Recognized as an official religion in Sweden, file-sharing’s Church of Kopimism has launched on US territory.
The church’s name comes from “Kopimi” (“copy me”) and holds CTRL+C and CTRL+V as sacred symbols. Branches of the church have taken over 18 countries, including the UK, the Netherlands, Russia, Israel, France and Canada.
Adepts of Kopimism believe that communication and sharing is a sacred act that needs to be respected. They also consider that monitoring and eavesdropping on people is not acceptable.
In the US, the original Church of Kopimism exists in the form of First United Church of Kopimism (http://kopimistsamfundet.us/) – a non-profit organization registered with the state of Illinois. To become a member, Kopimists must copy the church’s symbol (the Holy Kopimi-pyramid) which consists of a pyramid with the letter K inside of it. They can download the sign from the church’s server, rewrite it or send a copy to a friend.
The First United Church of Kopimism launched in January, after Christopher Carmean translated the original church constitution from Swedish to English, and established a US website.
In a blog post the church writes:
“We do not involve ourselves with politics. We are interested in multiplying data and through this multiplication, knowledge and culture. We are not interested in depriving one group of some subset of intellectual property for the benefit of another. Copying is not stealing. Remixing is not stealing.”
“Plagiarism and the unauthorised sale of others’ creative content is a completely different subject. Kopimism does not condone these acts. We advocate copying and sharing for religious, not financial, reasons.”
The organization held its first service in early February, celebrating the holy transfer of information by listing the link for a BitTorrent file that contained several Kopi-pyramid images and their users’ artwork.