Catholics, Free Software and Free Knowledge, again

Almost ten years ago, I wrote about Free Software’s surprising sympathy with Catholic doctrine, noting that, albeit certain statements sound _“as if they could have been written by Richard M. Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), in fact, they come from the Vatican Report “Ethics in Internet” (EiI)”.


In 2013, I greatly expanded that same  thesis in “Catholic Social Doctrine And the Openness Revolution: Natural Travel Companions?"

Today, I’ve just discovered that the June 2015 newsletter on Faith, Economy and Ecology of the Maryknoll Office for global concerns:

  • points out that “the free transfer and use of knowledge and technology is becoming increasingly important for human development”

  • quotes just that second paper of mine as showing that “though Catholic social doctrine has not referred to intellectual property specifically until very recently, it has favored the ideals behind open source technology.

Just for your information, they got bot my name and gender wrong (Update 2015/06/16 7.10pm, CET: they have already fixed it, and it wasn’t even their fault, see in the comments). However, it doesn’t matter. I’m happy to finally see more interest, discussion and activities around those theses. The more, the better (*). Even more so in this moment, that is just days before a new Encyclical on ecology, that is, in my humble opinion, a closely related theme.

I’ve seen people wondering if that letter will explicitly talk about the Commons.  At the moment, I have no idea. However, my own personal, that is absolutely humble, unofficial, unqualified answer to such questions is: even if there are no such explicit mentions, I believe that the “most Catholic” practical answers to any concern and call the Encyclical may contain about ecology would be those centered around commons/p2p/openness as described in my paper and in that newsletter. We’ll see.

(*) if I can help with that, just contact me!

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