File-sharing religion goes legit in Sweden

After a couple of failed attempts, a group of pirates in Sweden has created an official religion from the Church of Kopimism.

The text in this image from the Kopimism Web site loosely translates to, "Internet is my distributed brain." kopimistsamfundet.se

Do you pray to the god of file sharing? If so, you might want to move to Sweden. The Church of Kopimism--a group with roots in file sharing and the notion that everything should be free--is now an official religion there.

Kopimism is the brainchild of philosophy student Isak Gerson, who founded the church in 2010 to protect his beliefs that copying and sharing information is a good thing. (If Kopimism has a Ten Commandments equivalent, I'm guessing "Thou shall not steal" didn't make the cut.)

Before you dispute Kopimism as hogwash, there are some things to consider. According to TorrentFreak, the movement has a couple thousand followers, and the number is expected to rise with its official status.

Reaching this point wasn't easy, however. Since the church's founding, Gerson made several attempts and failed to get Sweden to recognize the organization as an official religion. It was only after the group formalized a way of praying/meditation that the church got the official blessing.

The Kopimi logo. kopimi.com

Kopimism leaders hope the official recognition of their religion could be a positive factor in court cases. I wouldn't expect it to work like a "Get out of jail free" card, though I'm sure that won't stop Gerson from preaching the message of Kopimism.

The roots of Kopimism reside in the document "POwr, broccoli and Kopimi," a list of 100 things people should do to be a Kopimi. The recommendations vary and include gems like "Start using IRC," and "Take a powerful stance for something positive and essential."

However, the spirit of Kopimi means much more than you think to some people, like penche at The Pirate Bay:

This document reminded me of who I am and why I do the things I do. It's not about me, it's not about the files, it's not about the thrill, it doesn't matter that I have the money to buy the stuff. What matters is the cause. What matters is that we as a community, yes we are a community, further the cause and teach the world what it means to truly be free.

If you feel the same way, you can join the movement simply by inputting your name and e-mail address, but some of you may want to consult your usual ordained leader first before doing so.

CNET's Bonnie Cha contributed to this report.

 

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