Sweden's newest church sanctifies copy, paste, post as antidote to censorship

Copy this article and give it to your friends; bless them with holy signs (CTL-C, CTL-V)

Even as copyright fetishists and avocational censors in the U.S. combine forces to impose laws that would make a content pirate of anyone whose gaze lingers too long on a movie poster or in whose head a snatch of song plays over and over despite all efforts to dislodge it, Sweden has recognized the need to communicate, commune and even worship using the language of image and verse and song other countries imprison within the limits of the physical media on which they are stored.

The Church of Kopimism was recognized as a legitimate religious organization by the oldest government agency in Sweden and, one would assume, the most spiritual.

Kammarkollegiet, established in 1539 by King Gustav I must be a holy agency because it was given the right and the duty to examine new systems of belief, organizations dedicated to the glorification of the ethereal and the effort by abused minorities to worship in ways shaped only by their own conscience.

One might think those things. One would be wrong, of course.

Kammarkollegiet is the tax and auditing agency just as soulless as the money-grubbing beancounters oppressing the Kopimists outside Sweden. Unlike less enlightened tax imposers, however, Kammarkollegiet was given the authority, essentially, to decide what organizations resemble religions closely enough to be exempt from certain taxes and rules forbidding the wearing of criminally silly hats in public.

In December, Kammarkillegiet recognized the petition of a group calling itself the Church of Kopmiism – an organization formed on the idea that information is holy and that spreading the word(s) is a sacred duty.

A “Kopimist” or “Kopimist intellectual” is person who has the philosophical belief that all information should be freely distributed and unrestricted. This philosophy opposes copyrights in all forms and encourages piracy of all types of media including music, movies, TV shows, and software. The term kopimist originates from the root word, kopimi, meaning ‘copy me.’" – Isak Gerson, Church of Kopimism, Dec. 1, 2011

Copying information is therefore a sacrament because it multiplies the inherent spiritual value of natural information.

Copying – or Kopi-ing for those who are either purposely atrocious spellers or are Swedish – is therefore the holiest thing a person can do. 'Kopyacting' digital data and distributing it freely among other worshippers is therefore, to members of the Church of Kopimism, an act of worship, a moral and ethical duty from which believers cannot shrink without losing large bytes from their souls.

Kopying and distributing information imprisoned by copyright owners is a mitzvah, an expression of zakah, an act of charity and compassion that feeds the soul of both Kopy-er and Kopy-receiver.

Kopimism, led by its spiritual leader, 19-year-old philosophy student Isak Gerson, is not as well respected or protected even in Sweden as other religions are within their own countries. It gets few special favors.

In fact, it is specially targeted for persecution by information jailers who wrote in a Dec. 1 editorial that is complete gibberish without Google Translate – that Sweden had been " notorious as a pirates' paradise" before the 2008 law that helped copyright owners use their own rights to flatten those of others.

Certification of the holy purpose and holy symbols of Kopimism (Ctl-C and Ctl-V are its blessings) won't rid Sweden of information persecution, but it may let the few honest Kopycats practice their form of worship in greater safety, if not with the security other religions take for granted.

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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