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Swedish government recognises illegal file-sharing as religion

It fits Sweden, the nation that gave birth to the world's largest file-sharing website, Pirate Bay, that its government should formally recognise the right to file-sharing as a fully-fledged religion.

The Missionary Church of Kopimism claims that "kopyacting"? - sharing information through copying - is akin to a religious service. The Swedish government agency Kammarkollegiet registered the Church of Kopimism as a religious organisation shortly before Christmas.

Registering the Church of Kopimism is a way to avoid "persecution," said the website of the group. "We believe that information is holy," said 19-year-old philosophy student Isak Gerson to Reuters, who calls himself the "spiritual leader" of a church whose sacred symbols are 'Ctrl C' and 'Ctrl V,' shortcuts for copy and paste.

The tenets of the religion are: All knowledge to all, the search for knowledge is sacred, the circulation of knowledge is sacred, the act of copying is sacred.

The Roman Catholic Church has attacked the state recognition of the Church of Kopimism for being farcical. Bishop Peter Ingham, head of the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong in Australia, told Torrent Freak that there should be a measuring stick against which to call religion. "It looks like it's just a way of getting around the law of piracy and copyright."

Story filed 12.01.12

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