Pirates Form Church to Battle Copyright Law That Insults Their Beliefs

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With Russia's new anti-piracy law just a few days old, further opposition will be voiced today in a particularly unconventional manner. Following Russia's first Kopimi-inspired wedding yesterday, in which the happy couple exchanged vows and silicon chips, pirates in several areas of the country will today apply to form their own church. Official complaints will then be filed against the new law on the basis that it insults the beliefs that underpin the Kopimist religion.

Last week Russia introduced its brand new anti-piracy law that will see sites blocked at the ISP level if they fail to respond swiftly to copyright complaints.

The law, which critics say is overbroad and likely to cause collateral damage, is opposed by big companies such as Google, local search engine Yandex, Internet resources such as Wikipedia and thousands of website operators and users.

But just as protests including last week’s blackout by 1,700 sites subside, a more unconventional front is opening up.

Later today pirate activists in five regions – Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan and Khabarovsk – will submit documents to begin the process of having their church officially recognized by the authorities.

If that all goes to plan in a few years time Russia will have its own Church Kopimizma, but for the faithful there are important issues to be dealt with right now.

As soon as the papers are filed the church’s founders will file a lawsuit against the anti-piracy legislation that came into force August 1. They will do this on the basis that the law, which restricts copying and sharing, is an insult to Kopimists.

But according to lawyer Victor Naumov, separation of religion and state in Russia means that it’s unlikely that the complaint will achieve much, although an appeal could be made to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

Nevertheless, the movement’s early followers are already showing commitment. Izvestia reports that a Kopimist-inspired wedding between Olga Koroleva and Vladislav Petrushenka took place yesterday but instead of the traditional exchange of rings, the pair exchanged microchips which they plan to have embedded in their bodies.

However, Church Kopimizma announced on Facebook that the pirate wedding was actually the outcome of a collaboration between Pastafarians and the Russian Pirate Church.

The new Russian Kopimist church will closely follow the values pioneered by Sweden’s Church of Kopimism, a religion that was formally recognized by the authorities there in 2012.

This means that it’s likely that CTRL+C and CTRL+V will likely be held as sacred symbols, and the acts of sharing and copying will be viewed as the most beautiful things in the world. The church also believes that the value of information increases the more it’s spread and that while confidentiality is sacred, listening in to other people’s conversations is the greatest sin.


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