Sweden’s Missionary Church of Kopimism, which was founded in the fall of 2010 and granted official recognition by the Swedish government this past January, has already established branches in eighteen countries, including the United States. Now the upstart religion is begining to attract mainstream attention.
Kopimism is currently featured in a story in US News and World Report, somewhat misleadingly titled ”œKopimism, Sweden’s Pirate Religion, Begins to Plunder America.” Christopher Carmean, the founder of the U.S. branch, told US News, ”œData is what we are made of, data is what defines our life, and data is how we express ourselves. … Attempts to hinder sharing are antithetical to our data-driven existence.”
The Church of Kopimism comes across partly as a spoof of organized relition similar to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, partly as an attempt to gain support for its desire to do away with most copyright laws, and partly completely in earnest.
As one Kopimist recently put it, ”œNot to belittle mainstream religion, but why is it okay to worship some bearded guy on a throne in the sky, but not this?”
According to its Swedish founder, 20-year-old philosophy student Isak Gerson, adherents of Komimism ”œbelieve that information is holy and that the act of copying is holy.
Gerson told New Scientist that because the Swedish ”œauthorities were quite dogmatic with their formalities,” it took three tries for his group to be recognized as a church. They finally had to convince the government that they regard the copying of information as an act of worship and ”œCTRL+V” and ”œCTRL+C” as sacred symbols.