One man’s meat is another man’s poison, so the saying goes, and (illegal) file sharing might be a crime elsewhere, but it is now recognized as an official religion in Sweden. Yes sir, from last year onwards, Swedish piracy group Kopimi has continued to lobby their cause in gaining official recognition as a religion, making this one of the more creative ways that I have seen so far in an attempt to remove the legal stigma that is associated with what some quarters perceive to be the crime of file-sharing (in the context of illegal file-sharing). Of course, there were a fair number of repeated (and subsequently, failed) attempts, but if at first you don’t succeed – try again. This is what Kopimi did, and as of today, The Missionary Church of Kopimism is officially registered as a religious organization in Sweden.

Kopomi is actually Swedish for “Copy Me”, and CTRL+C and CTRL+V are its sacred symbols. Their belief? “Communication is sacred.” This particular “church” was founded by philosophy student Isak Gerson, and this is what he mentioned recently over an interview, “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… We confessional Kopimists have not only depended on each other in this struggle, but on everyone who is copying information. To everyone with an internet connection: Keep copying. Maintain hardline Kopimi.” With a 3,000 plus membership, the Missionary Church of Kopimism is already registering a strong growth in figures. Finally, it’s not clear if their “religious” status changes anything when it comes to copyright laws, but that is probably the next chapter of this story.

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