Pope: Divine inspiration is copyrighted
The Pope has announced that henceforth, and retroactively, the ‘divinely inspired’ words he utters and pens will be governed by copyright, and only publishable after permission is secured and royalties are paid to the church.
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 Milanese publishing house that had issued an anthology containing 30 lines from Pope Benedictâ€™s speech to the conclave that elected him and an extract from his enthronement speech is reported to have been sent a bill for â‚¬15,000 (Â£10,000). This was made up of 15 per cent of the cover price of each copy sold plus â€œlegal expensesâ€ of â‚¬3,500.
This is wrong on so many different levels… What about the internet and people repeating something a pope said? Will there be a witch-hunt similar to the RIAA’s? Hm, the current Pope was head Inquisitor in the Seventies. Will people who repeat something the pope said on their web site be hit with the levy as well? This could be very interesting. Maybe the Vatican will create their own search engine that crawls through cyberspace, finding all instances of papal quotes… Reality is stranger than any Sci-Fi novel. Well, except for Philip K. Dick’s maybe.