Internet file sharing recognized as religion by Swedish government
A "church" whose central tenet is the right to file-share has been formally recognised by the Swedish government.
The Church of Kopimism claims that "kopyacting" - sharing information through copying - is akin to a religious service.
The "spiritual leader" of the church said recognition was a "large step".
But others were less enthusiastic and said the church would do little to halt the global crackdown on piracy.
More here: BBC News - Sweden recognises new file-sharing religion Kopimism
"We had to apply three times," said Gustav Nipe, chairman of the organisation.
The church, which holds CTRL+C and CTRL+V (shortcuts for copy and paste) as sacred symbols, does not directly promote illegal file sharing, focusing instead on the open distribution of knowledge to all.
It was founded by 19-year-old philosophy student and leader Isak Gerson. He hopes that file-sharing will now be given religious protection.
"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 multiplies through copying. Therefore copying is central for the organisation and its members," he said in a statement.
"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," he added.