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Monday, December 15 12:01 EST

God Considers Smiting Bible Pirates

By Kristian Werner

Vatican City - God did not rule out smiting as a final measure against those who share his most famous work, the Bible, on the Internet. This marks the first time a deity has spoken on IT-related questions since Steve Jobs was temporarily Enlightened when touching the One True iMac some years ago.

Authorized Version?

Citing misuse of His word, misquotation, and putting hardworking Bible printers out of work, God said he would now start hunting Bible pirating around the globe. "I have to defend both my world-famous brand - the Bible and its distinctive likenesses - and the livelihood of those who create and distribute legal copies of it. Sure, they live not by bread alone, but website hits - someone else's website mind you - don't pay the bills for these folks."

Since large portions of the Bible are many centuries old, many people believe the work to be in the public domain. Not so, said God. "Look, most copyright laws are based on something like the author's lifetime plus, let's say, 15 years. News flash: I'm still here."

" I am a jealous God," He said, "but I am by no means unreasonable. If the person will stop distributing My copyrighted materials, there will be no further consequences. Like I've said before: hate pirating, love the pirate."
Ironically, some of those most likely to be hit by these measures are among God's biggest fans. The Reverend Alfred Jackson is a minister at the church of St. Cecilia in Kansas City. In his spare time, he maintains the Bible study website "eChapter and eVerse," which cross-references large parts of the bible with commentary from clergy and laypeople from around the world.

God said that 'spreading the Gospel' was not a valid defense for distributing copyrighted materials. "Rev. Jackson has published at least 35% of My word electronically, where anyone with an internet connection can download it. Thrice did I call on him to repent; thrice did he ignore me or refer me to the EFF [Electronic Frontier Foundation]."

Jackson said he had had several emails from someone claiming to be the Deity, but had first dismissed them as pranks. When he received the second 'cease and desist’, Jackson contacted the EFF and asked for advice.
Marie Dang, an attorney with EFF said smiting was clearly an unreasonable response to alleged copyright infringement. "I realize that legal text often spells out all the details and ramifications right from the start. But mentions of smiting and damnation are hardly suitable for a first letter," said Dang.

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Responding to widespread criticism over perceived misuse of omnipotence, God said people had misunderstood Him. "I repeat: Smiting would only be a last resort against the unrepentant. True, neither My Son nor I thought of electronic piracy when I sent him to earth. However, we have decided to include it as a 'sin' for purposes of forgiveness. I don't know who put in that 'damnation' stuff."

When asked what His next step might be, God was reluctant to discuss specifics. He stressed that He would consider the effect of His actions on the meek. "Let's make one thing clear," He said, "I may be omnipotent, but I'm not crazy: It's not like I think I'm Jack Valenti."

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