The Vatican will establish copyright protection on the use of the name, the image and symbols associated with the head of the Roman Catholic Church. The Holy See intends to hold the exclusive right for their use, the Catholic News Agency said.
The Holy See believes that many educational and cultural organizations, as well as civil groups and foundations, which that have nothing in common with the Catholic Church, use the Pontiff’s name for various purposes.
The Vatican intends to hold exclusive rights for the use of the title of the Pope. Therefore, anyone willing to use the title for the promotion of their products, campaigns, etc, will have to coordinate all issues with the Holy See.
The news came as a surprise. Pope Benedict XVI previously condemned those who defend their copyright. The Pontiff criticized the struggle for copyright as a phenomenon which contradicted to the notion of mutual help and Christian love to other people.
Nevertheless, those who carefully follow the life of the Pope and the Holy See were not surprised about the decision to impose copyright on the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Vatican intended to establish copyright on everything related to the Pope during the recent three years. In 2006, the Holy See banned the copying of any documents of the Pope. In 2007 the Holy See announced an intention to establish copyright on the Pope’s images and the voice.
Ivan Rodionov, a Russian professor, said in an interview with Pravda.Ru that he did not have an idea of how the Vatican was going to observe copyright on the Pope.
“The notion of copyright consists of three aspects. First and foremost, a publisher can not change anything without coordinating all the details with the author. Secondly, the name of the author must be indicated clearly on the piece of work. Finally, the author can surrender the right on his work to other people.
“How can all this be related to the Pope? I do not see any way to register such copyright – there are no adequate laws for that. The Pope cannot be a trademark because the Pope is a natural person. Why would they do something like that ? Is there a need for that? Even if the Vatican managed to have it all legalized, I doubt that it would win considerable profit from it,” the professor said.
Sergey Fyodorov, a senior expert with the Institute for Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, believes that the Vatican simply wants to make more money.
“However, I do not think that it is a vital issue for the Vatican. Maybe Catholic priests intend to protect the Holy See from the inaccurate quotation of the Pope. A political motive is hard to find here too. It is not ruled out that the Catholic Church decided to establish total control over religious issues. To crown it all, the Vatican simply wants to attract more attention to religion,” the specialist said.