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.