In an age where information is currency, Intellectual Property is critical to so many aspects of our careers and businesses. We spend significant time protecting, managing and turning our ideas into products . . . and there is nothing wrong with that. It is how we can sustain our creative energies.
The Christian Commons: ending the spiritual famine of the Global Church. This well-researched book asks us to think through how traditional copyright protections limit the ability of the Global Church to resource the believers where the church is growing the most.
While the book focuses on moving from a traditional copyright model to the Creative Commons standard which is much more open, I appreciated that Tim did not minimize people's ownership of their content or the rights that they are allowed to exert over that content. Instead he focused on challenging people to select a Creative Commons approach to protecting their content out of a motivation of generosity.
By taking that approach to the issue, Tim affirmed people's hard work, rights and the value of being rewarded for their efforts. At the same time, he challenged those people to generously give of their content to those who can most use it.
I would have liked to see more in the book about encouraging the more open model among Majority World authors and publishers rather than the focus on Western resources being translated or modified for use in the Majority World. We have exported many of our models to the Global South and shackled our partners with many of the problems that were inherent in those models.
The best parts of the book are the last few chapters that make a very clear and easy-to-read case for the need for new paradigms in managing Intellectual Property. I loved Tim's integration of Scripture to help think through the Kingdom response to content.
I hope this book will start a healthy discussion about more sustainable models of managing IP within the Kingdom. We desperately need to unleash the ideas God has given us!