Friday 6 January 2012

Information is holy; copying is a sacrament

As reported inter alia by TorrentFreak and BBC News, a new church received its first official recognition.
Kopimism, whose central tenet is the right to file-share, was registered by Swedish governmental agency Kammarkollegiet as a religious organisation just before Christmas. 
The Church of Kopimism is a religious organisation with roots which go back to 2010. The community of kopimi requires no formal membership, although the Church is said to count around 3,000 members. What you have to do is just feel a calling to worship what is the holiest of the holiest, information and copy. Sacred symbols are CTRL+C and CTRL+V.
The Church of Kopimism has tried to become registered as a religious organisation for more than a year. 
As declared by Gustav Nipe (the board chairman for the organisation), difficulties with registration "might have [had] something to do with the governmental organisations abiding by a very copyright friendly attitude, with a twisted view on copying."
Effects of recognition
of 'Jedi' religion 
"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", said 19-year-old philosophy student and spiritual leader of the Church, Isak Gerson.
Despite this, as explained by music analyst Mark Mulligan, "[i]t doesn't mean that illegal file-sharing will become legal, any more than if 'Jedi' was recognised as a religion everyone would be walking around with light sabres."
Legislative steps across the globe (see the debate surrounding the SOPA) may in fact go in a different direction from what is the kopimi attitude towards file-sharing. 
Kopimi seem aware of such threats:
"We challenge all copyright believers - most of which have a great deal of influence in politics, and who derive their power by limiting people's lives and freedom. What they most of all want [is] to limit the knowledge. We need to steel ourselves for their hatred and aggression.


Crosbie Fitch said...

No doubt we shall soon start suspecting each other of being Kopimism extremists.

john walker said...

Does Sweden have hypothecated taxes for 'church' groups?