A Swedish church which is focused on file-sharing has been recognised as an official religion by the government.
The Church Of Kopimism, who believe that copying information through file-sharing is like a religious service, were granted the official recognition just before Christmas, says the BBC.
The church, who believe that CTRL+C and CTRL+V – the shortcuts for copy and paste on a computer – should be deemed sacred symbols, were forced to apply for the status three times before they were finally recognised as a faith by the Swedish government.
19-year-old founder Isak Gerson said: “For the Church of Kopimism, information is holy and copying is a sacrament. Information holds a value, in itself and in what it contains and the value multiples through copying. Therefore copying is central for the organisation and its members.”
He went on to add:
Being recognised by the state of Sweden is a large step for all of Kopimi. Hopefully this is one step towards the day when we can live out our faith without fear of persecution.
However, industry experts downplayed the significance of the official classification and suggested it would change little in regards of file-sharing. Music analyst Mark Mulligan said that the church’s concept was “divorced from reality” and was not reflective of the “Swedish legislative system”.
“It doesn’t mean that illegal file-sharing will become legal, any more than if ‘Jedi’ was recognised as a religion everyone would be walking around with light sabres,” he said. “In some ways these guys are looking outdated. File-sharing as a means to pirate content is becoming yesterday’s technology.”
In December last year, Google was criticised by record labels for not doing enough to tackle illegal downloading. A report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has accused the search engine giant of making money from file-sharing and insisted that they needed to work to ensure they weren’t abused as a “vehicle for piracy”.