Swedish information sharing religion Kopimism has shown up in the United States, with the registration of the First United Church of Kopimism already on its shores.
Kopimism, a group that was able to achieve religious status earlier this year, is focused around file sharing and the trading, copying and distribution of information. The group considers these activities among members and non-members to be the highest form of 'worship' and actively encourages it.
The US branch is headed by Christopher Carmean, who translated the church's constitution into English and set up a website to promote it. Joining the religion is incredibly simple. All you need to do is download the Kopimism symbol from the site and distribute it somehow to other people.
The organisation's website has recently been focused on combatting claims that Kopimism is akin to communism and the argument often used by copyright lobbyists: "If everyone copied everything and resold it as their own, no one would make anything."
The first point is addressed by saying that Kopimism and its churches do not involve themselves with politics. As the title puts it, "we are a Missionary Religion, not the Pirate Party." The rest of the post discusses how information and its distribution are Kopimist ideals - they have no interest in physical property or goods.
Summing up the idea that copying makes it impossible to creatively earn a living, the post somewhat sidesteps it, saying: "Plagiarism and the unauthorized sale of others' creative content is a completely different subject. Kopimism does not condone these acts. We advocate copying and sharing for religious, not financial, reasons."
By taking a religious tack, Kopimism opens up an interesting door for file sharers to perhaps cite religious freedoms as the reason for their 'pirating' of copyright protected materials. That isn't necessarily the aim of the church, but it could make for a new tack in courtroom dramas between organisations like the MPAA and file sharers.