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File-Sharing Church of Kopimism now Official Religion in Sweden

by Alistair Lowe on 5 January 2012, 11:09

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Well here's a story we never thought we'd be reporting on; according to TorrentFreak, a religion that holds file-sharing as a sacred act has, after two years, been officially approved as a religion by the Swedish authorities.

The religion, known as the Missionary Church of Kopimism, was formed in early 2010 and holds CTRL+C and CTRL+V as sacred symbols. The Church was founded by philosophy student, Isak Gerson, who is a self-declared file-sharer that wishes to protect his belief, that file sharing is a vital aspect of life, from persecution.

The religion does not directly promote illegal file sharing though does promote the open distribution of knowledge to all and is against laws that seek to monitor data transfer, outlaw encryption or invade privacy on a mass scale. The Church had been refused as an official religion previously as it did not have any formalised method of praying or meditation.

Over 3,000 members strong prior to the announcement, the Church hopes that this news will help to bolster member numbers, "I think that more people will have the courage to step out as Kopimists. Maybe not in the public, but at least to their close ones ... there's still a legal stigma around copying for many. 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." spoke Isak.

We had hoped to provide some insight as to the religion's practises, however, either the official website has been flushed with signup requests or some very angry copyright firms have begun denial-of-service attacks, as we're receiving a very intermittent connection from the site.

For those interested in either joining or simply looking to find out more about this rather unexpected religion, the official website can be found at

HEXUS Forums :: 25 Comments

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What a joke, using religion to legitimise theft.
I find it quite comical.

It will be interesting to see if they can actually gain any advantages from their status as a religion, but I suspect not somehow.
What a joke, using religion to legitimise theft.

I'd rather they use it to legitimise theft rather then the plethora of violent acts that other religions seem to legitimise.

And Intellectual property rights are in for a hard time in our lifetimes it seems and I think in 10-20 years time the software, music and film industries will be thinking they got off lightly compared to manufacturers!
What a joke, using religion to legitimise theft.

I'd say theft, like many things, is subjective.

If we're talking about movies and music I always find it interesting because unlike physical items such as cloths or electronics, downloading media isn't typical theft because you're not taking an item away from someone as it's a copy and you're not financially causing harm because the money that may have come from said item would have had to come from the downloader themselves as a potential customer. You can make the argument that were illegal downloads not available the user would have made a purchase but then one can never assume to know the true motives of another, finance may even not have allowed such a purchase. I'm not saying such an act would be right and just but I think in looking for a solution to illegal downloading we have to look at the true nature of the problem in order to treat it appropriately so that people don't suddenly feel the need to form religions.

Freedom of knowledge I'm a big supporter of, the logistics are just somewhat tricky to work through.
Excellent, they take advantage of the ridicules rules and exceptions that are made on behalf of religion to try and fight the ever growing levels of filtering and monitoring done by governments and ISPs, in doing so they make a mockery of both.

Love it