Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

"Love and Intellectual Property" (from Pepperdine Conference)

Pepperdine Law School put on a wonderful conference a few weeks ago on "Love and the Law" (i.e. Christian love or agape).  There were many terrific presentations, including from MOJers Mike Moreland, Michael Scaperlanda, Lucia Silecchia, and Rob Vischer (and Patrick Brennan would have been there too but for the terrible weather in the East).  My own presentation was on "Love and Intellectual Property" (here is a very slightly expanded version of the text of the short remarks; it should also appear soon on the webpage of conference papers).  I briefly explored the relation between creativity as a gift, gratitude for the gift, and appropriate limits on intellectual property rights in the creation.  Here's a one-paragraph taste:

So the first thing Christian love might add is an additional, and distinctive, motivation to create and share. Intellectual creation may reflect eros—pursuing the beautiful or true—but it is also agape, sharing a gift. But if gift and gratitude issue in love, this inspires one not simply to create—which might still be consistent with restricting access solely to maximize profit. Love should also inspire the creator to share in ways such that all can benefit. In short, love has the potential to unite the motivation for creation and an obligation to benefit others through it.


Berg, Thomas | Permalink