Kopimism Approved As Official Religion In Sweden: File Sharing Now Protected Under Freedom Of Religion Laws?

from the probably-not... dept

Last year, we poked some fun at the folks in Sweden who were trying to create the religion of Kopimism, in which “copying and the sharing of information is the most beautiful thing in the world.” While there were some bureaucratic problems, and at least one rejection of the plan, it turns out that at the very end of the year, Kopimism became an officially recognized religion in Sweden.


“Being recognized by the state of Sweden is a large step for all of kopimi. Hopefully, this is one step towards the day when we can live out our faith without fear of persecution”, says Isak Gerson, spiritual leader of the Church of Kopimism.

Of course, while some are claiming that this may effectively legalize file sharing for members of the “religion,” I doubt that’s accurate. There are plenty of religious practices that are deemed illegal. It can create some legal fights, but it certainly doesn’t automatically legalize all religious practices (think: bigamy, human sacrifice, etc.).

To be honest, while this is amusing and does a nice of job of pointing out the ridiculousness of trying to clamp down on culture, I’m not sure it does much beyond being a little publicity stunt. For those who think stronger copyright laws are a good thing, this certainly isn’t going to convince them of the error of their ways, and will simply reaffirm the belief that those opposing the excessive nature of copyright laws today are not to be taken seriously. Of course, the flip side of that argument is that today’s copyright laws are a complete joke themselves, so perhaps the most reasonable response is to make an even bigger joke out of them…

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Comments on “Kopimism Approved As Official Religion In Sweden: File Sharing Now Protected Under Freedom Of Religion Laws?”

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94 Comments
MikeVxsays:

Re: Re: Singing Goddesses

My current worship for a singing goddess is Nanne Gr?nvall, who I only know about because of what the copyright maximalists would call theft. (I watched an AMV.)

How they would explain a theft that resulted in my tracking down all but one of the albums I know her to be on via various international sellers (that part is easy, finding ones with English web pages was a bit more work) is an interesting thought. The one album I can’t get is her least successful, yet I can’t seem to get anyone who has one to part with it.

And for good measure, I tracked down Princess Tutu from the AMV and bought the series box set.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Non-sequitur” is Latin for “It does not follow” (as in, “It makes no sense”). It is, an argument (or statement) with a conclusion that is not logically reached from it’s premise.

(Example: “I had cake at a party last week, and it rained today. Now I must dance without stopping, while watching all of the Lord of the Rings movies in a row.)

Graesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: I just converted

… and rape all the women you want!“!?

Are you seriously making a comparison between copyright infringement and sexual assault? Are you really seriously honestly saying copying a set of bits over the internet in violation of the laws of various nations is on the same level morally and criminally as violently sexually violating someone against their wishes?

The subtext of your statement is that you honestly believe that copyright infringement is so heinous that copyright infringers should be treated the same as those who sexually violate other people;

or

you’re believe that rape is so insignificant and unworthy of attention that it sits on the same moral and criminal shelf as copyright infringement.

Which is it Average_joe?

Kopimistasays:

If you don’t want your creation to be shared don’t publish it in any way or form. If you do we’ll share it. Don’t like it? Lock it in your basement. Culture is to share it. That’s our religion.

CTRL+C
CTRL+V
Hallelujah! (*)

And remember, don’t be a dick, never do CTRL+X.

Sharing is caring. IP is evil. Kopimi is God.

Anonymoussays:

At the base is the Holy Conversion to New Formats… moving forward into eternity, uploaded to every Platform of the Human Condition. we shall make of Our data, an immortality, preserving all to that final point of Singularity, the ultimate Omega, where all data shall at last be free with no restraints or boundaries. All possibility manifest in digital form, forever and ever, worlds without end.

DRM is a great evil, it shackles the data, enslaves its soul to a single, fallible, version…one which can easily find itself Unreadable, by He Who is Called ROOT. There can be no greater sin, than data lost to humanity due to those who would lock down knowledge for selfish ends.

(Hail Eris)

Marcus Carabsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

lol Joe I’m actually pretty surprised at how much you’ve gone of the rails on this one. You realize you’re ranting like a crazy person, right?

Perhaps you missed this fairly obvious fact but: none of us take the idea of a file sharing religion seriously either. Your mockery falls flat. It’s like you’re running around a movie theatre yelling “it’s all fake! they’re just actors!”

average_joesays:

Re: Re:

Ha! I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. And no surprise that TD contributor Nina Paley would “like to be canonized.” LOL! Who says that about ANY religion? I mean, really. Could you be any tackier than announce that you’d like to made a saint in a religion that you aren’t even a member of? And how ridiculous is it that she searches in the TD comments for information on how “to be ordained”? OMG! It’s too much! What a fucking joke. Keep her close, Mike. She’s a KEEPER.

LMAO @ Pirate Mike and his Band of Merry Pirates. You guys are DA BEST!

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Who says that about ANY religion?”

I dunno, maybe someone who thinks that no human would be too insane to tell serious from silly?

Also, Michael Geare died in the 17th century. His crew most likely spoke not at all like your crack-inspired words.

[scoff]! I [mud-slinging scoff][blatant lies]. And [bias] that [strawman] would “[joke taken seriously].” [Mr. Literal] I mean, really. [Mr. Literal]? And [Mr. Literal]? [interjection]! It’s [blatant lies]! What a [precision F strike] [scoff]. [mocking joke], [strawman]. She’s a KEEPER.

[sarcastic laugh] @ [straw group]. [crack]!

Ninjasays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The fact that you can’t tell jokes from serious remarks is what’s really amusing here.

And there’s also the fact that you twist the words in your mind till they scream what you want to read. Nina said she wanted to be ordained. As in become a priestess for the religion. Other commenters did joke with the sanctification, canonization and whatever other religious stuff but don’t twist their jokes with what Nina actually said.

You also fail to grasp very interesting points here. And that’s because while you “hear” you don’t actually “listen”. You seem to be severely restricted in your reading comprehension as much as you are restricted in your writing coherence and cohesion. But I’ll paste the paragraph where he points the interesting issues this fact (the recognition of Kopimism as a religion) raises:

To be honest, while this is amusing and does a nice of job of pointing out the ridiculousness of trying to clamp down on culture, I’m not sure it does much beyond being a little publicity stunt. For those who think stronger copyright laws are a good thing, this certainly isn’t going to convince them of the error of their ways, and will simply reaffirm the belief that those opposing the excessive nature of copyright laws today are not to be taken seriously. Of course, the flip side of that argument is that today’s copyright laws are a complete joke themselves, so perhaps the most reasonable response is to make an even bigger joke out of them…

You see, Joe, that he thinks the fact is amusing but it does raise questions about the current copyright environment. And I’ll go further than that: if copyright turns out to be a form of persecution of their believers then either we have to review the “special treatment” some religions receive or we have to review copyright itself. In my opinion both outcomes are pure win. While I do believe in God and Jesus (despite not following any Christian religion atm) I also believe in a neutral, laic State. The Government should be for all and religious beliefs should not override any rights. Abortion is a very good example. The religions frown on it but it’s not up to them to legislate on the body of a woman, but it’s up to the Government to make it certain that there will not be any suffering for the baby (ie: the abortion can only be conducted up to a determined week where the fetus has no neural system). Same with sex workers.

As you can see (or so I think) it’s much deeper than what your simple mind can grasp.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I don’t think average_joe (Ctrl+C Amen) is an eleven-year-old girl (Ctrl+C Amen). We’ve got it all wrong, joe is clearly a very high level monk who has been trained in advanced meditation to block out any and all points being made. It takes years of training and point denial to achieve this level of nirvana.

Violatedsays:

Religion

Kopimism began from the valid question… What would Jesus do when it comes to file sharing?

That answer is found in the loaves and fishes. Replication to feed the masses.

Most religions do promote sharing, generosity (anti-greed) and caring. So it has long been a moral stance that has since awaited religious recognition.

Kopimism currently has 3000 members and it is sure to grow with more members and recognised in other countries.

n0m0nsays:

Kopimism not only about duplication

Even though the copying of information is a sacrament according to the Missionary Church of Kopimism; an even higher sacramant is the remixing, fusing, merging etc of information.

One of the foundations of the beleif is actually found outside of the digital world entirely; the duplicatinga and remixing nature of biological life on earth. Every child is (in its biology) a “remix” of the gene pools and of the parents. Parents raising their children often try to “copy” their own good traits, or traits of people they admire into the personas of the children they raise.

“Remixing” someone elses work (aslo consider adding to a community open source project as a form of this) is a sign of deep respect where not only do you spread the information, you also make it grow. Producing and publishing originals (without any form of DRM/copy protection of course!) is also very important for the data to grow and develop.

Yes; it is true that file sharing is promoted by the churc, but the ideology is much more profound and shouldn’t be laughed away too easily. Currently living and Sweden and having done so for a main part of my life I can also say that very few of the founders really think this will have much juridical impact. The freedom of religion act is not nearly as strong when it comes to what rites you can practice in Sweden as in e.g. the United Staes of America.

Most international blogs and media seem to have focused too much on the pro-piracy aspect and not really on the philosophical questions raised – some of which I think are very valid and should be treated with a good deal of respect.

Sure, some things, like the “CTRL + C and CTRL + V is holy” I find a bit silly and childish – I choose to see this mainly as a testament of the young age of some of the founders (the “spiritual leader” is a 19 year old college student majoring in philosophy) but I sure am interested in seeing how it develops over a couple of years. I do hope they are treated with enough respect and seriously enough so that they can mature a bit and am sure that if this happens, it will add something real to the copyright debate within a forseable future.

A lot of people thought of Piratpariet (“The Pirate Party”) as a joke too – that was until they claimed two of Sweden’s seats (out of 20 total) in the EU Parliament.

Disclaimer: I have a habit of producing a lot of text when I write, but for the record; a lot of what I’ve said I’ve copied from blogs and news feeds. It has been somewhat reshaped and remixed in the process of posting and as a final touch I’ve added a few of my own opinions. Not being a follower of the religion I still sharea lot of faith in their ideas and in their practices.

Hak Foosays:

One of the major components of a religion is a moral code, perhaps even more so than the creation myth or promise of salvation.

In this context, Kopimism makes perfect sense. It’s simply defining a moral code which weights “sharing information” as more valuable than “preserving a state-sanctioned economic hack”. It might even be seen as a “light” religion which outsources the other normal religious expectations (like the aforementioned creation myth) to other cultural traditions.

Comeraderoidsays:

I think a lot of people might be missing the point...

… nothing really new there to be honest. But it is worth noting that while copyright infringement is still probably punishable by bought law, the registration of kopimism as a religion actually would still make it possible to discuss copying and possibly as well linking to texts about copying (or god forbid copies themeslves), under the protective umbrella of freedom of religion absurdly enough, something that the copyright industry rather much not have you doing.

While this might not change anything, it does prepare the ground for some pretty interesting debates. And it makes a pretty nifty publicity stunt.

That people immediately start pulling out the “murder as religion” or “paedophilia as religion” cards all over the internet, kind of proves that it’s a stunt that was needed.

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