According to the collective's official site: "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 organization and its members." Sweden's surely controversial gesture of respect for digital media pirating comes at a time when the legislative climate set by SOPA has tensions around web freedom higher than ever in the U.S.
Kopimism's founder, philosophy student Isak Gerson, applied to Sweden's government three times since 2010, facing rejection the first two times around due to his offbeat religion's lack of formal rituals, an apparent prerequisite for state recognition. His third attempt must have made a compelling argument, since now Kopimism satisfies the country's definition of a religion as a "belief system with rituals." We can only assume those rituals are downloading, copying, and file-sharing — actions that appear to now enjoy the legal protections provisioned for more traditional, deity-based religions in Sweden.