In the Beginning Was the Word - Now is the Copyright
University of Eastern Piedmont - A. Avogadro - Department of Public Policy and Public Choice
Giovanni Battista Ramello
University of Piemonte Orientale - A. Avogadro - Department of Public Policy and Public Choice; International Centre for Economic Research (ICER)
October 10, 2012
Review of Law & Economics, 7, 271-289
Since 2005, all the teachings of the Pope have been copyrighted. Given that it is a tenet of the church to spread the faith and teach all people, this would seem at odds with any restrictions on access. Yet the Catholic Church is by no means an exception, and other religions have likewise resorted to copyright. This paper presents a simple model to attempt to rationalize the exercise of copyright by a religious organization. The analysis also provides more general insights concerning the workings of copyright, which appears to function more like a right to levy a tax than like a right to set a monopoly price, as currently believed.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: Copyright, Religion, Royalties, Taxation
JEL Classification: K11, D23, D43, D45
Date posted: January 30, 2010 ; Last revised: October 11, 2012
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