For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

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Friday, 6 January 2012

The catechysm of Kopimism: file-sharing in Sweden



This Kat is used to reading pop culture references describing sport and fashion as religious experiences. However, she did not expect to read that file-sharing had been labelled as a religion and that it had been recognised as such by a sovereign government. The Missionary Church of Kopimism was founded in 2010 by Swedish philosophy student and file sharer Mr Isak Gerson. After several attempts, just before Christmas 2011, the Swedish governmental agency Kammarkollegiet registered the Church of Kopimism as an official religious organisation of the state. According to a statement issued by the Church,
'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'. 
 Members 'worship what is the holiest of the holiest, information and copy'. The Church organises 'kopyactings', namely 'religious services where the kopimists share information with each other through copying and remix'. Further, CTRL+C and CTRL+V (the keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste) are held as sacred symbols.

Mr Gerson stated that the recognition of the Church was 'one step towards the day when we can live out our faith without fear of persecution'. Torrent Freak further reports that Mr Gerson 'hoped that the Church's religious beliefs would be considered in future lawmaking'.

Gustav Nipe, Chairman of the Church, also stated that the earlier failed attempts to have the Church recognised by the Swedish government 'might have something to do with the governmental organisations abiding by a very copyright friendly attitude, with a twisted view on copying'.

This Kat was unable to investigate the Church's website further. A message on its home page informed her that the site had been Slashdotted and urged those interested in joining to 'revisit us in a couple of days when the storm has settled'. However, she does observe that, on the information available to her, the Church does not appear to promote directly illegal file-sharing or pirating of copyright material.

The IPKat cannot help but ask: what do you think?



Merpel cheekily wonders whether according to the Church CTRL+Z (restore) would also be regarded as a sacred symbol which forgives 'sins' related to CTRL+X (cut) ...

5 comments:

Kharol said...

nice faith, I'll hold a holy mass this saturday, celebrating the sacred acts of copying of a sacred text of a religion and a piece of music of my choice.

Mladen Vukmir said...

I think this is hilarious. Humorous part aside, this points to where are developments of our civilization taking us next. It is not comforting that the lawyers are not educated so as to easily interpret these shifts. Legal profession seems to be lagging ever more behind the changes. I tried to address these shifts in my article http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2011/10/abundance-of-sources-thoughts-on.html
The article deals exactly with the nature of copying and creating and comes to the conclusion that they are largely inseparable.

Isak Gerson said...

Kharol: Yes! Do that!

Copy and seed,
Isak Gerson

rajeevholmes said...

Well! An act which was bound to happen. Apple had its religious fervour, so why not these file sharers?

An evolution to the current religions! Whats next - Worshiping Artificial Intelligence??

Rajeev

Dr Mark Summerfield said...

Sing to the tune of 'All Things Bright and Beautiful':

All things quite downloadable,
All content far and near,
Decrypted, ripped and shareable,
Bittorrent brought them here!

Each e-book we are reading,
Each HD film we see,
No DRM will stop us,
Set information free!

All things out of copyright,
(And also stuff that's not),
We'll never cease our sacred fight,
To duplicate the lot!

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