Intellectual Property rights
Intellectual Property rights are legally recognized exclusive rights to creations of the mind. While the creation may be primarily the work of the mind it is also the result of physical labor and time of the creator which has created or brought the creation into a physical form or representation.
While the authorship of a book is a product of the mind it is also a product of time and energy to present it in a readable form.
Rights may be endowed upon us when we conform to natural law by accepting natural responsibilities and expend energy and time in a natural effort.
I plant a tree and cultivate it for 10 years until it bears fruit if someone comes and takes that fruit we call it stealing.
I spend ten years researching and writing a book and take it to a printer and give him permission to print my book and sell it on the condition that anyone who buys it does not buy the right to copy the book for profit and anyone who copies it owes me some amount I agree upon.
Back at the apple tree I let people come and look at the tree, even rest in the shade but they are not allowed to eat the fruit without my permission. Nor should they take a cutting of the tree.
The right to the fruit of my labor in both cases is proper. We call it a property right.
If I die I may also bequeath the right to the fruit which is not merely a product of nature but also of my labor to my family as an inheritance.
That is a natural and proper right because the kingdom of God is from generation to generation.
Now one may claim a property right in an idea because they wrote it on a piece of paper but the idea is not necessarily grant a right. The idea may be the product of revelation and revelation has a way of appearing in many minds at the same time and a property right may not exist in what we call an idea.
But years of research, trial and error which represents the expenditure of labor and time do represent a property right.
Over zealous claims may create a gray area but if justice is written in the hearts of the people they will see the distinctions. This is done every day in courts and patent offices. Certainly some injustice result from the copyright idea of intellectual property but that is not a result of the idea that there exists a right but only in the way in which it is applied or enforced.
To imagine that someone can spend ten years writing a book and saving money to print a hundred copies to sell and a wealthy printer can come and print 10,000 copies and walk away with the profits of those ten years of labor is okay and not an injustice is myopic.
So yes there is something that can be called an Intellectual Property but it must be established by labor and contractual agreement or custom.
The grayness of the limits of these rights is the product of the people's ability to see the truth not the Intellectual property right itself.
Some say that it would be fraud if I changed the name on a book authored by someone else and printed it and sold it for my benefit. But who could I have defrauded by reprinting a book I did not write if there was not a property right to the book to begin with.
If there is no right then there is no injury.
If there is no injury then there is no fraud.
If I do not change the name on the book but reprint someone else's book and make a fortune selling it there is not even the hint of fraud but he starves because he did not have the resources to print the book and I did. Then that is just his tough luck and I benefit from his years of hard work and I walk away with the fruit of his labor because some are saying that there is no Intellectual Property by whatever name.
With no right there is no injury or fraud or theft.
Since God owns everything and an apple tree is the result or product of nature how can we claim a right to its fruit?
That would mean if you became a quadriplegic and could not pick your apples from the tree you planted and pruned and watered I could pick them and take the profit for myself simply because you did not have the means to do it for yourself.
The term intellectual property was invented to deal with the injustice of one man profiting from the labor of another who suffers a loss without some sort of protection.
The creation of intellectual property as a concept to aid in the quest for justice does not mean that it cannot be used to perpetrate injustice. But to claim that intellectual property rights do not exist must be denied in the interest of justice if not mercy.
Intellectual Property laws
We were talking rights and, as I explained, property rights are natural and based on labor of an individual and the proper right to the fruit of that labor. That is an ancient right and copyright protection could be protected by custom even without the king's statutes. But only amongst a virtuous people.
Now you are talking about Intellectual property laws. Rights and laws are not the same things especially when you are talking about a legal system. The fact that injustice takes place in property laws has nothing to do with the truth of property rights….
Still, even within a legal system there is a natural right to justice although contract makes the law.
Again, while intellect is intangible, the right is based on labor and time and the expenditure of effort.
The 'important exception to the exclusive rights of the copyright holder is the "fair use" doctrine' and it makes absolute sense.
I quote many copyrighted materials and footnote them because the fair use doctrine allows the general public to use copyrighted material without permission in “some educational activities, some literary and social criticism” and "news reporting" which all fits what I do.
The “factors”, include consideration whether it “is for profit; what proportion of the copyrighted material is used” and most of all “what economic effect the use has on the copyright owner.”
Nothing can be planer. The law claims there are looking after the fruit of the author's labor and making sure he gets it. This should be the job of every man but, because we do not come together to protect our neighbor's right to his labor, people have empowered the king.
Copyright laws have roots in eighteenth-century because of the mass production by printing and complex innovation resulting from research. But the right as a natural right to the fruits of your labor have always existed.
But also at that time the people were already neglecting their responsibility to attend to the weightier matters of righteousness…
The real problem is that the people had to depend on government to enforce such rights. If the people were just and seeking righteousness the king would not have been needed.
This is the same as the days of Saul. There was corruption and abuse and, instead of the people resolving the issue, they asked the king and rulers of the state to make things right.
I write copyright on all the books I print and only give permission to people to print them when they ask. I charge them nothing but I do put limitations on their printing. That is merely contract.
I do not ask the State nor its kings to enforce my contracts. I ask the Holy Spirit to do so and it works pretty well.
I have a natural right to the fruit of my labor. I give it away every day but I retain the right to choose how and when I give.
Do not curse the king for he is born out of the apathy of the people and is there to punish the wicked. If it was not for the king many authors would have starved and Walmart would be selling their books and reaping the profits of those starving authors. Why? Because the people would buy the cheap books and run the little shop around the corner and the starving artist out of business.
They do that now… and will pay the price…
Someone stole a whole chapter on the Essenes from our webpages and published it in his own book which was selling in Target and on Amazon. It was also in the books Thy Kingdom Comes and was copyrighted in both places.
We did not sue him but we required a letter from him admitting what he did. Otherwise we could be accused of copying his work although ours predated his book by years.
The same has happened with many of our articles where the only thing that was changed was the name of the author.
I have given my work away for years but not the right to copy it for personal profit. I have never gained from my own work except to give more away and when I die I will give the right to print and sell the work of my life to the most charitable people I know.
That is a natural right and, while I have never depended upon a legal system to enforce that right, the right still exists because it is proper.
No one may claim a copyright after they sold something without an express reservation.
That expression of terms of sale is a natural right.
That reservation of right is perfectly within the natural law.
If we are really going to talk about rights and truth, we should be willing to face the hard truth that a laborer is worthy of his hire and he can name the terms by which he sells his labor and that is all a copyright is doing.
If we were truly honorable, we would protect that right. And if we did, then there would be no giving of that power to protect a contract right to kings or legislators.
But it is clear that some people do not want to protect that natural right. They even want to deny you the right to sell on your own terms something you created which is an attempt to diminish the natural law rights of contract.
This is an unreasonable approach to a relatively simple concept which leads to kings taking power by our default.
While a copyright has similarities to a lease, there is no lease taking place.
A lease may be broken.
When you buy a book or tape or CD, you entirely own it and may sell it, burn it or eat it.
You can even dress it and keep it. You simply don't have the right to copy it for profit because that was retained at the point of printing and again at the point of sale. There was no secret deal or coming back and imposing more charges on anyone.
It is common knowledge what a copyright means and our ignorance is not license to seize a use not granted or purchased.
Nor should you be allowed to diminish the ability of the author to make a profit from his work and his labor nor diminish his natural right to pass that valuable right onto his children.
Copyright does not rule over anyone.
It is simply notice of a reserved right not sold at the point of printing.
All the information contained in the book and the book itself is sold on the open market and can be sold by the purchaser but because of the unique element created by the printing press and now replicators the idea of reserving the right to copy is essential to prevent an injustice.
This should be obvious to anyone who has labored to produce a complex and unique work.
Anyone laboring for years to produce a work of authorship or art knows his investment and if he hopes to obtain a return on his labor then he must retain the right to copy that work. Otherwise any printer could print his book and sell it, taking potential profit from the one most entitled.
To allow that to go unchecked would be to allow people to defraud their neighbor who said read or sell but do not copy so I can profit for my labor. Now that potential to take another man's work and reprint it with minimal expense extends to music and film and even sculpture.
Even if you make copies and give them away you are eating at the potential profit of the artist or author who actually did the work and made the music or film.
Copyright does not always cover ideas and information themselves, only the form or manner in which they are expressed and that takes labor.
If an author or artist does not want to sell the right to copy his work, he does not have to. And if he sells me his book based on that reservation I will honor him and the truth of his reservations.
- A fellow working for me at an eating establishment gave drinks to two cute girls and said they were on the house.
- They gave him a smile and went back to their tables. I took him aside and ask what he was doing. He was not granting a free drink he was stealing from his boss to look generous and win the smiles of a cute girl.
We have to see things as they are if we hope to see the whole truth.
No one want your blank disc or DVD and no one will buy from the artist if you give his work away so that you can appear to be generous.
== Footnotes ==
To read more go to "His Holy Church" (HHC) http://www.hisholychurch.org/