THE world has a new religion – Kopimism. But no gods, saviours, or silly dogma here because the Missionary Church of Kopism exists solely for the “sacred” practise of file-sharing on the internet.
According to Gizmodo, the church, which has adopted Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V as its religious symbols – rather than Ctrl+U, which forms the basis of virtually all “pukka”religions (thanks for pointing that out, Remigius) – was set up in 2010 by philosophy student Isak Gerson to avoid legal persecution.
It now has 3,000 members, and was officially recognised as a religious organisation by the Swedish government agency Kammarkollegiet shortly before Christmas, according to the BBC.
Gerson believes the official seal of approval by the Swedish government will change things:
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. 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.
It took him two tries to get it legalised. He said:
For the Church of Kopimism, information is holy and copying is a sacrament. Information holds a value, in itself and in what it contains and the value multiplies through copying. Therefore copying is central for the organisation and its members. Being recognised 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.
Gizmodo imagines Kopimism rituals going like this:
And the Swedes raised the holy torrent upon high, saying, ‘O Lord, bless this thy holy torrent, that with it thou mayst copy thine movies and music in tiny bits, in thy mercy.’ And the Kopism Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats.And the Lord spake, saying, ‘First shalt thou find the tracker. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy .torrent file towards thy Torrent program, who, being naughty in my sight, shall copy it.’
Hat tip: Remigius, Agent Cormac and Bill Murray