The Swedish government has recognized as a church a group that openly opposes copyright protection.
The group, called Kopimism, considers itself a religious organization. It says on its Web site that it believes information is holy, copying is a sacrament, and file-sharing is a form of religious service.
Kopimism’s self-appointed spiritual leader, 20-year-old philosophy student Isak Gerson, says Swedish government recognition was a large step toward the day when the group can live without fear of persecution. The group has applied for official recognition three times.
Gerson says the group opposes any form of copyright and encourages piracy of all types of media.
Critics say government recognition of the group could hamper a crackdown on piracy, but others have dismissed the significance of the move.