Vatican speaks up in support of intellectual property rights

His Holiness the Pope Benedict has come out against rich countries being such jerks when it comes to intellectual property.

According to the Vatican observer at the UN, Mons. Silvano Maria Tomasi, his holiness likes the idea of intellectual property rights because such protection “recognises the dignity of man and his work”.

But Tomasi hit out at those richer countries which want stronger IP laws saying that a stronger system of protection could either enhance or limit economic growth.

He told an international conference on IP  that while strengthening could enhance growth and development in the right circumstances, it might also raise difficult economic and social costs.

The Vatican is worried that developing economies could experience net welfare losses in the short run because many of the costs of protection could emerge earlier than the benefits.

Of course developing countries could do a bit better for themselves if some religions allowed the to fight aids and over population using contraception, but Tomasi failed to mention that.

However he said the argument that companies will invest more development money in poorer countries that boost their IP protections, was unlikely to work.

He said that what was needed was education, financial markets, and better technical training and social infrastructure.

“Simply demanding that all countries adopt the tough IP standards of wealthy nations won’t help anyone,”he said.

A recent encyclical by Pope Benedict, enforcing strong IP rights can be part of global inequality.