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Thanks to a recent declaration, residents of Sweden will be able to consider their file sharing habit a form of religious expression. Even though “copyright infringement remains illegal in Sweden,” the nation has bestowed official church status upon Missionary Church of Kopimism.
The Hollywood Reporter explains that the church, whose members are called Kopimi (sound it out phonetically), holds “information as holy and copying and file sharing as a sacred acts akin to prayer.”
The church’s website provides further details on its creation:
The Church of Kopimism have tried to become registered as a religious organisation by Kammarkollegiet for more than a year. Since Kammarkollegiet has been strict with formalities, we had to apply three times, a happy Gustav Nipe - board chairman for the organisation - says. He continues, I think it might have something to do with the governmental organisations abiding by a very copyright friendly attitude, with a twisted view on copying. 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 organisation and its members. 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, says Isak Gerson, spiritual leader of the Church of Kopimism. The Church of Kopimism is a religious organization with roots from 2010. The organization formalizes a community that's been well spread for a long time already. The community of kopimi requires no formal membership. You just have to feel a calling to worship what is the holiest of the holiest, information and copy. To do this, we organize kopyactings - religious services - where the kopimists share information with eachother through copying and remix. Copy and seed.