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God's Intellectual Property

See, the sky, the heaven beyond the sky, the earth and everything on it all belong to Adonai your God. ~ Deuteronomy 10:14, CJB

The earth is Adonai’s, with all that is in it, the world and those who live there; ~ Psalm 24:1, CJB

 

A USLegal.com Definition: Intellectual property is a property right that can be protected under federal and state law, including copyrightable works, ideas, discoveries, and inventions.

 …Intellectual property (IP) is an intangible creation of the human mind, usually expressed or translated into a tangible form, that is assigned certain rights of property. Examples of intellectual property include an author’s copyright on a book or article, a distinctive logo design representing a soft drink company and its products, unique design elements of a web site, or a patent on a particular process to, for example, manufacture chewing gum. Intellectual property law covers the protection of copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets, as well as other legal areas, such as unfair competition. In effect, intellectual property laws give the creator of a new and unique product or idea a temporary monopoly on its use. The value of intellectual property to an individual or company is not based on physical properties, such as size and structure. Instead, intellectual property is valuable because it represents ownership and an exclusive right to use, manufacture, reproduce, or promote a unique creation or idea. In this way, it has the potential to be one of the most valuable assets a person or small business can own.

The Earth and EVERYTHING and EVERYONE on it belong to God (cf. Deuteronomy 10:14, Psalm 24:1, 1 Corinthians 10:26). This opening statement means that the only reasons why anyone is able to create, reproduce, distribute, and sell anything are because of Father God’s Grace and Generosity (His favor and abundance). Put differently, EVERYTHING that anyone could ever think of creating, reproducing, distributing, and selling is God’s intellectual property!

So then God’s intellectual property is EVERY intangible creation of the human mind, which in time is articulated or interpreted into a distinguishable form. The writer of this blog entry will be focusing mainly on the written-word form.

Now where the sharing of the Gospel is concerned, there can be no denying that it is God who gives every man and every woman of God EVERYTHING he or she needs to teach, to preach, or to write about His Word. For this reason, the main work God gives to His chosen for ministry men and women is His written Word (the Holy Bible).

As the apostle Paul says, God’s Word contains EVERYTHING that is profitable for doctrine (that is to say, everything that is valuable and helpful in the teaching of God’s Perfect Will and in the revealing of the coming of the Lord Jesus the Christ). His Word also contains EVERYTHING that is profitable for reproof (that is to say, everything that either convinces EVERY man or woman who accepts God’s Divine Truths or confounds EVERY man or woman who denies His Divine Truths). Lastly, the apostle Paul says that God’s Word contains EVERYTHING that is profitable for correcting and for teaching righteousness (see 2 Timothy 3:16).

However, neither apostle Paul nor other inspired writers of God’s Word has said God has given some people and/or companies the inalienable right to claim the Holy Bible as their own work. Since God’s holy Scriptures also are His intellectual property, not even His chosen for ministry men and women have the right to copyright God’s Word. Even if some of them might be responsible for translating God’s Word from the original Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic languages to the many different native languages that either had existed or that continue to exist on this Earth today, their gift and calling do not give these men and/or women the right to claim the Holy Bible as their intellectual property.

That’s right! What this blogger is saying is that plagiarism of God’s Word happens when EVERY Holy Bible translator and EVERY Holy Bible publishing company presents “their” versions of God’s Word as “their” own work. Moreover, because these translators and publishers are just plagiarizing God’s Word (putting the original languages in totally different languages; passing off God’s work as their own), these translators and publishers do not have the right to charge people for a published copy of “their” Holy Bible.

There should be no debate about whether or not the God-breathed/Holy Spirit inspired Holy Bible is God’s intellectual property. That’s a given, especially since God’s Holy Spirit is the One who influenced what the authors/writers of the Old and New Testaments penned. Indeed, God’s Holy Spirit is the One who continues to influence, for the benefit of others’ spiritual growth, EVERY thought and every word written about God’s Word that gets published in books, newspapers, magazines, or on websites, and etc.

Certainly since translators and publishers are guilty of plagiarizing God’s Word, based on mankind’s own established copyright laws, it then is illegal for translators and publishers to sell their reproduced copies of “their” Bibles. Likewise, it is illegal to compel people to buy “their” Bibles, because, once again, “their” Bibles really are God’s intellectual property. Then too, it is illegal for these so-called owners of copyrighted Bibles to charge people a fee for the permission to use biblical passages that exceed the designated “free” to use content limit.

Since God’s Word (the Holy Bible) is indeed His intellectual property, it once again should be stressed that because the Earth and EVERYTHING and EVERYONE on this Earth belong to God, this statement also means that every word any writer/author ever uses is God’s intellectual property, too. This last statement is true, because all words are, and always have been, in existence from before the foundation of this Earth. That’s why everyone on this Earth only uncovers, detects, or unearths, or else someone reveals something to a person or persons, which originally came from the Creator who first released in seed form every good and perfect word, idea, thought, wisdom, understanding, and etc., when He created the Heavens and this Earth.  

Perhaps it is because EVERYTHING anyone ever thinks to write about has come from God’s intellectual property that God now is allowing new technologies to make it very hard, as well as very expensive (legally speaking), for monopolists (companies and individuals) to maintain control of their legal rights to be the ONLY ones who get to sell, distribute, reproduce, perform, display, or license/give permissions to use “their” copyrighted ideas, images, books, and etc. Then too, maybe God is allowing copyright laws to be so hard, as well as so very expensive (legally speaking), to maintain, because in many English-speaking countries copyright protection laws initially were established because England’s Parliament (government) wanted to restrict the free flow of ideas—Parliament wanted to regulate and control the content that would be published (printed) in every book, newspaper, and magazine.

After the invention of the printing press, many authors now had the capacity by which they could reach large numbers of people with their words and their ideas. Now it should be mentioned here that, according to the 16th century’s European view on “the freedom of information,” knowledge and wisdom were considered to be God-given products of the human mind. This philosophy probably is why many of the books that were printed and disseminated during the 16th century were Holy Bibles and vernacular liturgy. The most popular vernacular liturgy at this time was the Book of Common Prayer (1549), with its many revisions.

Now because of the 16th century’s Protestant Reformation, initiated by Martin Luther, with his Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (1517), there were many reformers who were concerned with the religious, political, and social issues of the day. More important, at the heart of these religious, political, and social issues was the belief that every bit of knowledge and wisdom comes from God (cf. Proverbs 2:6).

This aforesaid belief no doubt is why, in the 16th century, it was commonly accepted that, for the betterment of mankind, ALL information, including those ideas in “religious” books, should be circulated freely so that every person could have access to the available scholarship. However, as previously mentioned, along came those copyright laws, which were established primarily because both The Church of England and Parliament (government) wanted to limit the “free” circulation of ideas and knowledge, since controversial writings like Martin Luther’s 95 Theses instantly and widely had become available to countless readers.

So on one hand, because copyright protection became a basic pillar of capitalist societies, the exclusive right England’s Stationers Company had been given in 1662 made it possible for this company to benefit, financially speaking, from the works it mass-produced. On the other hand, Parliament’s copyright laws of 1662 also controlled what the Stationers Company could print. That’s right! Even though the Stationers Company had the exclusive right to print books, and other works, this company only could print those works Parliament approved!

In other words, Parliament was controlling the masses by dictating to people what printed ideas, knowledge, and wisdom they could have access to for reading purposes. By now the printed book, newspaper, and magazine had indeed become a “religious” and a political battleground. History proves that both religious and political authorities worried that the unlimited access to information not only would be harmful to their society but also would ruin public morals, especially in times of war or internal crises.

The problem with the kind of censorship that the early copyright laws authorized via the Licensing of the Press Act of 1662 is that God’s Word does not sanction such censorship. The holy Scriptures do not give any government the right to overstep its authority by restricting what any person could read in print. Thus, even if the reason why some biblical and/or political ideas, knowledge, and wisdom had been banned because Parliament (government) and/or The Church of England were trying to keep what was believed to be subversive, heretical, and/or contentious content from spreading beyond control, the authority to use copyright protection laws as a form of censorship did not come from the Word of God.  

Although copyright laws have come a long way since 1662, it is those early copyright laws that have led to the creation of government-licensed monopolies over the physical production and distribution of creators/authors’ books, movies, music, and so forth. Once again, this truth is probably why God is letting 21st century people see how the governments of today’s English-speaking counties have turned on its head EVERYTHING related to God’s Kingdom. Everything that God freely has given to His children, both Jewish and Gentile believers, for them to use in the building up of His Kingdom on Earth has come under the control of monopolies—companies and/or individuals who have been granted a monopoly by virtue of “copyright” laws.

In essence, English-speaking governments have taken it on themselves to be the only ones who get to decide to whom a license will be given that allows copyrightable works, ideas, discoveries, inventions, and so forth, to be mass-produced and then sold, which includes but is not limited to God’s Word (the Holy Bible). More important, what makes copyright laws for Christian Bibles, for example, to be not only illegal but also offensive is the fact that by virtue of the nature of a “copyright” law, everyone is being forced into a no copying agreement. That is to say, following “copyright” laws is entirely involuntary, mainly because no person ever has agreed orally, or on paper, that he or she never would “copy” anyone!

Summing up, everything this blogger has read and taught over the years about plagiarism and copyright laws indicates that the idea of stealing another person’s words and/or ideas mostly is a modern-day Western World notion. In many other cultures, for example most Middle Eastern, African, and Asian cultures, the thought of only one person or only one company “owning” words and/or ideas is preposterous. In fact, traditionally, especially where Christian Scriptures and parabiblical literature are concerned, God always has intended for His God-breathed and Holy Spirit inspired Word, including any written and oral teachings or preachings about His Word, to be freely shared (cf. Matthew 10:7-8). Certainly since God has given His children access to EVERYTHING in this world that belongs to Him, then there should be no doubt that EVERYTHING in this world that anyone claims is his or her own copyrightable works, ideas, discoveries, inventions, and etc., actually really is God’s intellectual property, which includes His written Word (the Holy Bible).

So then since EVERYTHING is God’s intellectual property, which human beings just “discover,” or which God via His Word, Holy Spirit, and/or His sons and daughters, has revealed on purpose to humanity, no one else owns any copyrights to any knowledge, wisdom, creativity, ingenuity, and so forth. For sure, God has taught primarily with His Holy Spirit inspired Word that from the foundation of this world He has been the only One who has exclusionary ownership privileges on this Earth. Therefore, as it has been said several times now, because EVERYTHING and EVERYONE belong to God, EVERYTHING in this world that humans discover, reveal, create, invent, write, etc., is God’s intellectual property, and His alone!