Sweden: ‘File-sharing is a religion’

An organisation whose central ‘belief’ is the right to file-share has been formally recognised as a religion by the Swedish government. The Church of Kopimism claims that “kopyacting” – sharing information through copying – is akin to a religious service.

The Swedish government agency Kammarkollegiet registered the Church of Kopimism as a religious organisation shortly before Christmas, the group said. “We had to apply three times,” said Gustav Nipe, chairman of the organisation.
The church, which holds CTRL+C and CTRL+V (shortcuts for copy and paste) as sacred symbols, does not directly promote illegal file sharing, focusing instead on the open distribution of knowledge to all.

It was founded by 19-year-old philosophy student and leader Isak Gerson. He hopes that file-sharing will now be given religious protection.

“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,” he said.

“Being recognised 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,” he added.

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