A Belated Endorsement of #FreetheWord, Tribute to Aaron Swartz

The morning before Jackie and I left for a long trip to Massachusetts, I was excited to discover Pope Francis had released his new encyclical, Lumen Fidei. I was even more excited to discover that Brandon Vogt had converted the doc into Kindle format. Ten minutes later, after I had excitedly plugged in my Kindle to upload the doc for the long trip, I saw Brandon had removed the files per Vatican request.

Brandon has since launched a campaign called #FreetheWord, arguing that the Vatican should use Creative Commons for their copyright of church teachings. I won’t go into an elaborate defense, as Brandon already has a long post full of FAQs that are articulate and informed, but I think it’s a good idea. When I was first becoming Catholic I struggled so much with cognitive dissonance–reading beautiful Church teachings while realizing how very few Catholics are aware such documents exist. These documents need to be made available to the masses in more forms than the poor Vatican website. We have talent and creativity in the Catholic Church–let’s use it for the greater glory of God and explain these teachings to the masses.

Also, I’d like to pay tribute to Aaron Swartz, a brilliant young man who committed suicide earlier this year. Aaron was a child prodigy whose list of accomplishments are long and could have been so much longer. As detailed here, Aaron helped found Creative Commons, and without his genius there would not be a #FreetheWord campaign.

Thoughts? Lemme know.






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