January 6, 2012
File Sharing Established As A Religion In Sweden
The Swedish government has just granted a group of file-sharers religious status. The Church of Kopimism, with a membership of about 3,000, is headed by its 20 year old spiritual leader Isak Gerson.
Gerson told Malin Rising of the Associated Press (AP) that the church opposes copyrights in all forms and encourages piracy of all types of media, including music, movies, TV shows, and software. Gerson says, “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 organization and its members.” The church holds CTRL+C and CTRL+V, the keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste respectively, as religious symbols.The church was established in the midst of a whirlwind of crackdowns against online pirating, with zero-tolerance policies enforced by governments. This new crackdown is focusing less on the individual pirates and more on the ecosystem that supports piracy, according to BBC News.
Members of the church are hoping that the religious designation will help to stop the global crackdown of online piracy. According to Gerson, “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.”
But according to music analyst Mark Mulligan, “It is quite divorced from reality and is reflective of Swedish social norms rather than the Swedish legislative system. It doesn´t mean that illegal file-sharing will become legal, any more than if ℠Jedi´ was recognized as a religion everyone would be walking around with light sabers.”
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