Sweden Considers Piracy A Religion
“File sharing” is a benign term for the theft of copyrighted creative works such as motion pictures, music and literature, also known as on-line piracy. The belief that file sharing should be legal has just been recognized as a religion by the government of Sweden.
The Missionary Church of Kopimism was founded in 2010 by a Swedish philosophy student, Isak Gerson, in an effort to establish a legal protection for file sharing. The “church” considers shortcut keys to copy (control-C) and paste (control-V) to be sacred symbols. (We are not making this up.)
Earlier attempts by the “church” to gain official recognition by the Swedish government had failed.
Official recognition of the “church” does not automatically grant legal protections to its members for copyright infringement, however its founder hopes this new status will afford greater weight to his arguments that on-line file sharing of copyrighted material should be legal.
As it happens, Isak Gerson’s new religion may be redundant. Studies have shown that even Christians do not seem to understand or believe that on-line piracy is a form of theft. A Barna Group survey conducted in 2004 for the Gospel Music Association revealed the following troubling statistics about Christian teens and the theft (“piracy”) of Christian music:
“. . . active church attenders (78%) were just as likely as non-attenders (81%) to engage in piracy; born again Christians (77%) were just as likely as non-born again Christians (81%).”
“. . . teen buyers of Christian music were just as likely as other teens to engage in music piracy. This included teens who had purchased contemporary Christian music (77% of these buyers had committed an act of piracy), gospel recordings (80%), and worship music (80%).”