Sweden has recognised a pro-file sharing organisation as an official religion.
Leaders of the Missionary Church of Kopimism announced on Tuesday that, after pushing hard to gain official recognition from the country’s government, it had been finally given the nod for religion status.
Swedish authorities had previously denied the group’s two prior requests, citing that its members did not have or practice a full set of formal rituals. But the church later responded that it was indeed “a belief system with rituals,” citing its sacred symbols of “Ctrl+C” and “Ctrl+V,” which represent keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste.
The group has about 3,000 followers, which claim to adhere to its motto, “everything belongs to everyone”. Its website states: “We challenge all copyright believers, most of which have a great deal of influence in politics, and who derive their power by limiting people’s lives and freedom. What they most of all want [is] to limit knowledge. We need to steel ourselves for their hatred and aggression.”
Isak Gerson, philosophy student and founder of the group, said via the Torrent Freak blog website, “We confessional Kopimists have not only depended on each other in this struggle, but on everyone who is copying information. To everyone with an internet connection: Keep copying. Maintain hardline Kopimi.”
Sweden has become known in recent years as a safe refuge for digital piracy. It now has 22 official religions, with Lutheranism being the most prevalent.