation having an ethics committee is just a bad joke, or they know that the committee exists, but they've got the impression that we're an inefficient laughing stock, a bunch of have a rubber stamp that says a fruit and never.

Derek to voice an objection. Let's see. Yes, I see. You've heard the jokes. Here's one. How many members of the ethics committee does it take to change a light bulb? None. The ethics committee can't change anything. No, it's all right. You're meant to laugh. We make an effort to sustain the impression that we're useless because we are the secret power within the STD foundation.

Sit down. Yes. There are the old fives. They judge what is, and isn't safe, vital, important function, but we are the ones. Who advise the O fives and what is, and is not acceptable. You've done horrible, awful things. While working for the foundation. Don't try to deny we've all done, horrible things while working for the foundation.

This is one of the unavoidable consequences of working with SCPS and on occasion, you've wondered if we are the quote unquote, bad guys. Well, we're not, and that's because of the ethics committee. This is your first lesson. Do you understand, remember this, the foundation is not evil. We do not torture people just because we are against unnecessary cruelty.

Which means somebody has to decide when cruelty is necessary and that somebody is else stop trembling. It is important that you remember this. It is your second lesson. The foundation does not rule the world. The foundation serves the world. Do you understand what that means? Regardless of what the general population might think it wants?

What we do, what the foundation does is in the overall. Interests of that general population. Yes. I'm sure you did realize that already, but you haven't thought of the deeper implications. You've consoled yourself by thinking that all the torture and murder is for the greater good. This implies that there is a greater good and a lesser good.

It implies that there are multiple distinct goods and that these can be quantified and compare. This is what we do on the ethics committee. We are the ones who balance the moral costs of everything the foundation does. And in order to balance those costs, we must know those costs. Do you realize what that means?

Doctor? It means that we know everything the foundation does has done and will ever do everything that has ever been redacted or expunged. We know it. Every last detail. Yes. Including what SEP four, four, seven two does. When it comes into contact with dead bodies. Yes. We know exactly what procedure one, 10 Montauk is to.

We should. We're the ones who designed it. No, it's quite all right. It's a common reaction. Perhaps we shouldn't schedule these meetings directly after lunch, I suppose here wipe your mouth. You will no longer be participating in active research. You may consider yourself a researcher at large flitting from one project to another, from one site to another at will.

This is not a secret. You are welcome to tell all your friends that you've been transferred to the ethics committee. If you can deal with jokes and pity, you will observe what is done and ask the participants and yourself, why it is being done. If at any point you feel that something is excessive or unnecessary or wrong, you inform us.

We will summon the people involved. In that meek ineffectual way that your coworkers have mocked. And then word will filter down from the old fives through the many levels of our bureaucracy. And those who are unethical will be given reprimands, which will be noted on their permanent record or their pay will be cut, or they will be demoted, or they will be transferred to another project, or they will be shot for crimes against humanity.

This is your third lesson. Remember it, the P stands for protect the foundation, protects humanity from STPs, and we protect the foundation from itself. We judge what is and is not acceptable for the foundation to do we balance evils. So that on the whole, and in the long run, evil is minimized. No, you don't have a choice about being on the committee.

Yes, the irony is lovely. Isn't it?

About the Podcast

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Cricket's Campfire
Gather round where we discuss tales from lands far and near, science in simple terms, philosophy, technology, and interview experts in their respective fields! Join our discord and chat: https://discord.gg/j3pWb3v83y

About your hosts

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Ben Beach

Ben has a wonderful, supportive wife who helps keep him in line. He and his wife have two children who are sometimes full of more energy than any human being is supposed to be full of! Both are boys, 7 and 11. Ben's passion is learning new things, almost all the time! Most of the time he spends his energy interested in technology, science, philosophy, psychology, and more.
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Margot Lewis

Who are you and how did you find me??

Margot is a writer tasked with making sense out of Ben's scripts, and is always pestering him to go faster.
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Mat Petersen

Mathematician / Philosopher with a knack for photography, a hunger for physics and a propensity for the strange.