Recently I discovered that the material I present in class is my intellectual property. I am under no obligation to share it. I have every right to build a portfolio of material that I can take with me from one job to another. If it’s of sufficient value I can package it in a book or present it in conferences. My portfolio of knowledge enhances my monetary value to conference organizers, book publishers, bible colleges/seminaries and churches.
Why do I have the right to claim ownership over something God taught me? I have this strange impression that I’m working in kingdom, and in that kingdom I’m just a steward of what God gives me. This concept seems pretty strong in the church when the preacher is telling me to cough up my 10% tithe. If all that we have is God’s doesn’t this include our knowledge?
I understand that people should be properly taken care of financially. If someone spends one year writing a book they should be able to maintain their standard of living.
To me it seems silly trying to make money off of my ideas. 1) There are better ways to make money. 2) Its an expensive process to package ideas in a book, get it published, marketed and retailed. It seems to me the only one getting properly compensated for these ideas is the Christian marketing industry.
Imagine what could happen if we were all a lot more free with our knowledge. Perhaps we would need to work part time while we created God’s intellectual property, but everyone would have full access to everything. Would the global church be better off if we shared everything? Imagine being able to read any book you wanted just by downloading it. Perhaps we pay a dollar or two straight to the author. Imagine how much filler would be removed from what we read because no one is trying to meet the publisher’s contract? Imagine how much crap would not get published because there is no profit motive? I know we would all suffer deep loss if we couldn’t buy the latest edition of The Prayer of Jabez for left handed polish piano tuners”.
Are we being good stewards of God’s monetary and intellectual resources when we buy in to the idea of intellectual property?
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