Hallelujah! Filesharing is now officially a religion in Sweden, as Swedish authorities have approved the Church of Kopimism as an officially religion.
Yes, in 2010, 19 year-old philosophy student Isak Gerson, a fervid believer in file sharing, founded The Missionary Church of Kopimism, which considers file sharing and copy to be sacred acts and hold up CTRL+C and CTRL+V as divine symbols.
Membership in the church grew swiftly, reaching some 3,000 in the latter half of 2011, which prompted Gerson to seek legal recognition so as to gain freedom of religion protection afforded by the Swedish Constitution.
According to TorrentFreak, the church's central tenets include the beliefs that:
- Reproduction of information is ethically right.
- The flow of information is ethically right.
- Remix Spirit is a sacred kind of copying.
- Copying or remixing information conveyed by another person is an act of respect.
"To appropriate software (to keep source code hidden from others), is comparable to slavery, and should be banned," they declare.In an official press release, the church shared its thoughts on attaining official recognition:
"For the Church of Kopimism, information is holy and copying is a sacrament. Information holds a value, in itself and in what it contains, and the value multiplies through copying. Therefore, copying is central for the organisation and its members."I think that more people will have the courage to step out as Kopimists. Maybe not in the public, but at least to their close ones," Isak told TorrentFreak. "There's still a legal stigma around copying for many. A lot of people still worry about going to jail when copying and remixing. I hope in the name of Kopimi that this will change."
Being recognized by the state of Sweden is a large step for all of kopimi. Hopefully, this is one step towards the day when we can live out our faith without fear of persecution, says Isak Gerson, spiritual leader of the Church of Kopimism."
Of course, the church's formal status as a religion does not mean that members have carte blanche to download copyrighted material, even though that will change if Gerson has his way.