“Thou Shall Not Steal”: Copyrighting the Word of God

Can you really copyright the Word of God?  Seriously.  The text of the Bible was written long before the United States Constitution wrote those famous words giving rise to the protection of intellectual property where Congress has the power … “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”  U.S. Const., Article 8.  http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlei.    Obviously the Bible was in existence before the United States Congress passed into law the Copyright Act of 1976, which states in Section 201 that one obtains copyright ownership in an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium.  http://www.law.cornell.edu/copyright/copyright.act.chapt1a.html#17usc102.  People often ask, “If old books are in the public domain, isn’t the Bible in the public domain?”  The answer to that question depends upon which translation you are talking about and when it was created.  Similarly, there are old religious texts that have been used by biblical scholars since…well…the beginning of time.  How can someone actually claim copyright ownership in these ancient religious texts?

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Turning Water into Wine – Chinese Piracy Develops a Taste for Fine Wine

When we think of Chinese piracy we think of knock off DVD’s, phones, movies, watches and other digital technologies.  Recently, sales of French wine in China have skyrocketed, sending the price of Bordeaux soaring.  Why? Bordeaux futures have surpassed gold prices and are outpacing the market by nearly 9 times. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/3/599ef204-7271-11e0-96bf-00144feabdc0,s01=1.html#axzz1L4XRHaoP.   It is no wonder that Chinese pirates are now selling fake bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild, Mouton Cadet and Canadian Ice Wines to name a few.  It is estimated that 5% of the secondary wine market is dealing in counterfeit wine.  http://www.forbes.com/global/2006/0619/086.html.


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