File-sharing now an official religion

An African correspondent, Rowan Hutchinson, sends this touching tale of the new church in Sweden:

From TorrentFreak by Ernesto

All around the world file-sharers are being chased by anti-piracy outfits and the authorities, and the situation in Sweden is no different. While copyright holders are often quick to label file-sharers as pirates, there is a large group of people who actually consider copying to be a sacred act.

Philosophy student Isak Gerson is such a religious file-sharer, and in an attempt to protect his unique belief system he founded The Missionary Church of Kopimism in 2010. In the hope that they could help prevent persecution for their beliefs, the Church then filed a request to be officially accepted by the authorities.

After two failed attempts, where the Church was asked to formalize its way of praying or meditation, the authorities finally recognized the organization as an official religion. The Church’s founder is ecstatic about this news, and hopes that it will motivate more people to come forward as ‘Kopimists’.

“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 tells TorrentFreak. “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.” 

Although the formal status of the Church doesn’t mean that copyright infringement is now permitted, the Church’s founder hopes that their beliefs will be considered in future lawmaking.

During the last half year the Missionary Church of Kopimism tripled its members from 1,000 to 3,000 and it’s expected that the recent news will cause another surge in followers. Official member or not, Gerson encourages everyone with an Internet connection to keep on sharing.

“We confessional Kopimists have not only depended on each other in this struggle, but on everyone who is copying information. To everyone with an internet connection: Keep copying. Maintain hardline Kopimi,” Gerson concludes.

Prospective followers who embrace the same calling are of course welcome to join the movement, free of charge.

Oh yeah. Pity I already have a religion – I could have quite gone for that one.

7 comments for “File-sharing now an official religion

  1. nisakiman
    January 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Ha! Although I’m not a stranger to file-sharing, I rather think I’ll give Kopimism a miss.

    Despite all the gnashing and wailing emanating from the industries affected, their claims of the millions they lose is somewhat disingenuous. They calculate that every file downloaded is $x lost, whereas the reality is that for the most part the downloaders would not buy the CD, movie, app or whatever if they had to pay for it. As a rough guess, I would put their losses at 10% or less of what they claim.

    • January 7, 2012 at 7:14 am

      “…whereas the reality is that for the most part the downloaders would not buy the CD, movie, app or whatever if they had to pay for it.”

      I would.

      In fact, I never bother with music or films or software; they are available in the shops and when I want them, I buy them.

      What I use Torrenting for is – exclusively – US TV shows that aren’t yet shown here at all, or are only shown months after their US airing.

      If they were made available immediately on iTunes, I’d buy them instead.

  2. January 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    whereas the reality is that for the most part the downloaders would not buy the CD, movie, app or whatever if they had to pay for it

    Damned right!

    • Edgar
      January 6, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      Theft is still theft, whether it is approved of by Kopimists or by those claiming to be Christian.

      • nisakiman
        January 7, 2012 at 7:04 am

        We start to run into the tangle of semantics here. Is it theft to leaf through a magazine in the newsagent, perhaps reading an article that takes your interest, without buying the magazine? Perhaps so, but that would make criminals of a lot of people who wouldn’t consider themselves such.

        • January 7, 2012 at 7:15 am

          I hate the people who block the aisles in WHSmith ‘browsing’ through magazines… 👿

      • January 7, 2012 at 7:16 am

        Most of the shows I Torrent will be purchased by me once they come out on DVD. Is that really ‘theft’?

        Or is it ‘delayed payment’? 😉

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