The Latest From Canonist Blogs

CGFR: Feed contains invalid CGFR: Feed contains invalid

Pope Benedict’s Intellectual Property Philosophy

How long before someone starts selling a pre-loaded Pope iPod? You can already buy Aish HaTorah’s Judaism iPod; are any other pre-loaded religious iPods available?
Anyway, Benedict XVI may not have a great grasp on technology today (”When the head of the radio’s technical and computer support department, Mauro Milita, identified himself and handed the pope the boxed iPod, the pope was said to have replied, ‘Computer technology is the future.’”), but he does have a chance to listen to some music: “The pope’s new 2-gigabyte digital audio player already was loaded with a sampling of the radio’s programming in English, Italian and German and musical compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Frederic Chopin, Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky and Igor Stravinsky.” But was that music paid for? I have a hard time believing that the radio station bought individual copies of the relevant CDs just to load them into the pope’s iPod; presumably, they’re ripped from CDs they just had lying around. So, is the pope running afoul of the RIAA? That’d seem a story worth investigating.
Meantime, if music royalties are suffering due to the pope, book royalties have seen an interesting uptick: Benedict XVI is now charging a 40% royalty on printed encyclicals, increasing the price from $4.95 to $6.95 on those published by Pauline Books. Meanwhile, anyone with Web access can get the same for free on the Vatican Website. Up until now, I suppose it might have been reasonable to ask why encyclicals would ever have been copyrighted, if the Vatican derived no financial benefit. But in this age of intellectual property — and new modes of distribution, and the pope’s iPod — it’s reasonable to wonder if copyrighting encyclicals makes any sense at all, especially as regards a notion of furthering a religious message vs. making a tiny amount of cash.
On a less-serious note, Engadget reminds us that Benedict’s predecessor enjoyed some break-dancing; would it be all that bad for the new pope to listen to some contemporary music — and what kind of message is it sending that he might not be?
Also from Engadget:

WordPress database error: [Table './db6196_canonist/wp_comments' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '550' AND comment_approved = '1' ORDER BY comment_date

Leave a Reply