It took two years and two failed attempts for members of the Missionary Church of Kopimism to earn the official designation as a state-recognized religion in Sweden, but they finally did it. Run by a group of people who consider copying to be sacred -- the Kopimi version of the Christian cross or the Muslim crescent is CTRL-C and CNTL-V -- the now official Swedish religion has grown its membership from 1,000 to 3,000 in the last six months, and the details of the inner workings sound more activist than religous. Torrent Freak's prolific semi-anonymous blogger Ernesto talked to the church's founder on Wednesday after the Kopimi earned the final approval from Swedish authorities. I think that more people will have the courage to step out as Kopimists. Maybe not in the public, but at least to their close ones," Isak Gerson, a young philosophy student whom Ernesto describes as a "religious file-sharer." Gerson added, "There’s still a legal stigma around copying for many. A lot of people still worry about going to jail when copying and remixing. I hope in the name of Kopimi that this will change." Only in Sweden, we think. This is the same country that the torrent site founded the international Pirate Party movement just five years ago, not long after the formation of the popular torrent site The Pirate Bay. And yes, they mean the file-sharing kind of pirate.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.