The Papal Copyright of “Divine Inspiration”

Via BoingBoing I found out that the “divinely inspired” works (speeches, letters, decrees, sermons, homilies and masses) of the Pope are now to be copyrighted.

Publishers will have to negotiate a levy of between 3 per cent and 5 per cent of the cover price of any book or publication “containing the Pope’s words”. Those who infringe the copyright face legal action and a higher levy of 15 per cent.

The Union of Italian Catholic Publishers and Booksellers said that it had not been consulted, and that the edict “flies in the face of what we do — spreading the Pope’s message to the world”.

A Vatican spokesman said that the Holy See had to defend itself against “pirated editions”. The move is also aimed at “premature publication”. Journalists accredited to the Vatican are handed papal texts under embargo. The Vatican said that if embargos were broken in future not only would the journalist face sanctions but also his or her publication would face legal action.

God has apparently picked sides in the copyfight.

Silly Catholics! God’s words (and love) are for everyone!

I’m just glad that the Pope wasn’t asserting some right to the phrase “Divine Inspiration” which I’ve been using as a blog category since the beginning. Granted, the church probably has some prior art in that regard, but it still would’ve sucked.

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