Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Go therefore and teach" or "cease and desist"?

A nasty split in the Orthodox world led to a wicked lawsuit over supposedly copyright texts being posted on the website of one faction. The other faction didn't like it. The dispute landed in the secular courts. The courts went with the precedent in secular law. The result is...a restriction in the proliferation of essential liturgical materials.

This is a case that is filled with dangerous implications that reach to the core of the Christian mission. The American Conservative has covered it in detail.

As the American Conservative says:

"It’s pretty clear that by any reasonable definition, copyright infringement occurred. The court made the right decision, but was the monastery right to seek one? The argument that making the files available cut into the monks’ ability to make a living seems exceedingly weak. Moreover, even if it did — and I very much doubt it would — if the freely-available files led to more people becoming interested in the True Faith, wouldn’t that be worth the potential loss? It’s hard to see the monastery’s actions as motivated by anything other than personal resentment. And it isn’t behavior one would expect from a community concerned with saving souls."