Swedish Authorities Disconnects FileSharing as a Religion

Filesharing is certainly widely practised. People certainly do share files religiously. FileSharing is a regular part of people’s lives. Does that make filesharing a religion though? Apparently not as far as Swedish authorities are concerned.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

We recently found out that there is an apparent movement in Sweden to declare filesharing as a religion. The religion is apparently known as Kopimism and even has its own website. The website contains the following to describe the belief system:

– All knowledge to all
– The search for knowledge is sacred
– The circulation of knowledge is sacred
– The act of copying is sacred.

It also contains the following comments:

Throughout history, various groups around the world have been persecuted by oppressors. It has since taken refuge in religion and wanted a peaceful coexistence. Without threats and harassment.

In our belief, communication is sacred. Communication needs to be respected. It is a direct sin to monitor and eavesdrop on people.

The absolute secrecy is holy in the church of kopimism.

In the individual pastoral care and confession with the kopimist priests (the Ops), priests are protected under Swedish law by an absolute professional secrecy.
Copyright Religion is our absolute opposite — Ongoing obstruction of copying.

Sound convincing? Apparently, not to Swedish authorities. According to UPI, Swedish officials were not convinced enough to allow filesharing as a religion. From the report:

Swedish officials ruled against a Swedish group’s attempt to have Internet file sharing classified as an act of religious worship.

The Swedish Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency rejected the attempt by the Pirate Party of Uppsala to have their information copying and spreading activities registered as a religious faith known as The Missionary Church of Kopimism, The Local reported Thursday.

The church’s name came from the “Kopimi” — pronounced “copy me” — logo placed on the Web sites of people who are willing to have the contained information copied.

This wouldn’t be the first time Swedish authorities rejected a rather unusual request for recognition of a church. Last year, Swedish authorities rejected a bid to have the Church of Orgasm be recognized as an official religion.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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