Intellectual Property is the Inquisition of our time

Before modernity, the Church held exclusive rights to authorized representation of the life and beliefs of Jesus. Ecclesiastical prosecutors searched far and wide for unauthorized representations. They issued cease and desist orders to heretics when they found them, and conducted criminal prosecutions when the heretics persisted.
Cory Doctorow reports that Marvel and DC Comics successfully dissuaded GeekPunks comic books from using the term “Superhero” in their titles, claiming they own the trademark on “Superhero”.
In our era, we are free to invent stories and interpretations about Jesus or the Kabbalah in the public doman. If an existing religion doesn’t approve of the ideas, we are free to tell our non-standard stories in public, and gather like-minded folk to start our own sect, without fear of criminal prosecution.
But in our era, some of the most powerful mythical ideas are owned by corporations, not the Church. Disney, Marvel and DC Comics have the right to search out those who transform their message in an unauthorized manner, and criminally prosecute those who refuse.
We the people have given up ownership of our culture’s myths to powerful copyright-holders. And we accept the state of affairs, as most people in medieval times must have thought the Church was right to search out and prosecute heretics.
Future civilizations will consider the corporate monopoly on our cultures myths as absurd and barbaric as we think of the Inquisition.

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