Sweden’s Church of File Sharing Resets the Conversation of What Defines A Community
January 6th, 2012

Throughout the history of communities, religion has always been seen as a knitting or fracturing factor for communities. In Sweden, a recent acceptance of the establishment of The Church of Kopimism (a term meaning “file sharing”), takes that definition of religious activity, and stretches it to a technological domain that in some respects has been inevitible. 

Here’s the statement of faith (creed?) that The Church of Kopimism stands on (from the plain-text iteration of their website):

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

The Church of Kopimism doesn’t seem to follow the traditional structures of religion where there’s some transmeta-state being inferred to the members. However, its flexible membership stance (you simply need to engage in the activity of sharing a file) does reencourage the discussion of whether behaviors by themselves are enough to catalyze a transformative movement, or if there needs to be some “higher goal” achieved. 

If we compare this against the socio-political movements of just 2011, could the mobilization of any groups of persons around a behavior be enough to define a community? If so, how does that change or transform the contexts of behaviors as attached to or their own entity from the term “community?”

Read more about The Church of Kopimism at their website.

I’m interested in your thoughts. Can a community be defined only by their behavior, or does that behavior need to come to a head in something else (there’s nothing that I can discern from The Church of Kopimism’s statement of faith or other press that points to file sharing having a greater goal; this might be something more implicit from those living within Sweden’s cultural narratives)?

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