In a move sure to enrage both anti-piracy groups and pious citizens, Sweden has officially deemed the file-sharing Church of Kopimism a religion, placing the group on the same footing as Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
Started in 2010 by philosophy student Isaac Gerson, the church’s efforts to become legally recognized as a religion were snubbed twice before. But even in Sweden, that old adage holds true; the group’s third request was approved.
“Being recognized by the state of Sweden is a large step for all of Kopimi,” said Gerson. “Hopefully, this is one step towards the day when we can live out our faith without fear of persecution.”
According to Gerson’s religion, file-sharing is holy law and members are encouraged to do so during the so-called religious service, “kopyacting.” Copying is a sacred commandment to the group.
Speaking to Torrent Freak, Gerson acknowledged that despite his church’s victory file-sharers will still be prosecuted under the law. “There’s still a legal stigma around copying for many,” he said. “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.”
No word on whether Sweden’s infamous The Pirate Bay also plans on filing for a religious status. Then again, Kopimism already recognizes the torrent site’s millions of users as unofficial worshipers. (via Torrent Freak)