People everywhere are file sharing these days, using computers to download music or other materials, often ignoring copyrights. In Sweden, however, it is a religion. Really.
Even as this Scandinavian country, like other nations across Europe, bows to pressure from big media organisations to stop file sharing, a Swedish government agency this year registered as a bona fide religion a church whose central dogma is that file sharing is sacred.
”For me, it is a kind of believing in deeper values than worldly values,” said Isak Gerson, a philosophy student at Uppsala University who helped found the church in 2010 and bears the title of chief missionary. ”You have it in your backbone.”
Kopimism – the name comes from a Swedish spelling of the words ”copy me” – claims more than 8000 faithful who have signed up on the church’s website. It has applied for the right to perform marriages and to receive subsidies awarded to religious organisations by the state, and it has tried, thus far unsuccessfully, to buy a church building, even though most church activities are conducted online.