So, I wake up one morning and all over my newsfeed, twitter, and favorite blogs are articles about T.D Jakes suing Jeezy over using a portion of his sermon without permission. My first reaction was “that makes sense” and “I saw that coming”. But does it make sense? From a business perspective I understand intellectual property. But from a spiritual perspective, how can your sermons be inspired by God and be your intellectual property at the same time? It’s either your property or it’s God’s. And if it is truly God’s can you really sue someone for using God’s property?
Another thought that I had was that this is the perfect opportunity to reach out to artists like Jeezy or Kendrick Lamar, who was the featured artist on the track. If your job as a minister is to draw people closer to God you don’t do that by suing them! Jeezy’s song Holy Ghost introduced millions of people to T.D Jake’s voice, name, and message that is apparently his intellectual property. I dont see what T.D Jakes gains from suing Jeezy. To me it looks like a publicity stunt. Is Jakes selling an album? Is he taking a page out of 50 Cent’s book?
Jakes may not agree with how Jeezy used his sermon or even the fact that he did it without permission, but it is decisions like this that separate Godly wisdom from worldly wisdom.We aren’t supposed to conform to the ways of the world. But what exactly does that mean? Where do we draw the line? At the very least this story was entertaining and creates an opportunity to talk about how to handle business as a Christian, and opens up a discussion about intellectual property as a Christian.