Sweden has recognized file-sharing as a legitimate, officially sanctioned religion.
The Church of Kopimism (Get it? “Copy”-mism?) was recognized by the state just before Christmas.
Laugh if you like, but the “free-as-in-freedom” and copyleft crowds have long had a quasi-religious fervor about their activities. Regard, if you will, public figures such as Cory Doctorow or Richard Stallman; are they not prophets and priests in a manner of speaking? Do they not proselytize and preach?
The Church of Kopimism just makes it all formal.
The church’s site, which is temporarily down as of this writing due to a glut of traffic from Slashdot, says that in its religion, “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.”
The movement started in 2010 with Isak Gerson, a 19-year-old philosophy student. The church’s application made the rounds within the Swedish government three times before the organization was successfully recognized as an honest-to-goodness religion.
“Being recognized by the state of Sweden is a large step for all of kopimi,” said Gerson on the church’s site. “Hopefully, this is one step towards the day when we can live out our faith without fear of persecution.”
If file-sharing is your jam, you can still call yourself a member of the church. The organization states it doesn’t have any formal initiation process or membership requirements; “you just have to feel a calling to worship what is the holiest of the holiest, information and copy,” reads the church’s website.
The Church of Kopimism’s services are called kopyactings. In these going-on, celebrants share files and remix to their hearts’ content.
Now if only BitTorrent clients could be recognized as a holy sacrament, we’d all have a bit less to worry about.
Many thanks to our own, dear Heather Kelly for Photoshopping the Swedish Pope up there, and apologies for any blasphemy or heresy we may be committing in the name of immature humor.