Pope Says Nope to Flagrant Use of Image for Brands



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Courtesy of The Telegraph

The Holy See has declared that anyone wishing to use the face or name of the Holy Father must gain approval from the Vatican. In recent years, several attempts have been made to use the Pope’s name on products and include it in the name of buildings or universities. To try and prevent this, the Vatican said: “Recent years have witnessed a great increase of affection and esteem for the person of the Holy Father.

“There has also been a desire to use the Pope’s name in the title of universities, schools or cultural institutions, as well as associations, foundations and other groups.

“In light of this fact, the Holy See hereby declares that it alone has the right to ensure the respect due to the Successors of Peter, and, therefore, to protect the figure and personal identify of the Pope from the unauthorised 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.”

However, a copyright lawyer said that a simple warning may not be enough. Robin Fry, from the firm Beachcrofts, told The Times: “Popes throughout history have been plagued by their image being reproduced, whether as little trinkets, or, recently, mechanical dolls.

"There has even been a Pope soap on a rope. This declaration is a brave attempt to control use of the imprimatur and image of His Holy Father, but this can only realistically be done through registration of trademarks. Without this, the Vatican’s jurisdiction extends legally only to the 110 acres of the Vatican City and any new laws it announces cannot be enforced elsewhere, unless other countries adopt the same rules.”

Comments

pelerin said…
Pope Leo XIII who died around the turn of the last century appeared on a poster for a tonic wine containing coca. I believe he awarded it a gold medal as he drank it regularly and presumably gave his permission for his image to appear on the poster or perhaps the poster appeared after his death - I don't know.