First, from The Top. Today Pope Benedict XVI issued an encyclical titled "Caritas in Veritate" ("Charity in Truth"), which contains the following statement:
On the part of rich countries there is excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care.The Pope's words seem directed at pharmaceutical firms that charge what he views as excessive prices for drugs, but don't appear to be limited to that subject. Did he have the Jammie Thomas-Rasset verdict in mind?
But closer to home, the Knights of Columbus apparently didn't get the message to ease up on IP enforcement. In an instruction manual for confessions, the Knights offer various questions one is supposed to ask oneself before entering the booth, to make an "examination of conscience." Under the heading "You shall not steal," the guide suggests the prospective penitent ask him or herself:
Have I pirated materials: videos, music, software?As a cafeteria non-Catholic, I think I am free to say that I prefer the approach of the Knights -- at least until the Pontiff clarifies his stance on use of Kazaa.