Should religious materials be copyrighted? I don’t believe so.

Almost all modern translations of the Bible are copyrighted. Many pastors and churches copyright their sermons and images they creator for evangelization. But should they?

One of the arguments in favour that they point out is that Biblical scholars and translators need to get paid and the publishers need to earn back that money. That pastors have a right to own sermons they write and churchs’ the images that they creator. These things are all understandable.

However one of my concerns with copyrighting translations and evangelization materials is that we are not to hide our light under a bushel, we are to let it shine forth like a lighthouse and spread like a wildfire setting the world ablaze—we are to spread the Good News. Don’t we want as many people as possible to as easily and affordably as possible read the most accurate translation as possible in their current language? Don’t we want to spread (evangelize) the Good News using the best materials (written, visual, and audio) created that is capable of doing that? And we are told that we cannot love God and money (Mammon); therefore we are not to seek financial or worldly rewards.

I therefore believe that things made for religious purposes should be put into the commons, as the Apostles shared all things in common and gave all their wealth to the poor. New and accurate translations should be made as widely available as possible, as should tools for evangelization such as sermons, apologetics, and evangelizing images.

These are amongst the reasons I have been going back using the internet archive and saving and republishing as much of the Christian Goth material from the late ’90s and early 2000s as possible, because some of those apologetics and evangelizing tools were helpful, and since many of those groups are no longer around, it isn’t like they are going to be using them, so why shouldn’t I take their flame, continue to carry it, and spread the light of Christ which burned within them to countless others.

It is also for this reason I repost Easy Essays by Peter Maurin and Catholic Worker articles not written by me. The people who created or inspired them should get credit for what they did, for what they made, but it should be freely shared to spread the Gospel; we are not to hide our light under a bushel, and we are to share everything in common.

It is for this reason that everything religious which I create is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license. For who am I to take claim over that which The Creator of All has inspired? All glory and honour to YHVH, one God forever and ever.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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