Jewish Journal


January 6, 2012

Sweden recognizes copying and file-sharing as religion


Here is a bizarre story discussing the intersection between my religion reporting and intellectual property interests: Sweden has recognized copying and file sharing as religion.

The LA Times explains:

In the midst of a worldwide debate about Internet piracy, Swedish authorities have granted official religious status to the Church of Kopimism, which claims it considers CTRL+C and CTRL+V (shortcuts for copy and paste) to be sacred symbols, and that information is holy and copying is a sacrament.

The church was founded by philosophy student Isak Gerson, who is also the self-appointed spiritual leader of the movement.

In a statement on the church’s website, he says its religious roots stem back to 2010 and that it formalized a community of file sharers that already has been “well spread” for a long time.

“The community of kopimi requires no formal membership,” he writes. “You just have to feel a calling to worship what is the holiest of the holiest, information and copy.”

And people thought Temple 420 was just a gimmick to smoke pot under the cover of religious worship. At least Craig X. Rubin made an argument that cannabis came from God and groups have long recognized drug use as a vehicle for communicating with God.

Kopimism appears to have been created from whole cloth, which is actually surprising because you might expect its founder to have copied his church’s sacred documents.

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