The Pope has created a special (and weirdly incoherent) copyright in his name, image and symbols. This "copyright" appears to prohibit using these words and symbols to denote goods or services ("Pope Secondary School," "Pope Soap," "Pope Burgers"), all of which are covered already under trademark and fraud laws, and need no copyright to protect them.
The statement cited a "great increase of affection and esteem for the person of the Holy Father" in recent years as contributing to a desire to use the Pontiff's name for all manner of educational and cultural institutions, civic groups and foundations.
Due to this demand, 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…"
"Consequently, the use of anything referring directly to the person or office of the Supreme Pontiff… and/or the use of the title 'Pontifical,' must receive previous and express authorization from the Holy See," concluded the message released to the press.
Holy See declares unique copyright on Papal figure
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