In Sweden this year a government agency registered a new religion, Kopimism. At the core beliefs and values of this new religion is one very important and interesting belief, the holy belief in file sharing. For those who don’t know Sweden is kind of the center of illegal downloads and file sharing, as many websites that allow worldwide file sharing are based out of Sweden where copyright laws are rarely enforced. This new religion, which already has over 8,000 members on it’s website, should be an interested curveball thrown to legislators and production companies who attempt to utilize copyright laws.
STOCKHOLM — People almost everywhere are file sharing these days, using computers to download music, films, books or other materials, often ignoring copyrights. In Sweden, however, it is a religion. Really.
Even as this Scandinavian country, like other nations across Europe, bows to pressure from big media concerns to stop file sharing, a Swedish government agency this year registered as a bona fide religion a church whose central dogma is that file sharing is sacred.
“For me it is a kind of believing in deeper values than worldly values,” said Isak Gerson, a philosophy student at Uppsala University who helped found the church in 2010 and bears the title chief missionary. “You have it in your backbone.”
Kopimism — the name comes from a Swedish spelling of the words “copy me” — claims more than 8,000 faithful who have signed up on the church’s Web site. It has applied for the right to perform marriages and to receive subsidies awarded to religious organizations by the state, and it has bid, thus far unsuccessfully, to buy a church building, even though most church activities are conducted online.