In the Beginning Was the Word - Now is the Copyright

Review of Law & Economics, 7, 271-289

19 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2010 Last revised: 11 Oct 2012

Carla Marchese

Università del Piemonte Orientale "Amedeo Avogadro", Institute POLIS-DiGSPES

Giovanni Battista Ramello

University of Piemonte Orientale - A. Avogadro - Department of Public Policy and Public Choice; International Centre for Economic Research (ICER)

Date Written: October 10, 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Copyright, Religion, Royalties, Taxation

JEL Classification: K11, D23, D43, D45

Suggested Citation

Marchese, Carla and Ramello, Giovanni Battista, In the Beginning Was the Word - Now is the Copyright (October 10, 2012). Review of Law & Economics, 7, 271-289. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1544171

Carla Marchese

Università del Piemonte Orientale "Amedeo Avogadro", Institute POLIS-DiGSPES ( email )

Via Cavour 84
15100 Alessandria
Italy
+39-131-283718 (Phone)
+39-131-283704 (Fax)

Giovanni Battista Ramello (Contact Author)

University of Piemonte Orientale - A. Avogadro - Department of Public Policy and Public Choice ( email )

Via Cavour 84
15100 Alessandria
Italy

International Centre for Economic Research (ICER) ( email )

Villa Gualino
Viale Settimio Severo, 63
10133 Torino
Italy

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