Swedish authorities has confirmed it's recognition of a 3,000 strong organisation of file sharers, called Church of Kopimism as a religion.
To help with the name translation, "Kopimi" pretty much means what it sounds like: "copy me." The organisation shares beliefs in the sharing and copying of data, as they see them to be a sacred act. Alongside this, monitoring and eavesdropping is seen as wrong. It's taken them a few attempts (their last declined application for official church status was in July of 2011); but Kopimism has finally been granted official recognition as a religion.
Founder Isaac Gerson and chairman Gustav Nipe opened the letter containing the good news, along with the final step of approval by National Judicial Board for Public Lands & Funds, in the form of validating the religion's act of prayer and meditation. Their website reads:
There is a big step for kopimismen that our faith has been recognized by the Swedish state. Hopefully this means we can finally begin to exercise our faith without threat of reprisal, said Isaac Gerson mission manager and chief spiritual leader of the community.
This doesn't mean file sharing has become legal; but they become exempt of a few laws for reasons of religious beliefs. Find out more about Kopimism, check out the church's website.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.