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...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 3:25pm

    I always thought Agnetha Faltskog was a goddess.

     

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      icon
      MikeVx (profile), Jan 5th, 2012 @ 7:25pm

      Re: Singing Goddesses

      My current worship for a singing goddess is Nanne Grönvall, 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.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 3:29pm

    lol.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 3:33pm

    Wait...so file sharing can be legally defended as a religious practice now? I'm not saying successfully, but it could be, right? Holy hell. This may be crazy enough to work, or at least crazy enough to fail hilariously.

     

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    MrWilson, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 3:45pm

    On the flip side, Greed has been the official religion of IP maximalists for some time now.

     

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    Nate, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 3:45pm

    If nothing else, Mike, we can at least say that file-sharing is no longer immoral. A recognized religion said its okay.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 3:51pm

    So when will Mike "today's copyright laws are a complete joke themselves" Masnick be converting? Or are you already a member? LOL!

     

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    •  
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      Rikuo (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:08pm

      Re:

      And if he does convert...are you going to be prejudiced/biased against him because of his religion?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
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        average_joe (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:15pm

        Re: Re:

        It'll be a hate crime and I'll be put in a dungeon for a very long time! ROFLMAO! You guys are the best!

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Your words are becoming less and less coherent...

           

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          •  
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            average_joe (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You're being sooooooo CTRL+X right now!

             

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            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 6:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              An incoherent sentence like this is a non-sequitur. All of your recent posts are non-sequiturs.

               

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                average_joe (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 7:47pm

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

                Nay. I'm sequitur. Drink the Kool-Aid, friend. Let the file sharing goodness get into your soul.

                 

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                  identicon
                  Suja, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 7:52pm

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

                  Drink the Kool-Aid, friend

                  uhhhh... after seeing what it's done to you, i think i'll pass

                   

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                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 11:51pm

                  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.)

                   

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    RichWa (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 3:59pm

    I just converted

    from FSM to Kopimism!

    I wonder if the Sweden will give me asylum when the US authorities go after me because of my religious practices?

    Does this mean that SOPA, if (or when?) passed is an infringement on my right of religious freedom?

     

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      Rikuo (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:07pm

      Re: I just converted

      Damn, and here I was about to make the first mention of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in this thread! Thanks a lot!

       

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      average_joe (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

      Re: I just converted

      Does this mean that SOPA, if (or when?) passed is an infringement on my right of religious freedom?

      Sure does! And you can smoke weed, sacrifice humans, eat magic mushrooms, and rape all the women you want! Yeah, file sharing! CTRL+C and CTRL+V. Amen.

       

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        wow, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:13pm

        adverage joe

        someones bitter....

         

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          average_joe (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:30pm

          Re: adverage joe

          Bitter? My wife just came to check on me to see why I'm laughing so hard! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG! Best story on Techdirt eva!!!

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 5:13pm

            Re: Re: adverage joe

            Because you've equated copyright infringement and consuming cannabis with murder and rape.

            You'll make a fine lawyer some day.

             

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:34pm

        Re: Re: I just converted

        For bonus points, try doing them all at one time.

        Also, it is only stealing if you use ctrl x

         

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

        Re: Re: I just converted

        You do know that Satanism is a protected religion don't you?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaVeyan_Satanism

         

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        Grae (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 5:24pm

        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?

         

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      Noodly Appendage but you can call me E.D., Jan 4th, 2012 @ 5:03pm

      Re: I just converted

      At least we won't have to worry about global warming any more!

       

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    identicon
    Kopimista, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:05pm

    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.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:08pm

    Silly people.
    It isn't that copying must be allowed.
    Its that blasphemous anti copying statements whether textual, audio or visual can be dealt with legally.

     

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    Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    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)

     

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    average_joe (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:28pm

    So is Pirate Mike one of the patron saints?? ROFLMAO!!!!!

     

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    RobM (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 5:06pm

    My traditionalist sect uses Ctrl-Ins and Shift-Ins. Or are we 'orthodox'?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 5:14pm

    Kopimi

    This is now my official religion on my facebook page.

     

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    Nina Paley (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 5:31pm

    How do I apply?

    I would like to be ordained in Kopimi, so that I can perform marriages and stuff.

    Failing that, I'd like to be canonized.

     

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    identicon
    fb39ca4, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 5:45pm

    All hail the mighty Razor1911.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 5:49pm

    Failing that, I'd like to be canonized.

    You will! One day our children we'll look back at our insane world of copyright long gone, while you'll be Saint Nina on the altar surrounded by CTRL-C candles.

    Kopilujah!
    Amen!

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 7:11pm

    Holy shit, either we broke joe or he was an eleven-year-old girl all along

     

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      average_joe (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 7:41pm

      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!

       

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        identicon
        Suja, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 7:59pm

        Re: Re:

        ^^^
        and this, kids, is why crack is bad

        don't smoke crack

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 8:22pm

        Re: Re:

        fucking crackhead, go back to class fool

         

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 8:56pm

        Re: Re:

        ffs, joe, rtfa. There's little point to alluding Mike's support for this movement when he's already clearly stated that "I'm not sure it does much beyond being a little publicity stunt". Your babble is desperate.

         

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 8:59pm

        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]!

         

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        Ninja (profile), Jan 5th, 2012 @ 3:24am

        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.

         

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        Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 5th, 2012 @ 7:04am

        Re: Re:

        Wow Joe. When you miss the point, you really miss the point.

        Tell me - did you manage to make it past the headline of the article, and see how neither Mike nor anyone else in their right mind takes this seriously?

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2012 @ 7:45am

          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.

           

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      identicon
      Cookoo, Jan 5th, 2012 @ 5:48am

      Re:

      I think Joe has discovered the rest of the internet. He hasn't handled it well.

       

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    Zacqary Adam Green (profile), Jan 5th, 2012 @ 12:23am

    Kopimism should join forces with Pastafarianism. All hail the copypasta.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2012 @ 12:41am

    I'm hoping this casts a shadow over the sacredness and holiness of religion in general and harms their undeserved privileged position in affecting legislation more than I'm hoping it affects copyright law.

    Getting both would be the best thing, though.

     

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    Violated (profile), Jan 5th, 2012 @ 1:17am

    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.

     

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    identicon
    n0m0n, Jan 5th, 2012 @ 3:55am

    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.

     

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    Hak Foo (profile), Jan 5th, 2012 @ 8:00am

    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.

     

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    identicon
    Comeraderoid, Jan 5th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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