Kopimi as a religion

(Post in English since there’s very little reports on this in English).

Some days ago news was out that “Kopimistsamfundet” (“The Church of Kopimism”) was officially accepted as a religion in Sweden. People see this as a joke and giggle a bit about it. I’ve been following the church up closely and wanted to post my views on why this is an important move.

The idea behind this church comes from a quite unexpected source, you will probably not be able to guess whom. It’s funny.

In an interview in 2007 or 2008 (I believe, not sure about the date) the swedish lawyer for the MPAA, Monique Wasted, got a question about her views on the people advocating file sharing. Her answer was that “It’s just a few people, very loud. They’re a cult. They call themselves Kopimists.”

She called file sharers “a cult”. But she should know, because besides working for Hollywood she’s also been working as a swedish legal counsil for the church of Scientology. She has for instance helped them sue the swedish government over copyright infringement for putting their bible up as publicly viewable evidence in a court case.

It made me think that it might be benefits to look at what we do as a religious movement. One of the fun things working with The Pirate Bay has always been that we’ve started lots of fun crazy projects. Some work, some (most) fail. I started researching what kind of angle it would give us if we registered a religion.

When the Swedish state church was split from the government, a law about religions was passed to make it possible for anyone to get their religion accepted as long as they had some sort of organisation. The law states that the content of the religion itself is never tried, only that the organisation is there. The law is hence very wide and in order to not be abused for economical reasons, that part of the religion is a separate step, So you won’t get any money from the government (or tax benefits) without a lot of more bureaucracy. But that’s not interesting in this case.

The more interesting thing is that religions in general (I will not go into details here, it’s fun to find out for people in the end) are a bit more protected than political movements. In Sweden the law about freedom of religion is absolute – which means that no other law is higher. That means that laws that is designed to, for instance spy on you, might not be allowed if you commit yourself to your religious act.

In some religions (I don’t know about Kopimistsamfundet yet, maybe they can answer) there’s a Seal of Confession – which means that when you talk to a priest in the congregation, the priest have to keep what you say confidential. This is respected in some countries as law, where the courts can not make the priest testify against the individual. And some religions – at least the Mormons as far as I know – consider all members of the church to be a priest. This is probably the thing that I love the most with kopimism as a religion – we can have yet another form of P2P communication – Priest2priest. With no legal right for anyone to listen in to the conversation perhaps. This must be researched.

Since I’ve had a lot of things to do, projects to start, my church was never started. My working name for it was Church of Copying Kopimists (or short: C.O.C.K. just for the lulz). I told some friends about my idea and in the end they really liked it. This is one of the essential things with how the internet and kopimism works – if you don’t do it, someone else will. I didn’t have to do the work, since the idea that spread was good enough. After a year of iterations it actually worked.

And now, all this remixing and sharing is officially considered a religious move.

16 comments ↓

#1 H. M_oltke on 01.06.12 at 15:37

But who will, then, be the C.J Macky of kopimistsamfundet? “Respect the c.o.c.k”!

#2 Engine Room on 01.06.12 at 16:37

What a great idea, I herewith declare my “partners in crime” and myself priests. Thanks!

ER

#3 Micke vK on 01.06.12 at 18:01

“In Sweden the law about freedom of religion is absolute – which means that no other law is higher.”

I’m not quite sure what you mean by this, but religion is not a defense you can use in Swedish courts if you are charged with a crime.

Love the way the kopimist religion have been developed, lots of great ideas packed into that credo!

#4 Christopher on 01.06.12 at 23:36

Hello! I recently registered several KopimismUSA domains in the hopes of obtaining English translations of the sacred Kopimism texts. If you could help me get in touch with the appropriate people, or if you could translate the documents, it would be a wonderful opportunity to involve English speaking people!! Looking forward to hearing from you.

#5 Christopher on 01.06.12 at 23:52

By the way, my e-mail is KopimismUSA@gmail.com if anyone is interested in helping with the full translation.

#6 Kopimi: una idea acerca de ideas | Prueba on 01.07.12 at 01:14

[...] que tanto ha llamado la atención, Peter Sunde o más conocido en el internets como @brokep, blogeó el día de hoy acerca del orígen de la idea del Iglesia del File-Sharing: En una entrevista en el 2007 ó 2008 [...]

#7 Kopimi: una idea acerca de ideas | Jobbr es on 01.07.12 at 03:10

[...] que tanto ha llamado la atención, Peter Sunde o más conocido en el internets como @brokep, blogeó el día de hoy acerca del orígen de la idea del Iglesia del File-Sharing: En una entrevista en el 2007 ó 2008 [...]

#8 faluu.com » Blog Archive » Kopimi: una idea acerca de ideas on 01.07.12 at 03:40

[...] que tanto ha llamado la atención, Peter Sunde o más conocido en el internets como @brokep, blogeó el día de hoy acerca del orígen de la idea del Iglesia del File-Sharing: En una entrevista en el 2007 ó 2008 [...]

#9 Lidt baggrund om den svenske “kopireligion” Kopimi | Modpress on 01.07.12 at 07:04

[...] Kopimi as  religion Previous Topic: Ny mareridtslov vedtaget i [...]

#10 Kopimi: una idea acerca de ideas - La Isla Buscada on 01.07.12 at 07:28

[...] que tanto ha llamado la atención, Peter Sunde o más conocido en el internets como @brokep, blogeó el día de hoy acerca del orígen de la idea del Iglesia del File-Sharing: En una entrevista en el 2007 ó 2008 [...]

#11 Kopimism : la religion de la copie pour protéger le P2P ? | Le blog le7.net on 01.07.12 at 10:08

[...] ce dernier point que s’est penché Peter Sunde. L’ancien porte-parole de The Pirate Bay explique dans son blog, publié vendredi, qu’en Suède les religions bénéficient d’avantages [...]

#12 Kopimism : la religion de la copie pour protéger le P2P ? - Actu High Tech on 01.07.12 at 11:26

[...] ce dernier point que s’est penché Peter Sunde. L’ancien porte-parole de The Pirate Bay explique dans son blog, publié vendredi, qu’en Suède les religions bénéficient d’avantages [...]

#13 Notrackingme | Proxy » Blog Archive » MPAA Lawyer Inspired File-Sharing Religion, Catholic Bishop Unhappy on 01.07.12 at 15:09

[...] MPAA, Monique Wadsted, got a question about her views on the people advocating file sharing,” Sunde [...]

#14 MPAA Lawyer Inspired File-Sharing Religion, Catholic Bishop Unhappy | TorrentForce Blog on 01.07.12 at 15:15

[...] the MPAA, Monique Wadsted, got a question about her views on the people advocating file sharing,” Sunde [...]

#15 Kopimismreligionen: Psykosemiotisk översiktskarta | Intensifier on 01.07.12 at 15:16

[...] kölvattnet av den förvirring som uppstått kring Kopimistsamfundets erkännande av staten, kan det vara på sin plats att försöka skapa en slags översiktskarta över de [...]

#16 peter on 01.07.12 at 20:37

#3. (Micke)

I’m not talking about defense in court. I’m talking about the legal right to monitor people at all in order to get them to court. It’s two separate issues. My thinking is that it might be illegal to monitor the religious communication. If you do, and you get caught with breaking the law, the one monitoring you should also be prosecuted. With your court case as the evidence.

It might not prevent people from being sued, but it might make it able to sue the people suing you – for a harder infringement – of your religious rights…