Vatican Declares Papal Copyright

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Because of what it referred to as a "great increase of affection and esteem for the person of the Holy Father" in recent years (I assume that's a rhetorical flourish, because I don't recall the public really dumping on John Paul II), the Vatican has declared what appears to be a Holy Copyright in said Father's name, image and symbols.  In a recent statement, the Holy See declared 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.

Do Not Reproduce, The Vatican Ironically Demands I guess this poses yet another dilemma for American Catholics, who would be allowed under U.S. law to engage in certain "fair use" of the Holy Father's name or image and so forth, but who presumably will now have to get prior express permission for this from the Vatican's legal department.

By the way, if you happen to be traveling for the holidays, don't forget that snow globes containing an image of the Holy Father (or anything else, for that matter) are not permitted through TSA checkpoints.  You are not allowed to have one now anyway, of course, at least not without express permission, but if you choose to flout the will of the Lawyers of the Successors of Peter, leave your pope globe at home.

Link: Catholic News Agency
Link: Boing Boing (also source of the photo)