Vatican Creates Special 'Copyright' On All Things Pope-Related?

from the infallable? dept

And we thought the Pope was concerned about intellectual property misuse these days. As a whole bunch of you have sent in, reports are coming out claiming that the Vatican has announced a special sort of “copyright” on all things Pope-related:

“…the Vatican has felt it necessary to declare that “it alone has the right to ensure the respect due to the Successors of Peter, and therefore, to protect the figure and personal identity of the Pope from the unauthorized use of his name and/or the papal coat of arms for ends and activities which have little or nothing to do with the Catholic Church.”

As the report makes clear, this is targeted at those who are using the symbols to “attribute credibility and authority to initiatives,” so it actually seems more like a makeshift “trademark” (without the “trade” part) or maybe a “publicity right” rather than a copyright. That is, this is much more about preventing people from falsely suggesting that the Pope is endorsing something he is not. That said, it’s unclear how such a rule is enforceable, since every country has their own laws that this shouldn’t impact at all. I guess since this is likely directed at Catholic organizations misusing Papal symbols that they will then obey the Pope, but otherwise, this doesn’t seem like a huge deal.

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Comments on “Vatican Creates Special 'Copyright' On All Things Pope-Related?”

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51 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

I would have recognized this if The Pope took the name Matthew. Unfortunately, Pope Benedict didn’t do such.

So, the spirits that I’ve somehow been able to pick up and shepard over the years probably will work against this copyright interest. I have to say, that over the past decade, these spirits (There’s at least 20. If you ask their name, they have to tell you. That’s the agreement.) continue to find me and surprise me.

They’re all quite friendly and they think I am going to get them into Heaven or something. šŸ˜›

We’ll see.

Anonymous Coward says:

Whoohoo, look at the catholic hate. It’s interesting to me that the catholic church is in the business of forgiving sin, yet everyone wants to judge them. A billion member organization has plenty of people doing bad things. You probably don’t know about some of the things because sometimes coverups are successful.

And by the way, religion is no more the cause of war than governments are. You can’t take something true of 95%+ of people, then blame that thing as the problem when those people kill each other. Atheists like Stalin weren’t peaceful either.

That said, the pope already has plenty of authority over any catholic group, so there’s no need for a copyright/trademark. He can just ask them not to and they’ll stop. So what does he need this for?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Yeah? Sounds like you have a somewhat hardened heart. Regardless of your personal life direction…

When was the last time you opened up, and gave something to someone without any expectation of repayment?

I imagine your desire towards your pursuit of gay marriage or whatever pleasure has blinded you to other opportunities.

We live in weird times. I’m sorry for being so frank, but chicks still desire the 1950s mentality where there’s maybe a desire to return to a one-income household and want to be at home, but the current economic climate doesn’t allow this on any level.

I’m sorry. I need to stop because I am really mad.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I have a hardened heart cuz I don’t worship a bastard named Jesus? I will keep my stories of compassion with myself. FYI, compassion has nothing to do with religion.

Women liked to stay at home, cook for you and take care of your offspring? Male Chauvinism 2.0 (and I wonder which great institution supports this idea).

You must be mad. There is no other explanation for your crazy behavior.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Fun With Catholics:

Alright, let’s try that again….

A couple of fun things to note that stem from the article:

1. “the Vatican has felt it necessary to…protect the unauthorized use of [the pope’s] name”
–Uh, WHAT??!! This from a religion that was originally persecuted for invoking the name of Christ? REALLY? We’re going all the way back to trying to put a stranglehold on speech again, huh? Now this might have been meant to keep others from using the papacy to support pet projects, but that wasn’t the language in the quote. You want to say when use of his popeness’ name is authorized? You’ve been reading Dan Brown’s next book, and you don’t like it, do you?

2. “or the papal coat of arms “
–I can’t believe I’m the only one that found the fact that the world’s largest supposed “Christian” organization has a coat of ARMS. Yeah, we turn the other cheek, but that cheek bears a couple of axe-shaped keys that we’ll use to “purify” you with, bitches….

3. “to ensure the respect due to the Successors of Peter”
–Oh, shut up you oddly dressed windbags. The only reason you idiots are still recognized throughout the world is because not enough Catholics actually know their dogma and history.

Let me be clear: overall, Catholicism is a positive force in the world, but the current hierarchy can go away. And it wouldn’t really be the first time, either.

In the 1700’s, the protestants made their pronounced split with Catholicism. Why? Because they said that the Pope’s office, and he is partly a politician after all, was corrupt. The Church responded with Catholic dogma, stating that the papacy was the mouthpiece of the living God and infalliable. More people left. Then the Catholics instituted the Reformation to address the problems the protestants brought to light.

So we’re infalliable until too much money goes away, then we publically reform.

Nice….

The Anti-Mike says:

Mike has no imagination

Mike, one of the biggest markets for Pope related items is when he visits different countries. Every moron with a t-shirt printing machine or access to the service prints up cheap t-shirts and sells them to the pilgrims for a stiff markup. It’s a huge business, and these people certainly aren’t good christians, just good salesmen.

In the past, there have been some pretty cheesy items sold without permission around pope visits, including the horrible “pope on a rope” soap.

Those people are on the same level as they people outside of major concerts selling band t-shirts, working for themselves and not for the band. It’s the nature of the game.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Mike has no imagination

No, you just have no sense of scope. The Vatican happens to be the world’s smallest country, and no matter how many laws are put in place there, they will still only apply to that tiny section of the world.

So, here’s the question to you: What does any of the junk you just spewed have to do with the article?

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Mike has no imagination

“I hereby declare that the pope of the Catholic variety needs to get MY permission to continue to use that title.”

Pope simply means “father”. It used to be that many bishops in the Catholic Church took the name of Pope. Nowadays only the Bishop of Rome does.

Making the Catholic Church look all the more stupid in this case….

senshikaze (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Mike has no imagination

well technically his title is:
Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God.

damn….
i want a title that long. and that isn’t even all of it….
couldn’t even tweet that.

TheOldFart says:

"Catholics" is not monolithic

And that’s probably the reason the pope thingie is doing his little sacred copyright dance in his finest dress and tallest hat with matching purse.

There are Catholic sects that reject Vatican II. For the non-Catholics out there, that’s the 1966 declaration where among other things the church finally admitted that the pope is *not* infallible.

There are significant groups of Catholics all around the world who claim that although the pope created and agreed to the Vatican II declaration, he was wrong and in reality he actually is still infallible. He just doesn’t know it.

Yes, that fits in perfectly with Catholic “logic” on the role of the church and its officers. There are breakaway groups like Ecumenical Catholics who feel it’s perfectly logical that some guy who was anointed by god signed a papal order declaring he wasn’t infallible but he was incorrect and therefore remains infallible even though he claims he is fallible but since he’s infallible his fallibility is actually an infallibility. Got it?

Anyway, the church wants to stop those people from using the papal seal (and probably stop them from copying or using the dresses, magic beads, ruby slippers and official slogans.

And for the record, I am a “recovered” catholic, I know the church and its deeds though history quite well so I deem myself allowed to make as much fun of the cult as I feel is appropriate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: "Catholics" is not monolithic

It’s messed up but I did misspeak, it ain’t the Ecumenicals, they’re the ones for gay marriage that want “Vatican free” catholicism.

Society of St Pius X is one of the nutty bunch but there are many other crazy variants on the cult out there as well. Google “sedevacantism” for amusing reads.

Google turns up many discussions on apologist web sites. They basically explain it away as “the pope isn’t infallible but his office is”. Anything he says as an official statement in his official capacity is infallible but everything else is fallible.

That’s why the lowlife can sentence millions of people to slow death by HIV/AIDS by stating that condoms can’t prevent the spread of the disease because of the “size of the molecules”. He doesn’t make it an official pronouncement, it’s just the pope talking.

So you see whether it’s a lie to support dogma or it’s an idiotic mistake due to an inability to understand science, it’s “off the record” so it doesn’t count. Therefore he remains infallible.

Speaking of crazy religion, did you ever look up why there are Southern Baptists and Baptists? One of the arguments was whether christians and/or ministers should be allowed to own slaves. Southern Baptists held that a minister could own a few (but just a few mind you)

Ain’t an organized religion out there that doesn’t have a fair degree of crazy in it, past, present and future.

Matt (profile) says:

Copyright treaties?

The real question is, what countries participate in copyright treaties in which the Vatican also participates? Even if stifling, a national proclamation of copyright policy may well be the law of that land, and through treaty obligations the law of its partners.

In the US, treaties are not self-executing. So this probably has little effect for “infringements” in this country. But other countries work differently – it is conceivable to me that the Republic of Gorgonzola (or whatever cheesy hypothetical nation you come up with) may have self-executing treaty obligations. In which case, the new law of Vatican City is now the law of Gorgonzola.

(Speaking of moral law – “blue laws” have a totally different meaning in a nation called Gorgonzola.)

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