Tag Archive | File Sharing

Religion of File Sharing

Dune 2 was a computer game figuratively grabbed me by the shirt and slapped me in the face, forcing me to give it the attention it was due. To me, this game was the grand-daddy of real-time-strategy games. Without Dune 2, we may not have had classic games like Commander and Conquer or Starcraft. But the thing is, while I played Dune 2 obsessively, I never bought a copy of it. And while all my friends were also enjoying the game, I don’t think any of them had paid for it either. There was just a bundle of 3.25″ floppy disks, bound together with a rubber band, that was passed around. When it came to getting passed the copyright protection, you just had to keep restarting the game until you knew the answer to the question. It was the same with music – dubbed cassette tapes changing hands like it was no big deal. When I look back at it, we had no idea what we were doing was illegal. We had no idea we were pirates. It’s just what you did. But was it a religious experience?

Recently in Sweden, a new church has been given official status. The Church of Kopimism is based around the idea that information wants to be free and is in fact holy. That information becomes more valuable through the act of sharing. Therefore sharing information is of religious significance to members of the church. The perceive any attempts to stop them from sharing information as a form of persecution. Is this a legitimate faith system, or just an elaborate excuse for piracy?

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