When the next national census arrives on your doormat you now have another option to enter for religion other than Jedi, at least that is if you live in Sweden. On its third attempt the church of “kopyacting” has been officially recognised as a religion by the Swedish government.
The church is founded on the belief of sharing information and holds CTRL+C and CTRL+V as sacred symbols. They say they do not promote or condone illegal file-sharing but are pleased that file-sharing generally has now been given “religious protection”.
In a statement the leader of the church, a 19 year old philosophy student, Isak Gerson said “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.”
Despite this unexpected turn of events the Swedish government said that it wouldn’t mean illegal file-sharing was about to be legalised and music analyst Mark Mulligan told the BBC ”It 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. In some ways these guys are looking outdated. File-sharing as a means to pirate content is becoming yesterday’s technology.”
Whatever you might think of this new religion its recognition does at least help provide encouragement for those people who believe freedom of expression and freedoms to worship are being stifled. In this respect it has to be a good thing.
File sharing generally is a “religious ceremony” according to the church and it comes at a time when the US government’s controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is causing concern and argument across the pond.