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Holy See Declares a "Unique Copyright" On the Pope

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the vatican-rag dept.

Idle 447

An anonymous reader sends in news of what must be some kind of record in overreaching intellectual property claims: the Vatican has declared that the name, image, and any symbols of the Pope are for exclusive use of the Holy See. They may have a point if, as the declaration hints, some have used "ecclesiastical or pontifical symbols and logos to attribute credibility and authority to initiatives" unrelated to the Vatican. But how much room will they allow for fair use? Will high school newspapers have to remove the Papal Coat of Arms from their Vatican news columns? The royalty schedule was not released, so it's not clear how much Slashdot will have to pay to run this story (or if there will be a penalty for the accompanying pagan idol).

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447 comments

This definitely (1)

dcmoebius (1527443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508804)

won't have ANY negative ramifications...

Re:This definitely (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30508826)

The ramifications are mostly due to the child molesting priests.

Re:This definitely (0, Flamebait)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509048)

The ramifications are mostly due to the child molesting priests.

That is true, and why Tony Blair became a Catholic, Invaded Iraq. You see anything regarding religion is forbidden and touchy, but as Bush was a born again Christian he accepted Blair. Fucking Cunts. Now I am trying to increase my bad karma :P

Re:This definitely (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30509250)

Why is that marked "Troll"? What he says is absolutely true. Catholic priests, around the globe, have a very long history of molesting boys. That cannot be denied.

Just look at the Papal seal, for fuck's sake. There's a penis, with a black bruised glans and cuts to the spout and scrotum, hanging from the bottom of it. The bear has an anus-licking tongue. And there's an African (sex?) slave in the top-left point of the shield.

F/OSS Religion (5, Funny)

russlar (1122455) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508806)

Fortunately for the rest of us, the FSM is compatible with the GPL.

Re:F/OSS Religion (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508836)

Yeah, but too bad FSM also condones eating babies.

Re:F/OSS Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30508906)

Wasn't it only Jews that ate babies?

Better to eat them than rape them... (4, Funny)

FatSean (18753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508944)

FSM be praised. Ramen.

Re:Better to eat them than rape them... (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509052)

Your subject line is about as related to your actual post as someone randomly shouting "Cowboyneal!" on a streetcorner is to world hunger. -_-

Re:F/OSS Religion (4, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508958)

Fortunately for the rest of us, the FSM is compatible with the GPL.

The GPL allows you to modify the original work. The bible, however, clearly states that it is the word of God and should not be modified. It is therefore not GPL-compatible. The codebase it's based on is also of dubious origin.

But even if the licensing terms weren't crap, it'll never catch on. It's a buggy beta release that's been ported to other languages or forked dozens of times because the developers can never agree on a single design. It's also not very user-friendly: The interface tends to kill people, especially before you patch it to SP1 (New Testament). I'd be surprised if they aren't bankrupt in a year.

1900 years later...

Re:F/OSS Religion (1)

elecmahm (1194167) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509134)

while I find your biblical lampooning funny and appropriate -- why are you talking about the bible with reference to the FSM? The FSM mythology is about as GPL'd as you can get -- I seriously doubt Venganza would have any problems with people making modifications to the original concept.

Re:F/OSS Religion (2, Funny)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509144)

So you're saying that Jefferson's rewrite of the Bible falls outside of fair use?

What if ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30509248)

What if they claim the exclusive use for "Jesus Christ", "Mother Mary", "Ave Maria", "The Cross", "The Crucifix", "Christmas" ??

What will this world be without Christmas ?

Re:What if ... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509282)

Saturnalia of course!

The way we celebrate Christmas has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ. If anything, the whole decorating the tree and gift giving thing would take on even further significance. I think that would be really great. The good will thing would carry on as well.

If we stopped calling it Christmas, that would just be bonus.

Please keep in mind (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30508814)

That the take-down notice is a lightning bolt... up your butt. You've been warned.

Re:Please keep in mind (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508886)

Yeah, I was going to say, isn't the Catholic church infringing on Gods copyright, unless of course they are declaring Papal supremacy.

Personally I would have thought they would have wanted to get their symbolism out there as much as possible and only react if it was being used negatively.

Personally I think they are heading down the dangerous and disgusting territory of exploitative corporate religion for profit ala scientology, rather than religion for charity and the furtherance of positive human social 'evolution'.

Re:Please keep in mind (2, Informative)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509032)

unless of course they are declaring Papal supremacy

Supremacy? No, but they do claim infallibility. From WP:

Over the centuries, popes' claims of spiritual authority have been ever more clearly expressed, culminating in the proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility for rare occasions when the pope speaks ex cathedra (literally "from the chair (of Peter)") to issue a solemn definition of faith or morals.[2] The first (after the proclamation) and so far the last such occasion was in 1950, with the definition of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary.

PS: Slashdot, fix the fucking comment box.

Re:Please keep in mind (3, Informative)

cusco (717999) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509276)

Papal infallibility was only declared in the 1890s at the First Vatican Council. Prior to that the pope was just a man.

Re:Please keep in mind (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509040)

The Pope's argument would be, of course, that(while God is certainly the ultimate owner of the copyright in question, among a large number of other things) he is God's authorized agent/distributor for this territory.

Since this seems like the best excuse for doing so that I've yet had, I include the "software licensing analogy for distinguishing between Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestantism" below:

Judaism is a corporate site licence: All members of the organization are automatically entitled to software under the terms of a legal agreement between the organization and the software producer.

Catholicism is per-seat licensing from a value-added reseller: The church has an agreement with the software producer, under which its sales reps entitled to sell the software, along with a suite of helper utilities and documentation supplements, and the support of its field techs, to any interested individuals.

Protestantism is retail shrinkwrap software: The individual buyer enters into a contractual relationship with the software producer, without intermediaries. All that the buyer receives is the software and the packaged manual(sola scriptura).

Addendum: Quakers are FOSS: Individuals get together communally, and anybody who the spirit so moves can get up and code something.

Re:Please keep in mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30509050)

Is Scientology malware?

Re:Please keep in mind (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509110)

Indeed. Mostly commonly, users receive it by clicking on spam emails with subject header "Free Personality test!". Downloading "AntiThetan Pro 2009" is also a major source of infections.

Scope (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508834)

Well okay but where does this apply, other than in the Vatican?

Re:Scope (2, Informative)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508990)

Well okay but where does this apply, other than in the Vatican?

In any organization connected to the Catholic church. This includes various parishes around the nation, high schools, some colleges, and any student or teacher organizations that are part of those. For example, a student-run newspaper at a Catholic university such as Notre Dame would be restricted in their use of papal symbols.

Even ignoring the fact that the U.S. does have treaties with the Vatican and would uphold their copyrights in court, a Catholic organization would suffer far more damage by being cut off from the church (i.e. excommunicated).

Disclaimer: I am Catholic and this does not bother me.

Re:Scope (5, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509092)

Under the Berne Convention and all other copyright treaties, local copyright laws apply in every country. Trademark laws are local as well. The state of Holy See could pass legislation copyrighting the Bible for God's sake (pun intended), and it would have no impact whatsoever on the rest of the world, where that legislation has no relevance.

Whether organizations around the world connected to the Roman Catholic Church are affected by this isn't a matter of copyright law. That's simply a matter of the rules that a church lays out for its members. If the RCC says "no meat on Friday" or "no condoms" or "no use of the pope's logo without permission", that's just a church being a church. I can see members of that church being concerned about a change in those rules, but is this News For Nerds or Stuff That Matters? No.

Re:Scope (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509120)

but is this News For Nerds or Stuff That Matters? No.

Nope, it says right at the top that its "Idly Passing The Time Away"

Re:Scope (1)

Pteraspidomorphi (1651293) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509146)

Under the Berne Convention and all other copyright treaties, local copyright laws apply in every country.

Well, not in Somalia or Papua New Guinea....

Re:Scope (3, Funny)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509054)

The Pope? How many IP lawyers does he have?

Re:Scope (1, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509254)

This appears to be a reference to Stalin's remark "The Pope? How many Divisions does he have?" (Where Stalin was talking about military divisions, and making the point that without them, what the Pope said about whatever the USSR did didn't really matter.).

Re:Scope (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509060)

Since this "copyright" is of a fairly unorthodox form(seemingly a weird blend of copyright and trademark) it may not matter; but the Vatican is a Berne Convention signatory.

If it satisfies Berne, it applies all over the place. If it doesn't, I sure hope the swiss guard likes exercise...

Simply following the Scientologists, (5, Insightful)

thebiss (164488) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508840)

...who have found using IP an effective way to manage criticism.

Re:Simply following the Scientologists, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30508896)

That's the first thing I thought of too. Once religion hits copyright, the shit hits the fan. If you want to claim some sort of divine connection, fine, but that should also mean that every aspect of your religion is open to the interpretation of, well, everyone. Bob down the street can claim to be the next divinely chosen pope/profit/whatever. Of course, with organized religion, you've already got that problem.

Re:Simply following the Scientologists, (2, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509070)

I'm not so sure I'd use the word "effective". Or "manage" really.

Re:Simply following the Scientologists, (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509312)

I don't know... The only comments ever to have been taken down from Slashdot's archives were related to IP that the COS holds... It is to date, the only organization to have succeeded in doing so.

Nah, they were first (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509174)

The church has always had this thing about controlling information. They kept the bible and mass in Latin for a very long time which is just the most obvious example of controlling information.

prior art? (3, Funny)

nephridium (928664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508854)

Seeing the pictures here [google.com] I believe there is a reasonably case for prior art, no? If anything the Vatican should pay George Lucas, as he has 25 years on them ;)

That being said imho the emperor from the Empire strikes back looked much more formidable, the pope should have gone with that look instead...

Re:prior art? (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509148)

First time I saw him that was my immediate thought. Since then I've been unable to remember his real name, Pope Palpatine is so freaking catchy. You can even add a 'the 3rd' or something to the end and it only makes it better.

Comics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30508866)

There goes reprints of "Battle Pope".

Interesting idea. (2, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508868)

Next, those nativity scenes they try and throw up every winter will be declared illegal now because they haven't paid to license it from God. Atheists, you may now stop attempting to keep the church and state separate: Apparently, God has made himself illegal. Film at 11.

Re:Interesting idea. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30508950)

We should condemn transsexualism and lesbianism as an immoral affront to the Wonder of God's creation.

May your genetic lineage be stricken from the Book of Life.

Re:Interesting idea. (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509004)

We should condemn transsexualism and lesbianism as an immoral affront to the Wonder of God's creation.

A more recent version of morality is available. Changes include: Better support for alternative system configurations, 32bit color (your version is 1 bit), and fault tolerance.

Would you like to install the update now? _

Does this mean... (4, Funny)

myrmidon666 (1228658) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508880)

We have to give money in chur.... oh wait. never-mind.

Fraudsters and copyright. (1, Interesting)

FatSean (18753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508938)

The entire organisation is based on selling a bunch of silly and un-provable claims to millions...and they're seeking the legal benefit of copyright?

That is so wrong...

Re:Fraudsters and copyright. (3, Insightful)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509268)

The entire organisation is based on selling a bunch of silly and un-provable claims to millions...

Wait, are you talking about the church, or copyright holders?

Re:Does this mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30509010)

Who's forcing you to give money? Or is asking for donations to keep something free going bad?

Now we have a problem (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508888)

the Vatican has declared that the name, image, and any symbols of the Pope are for exclusive use of the Holy See.

I searched /. usernames, and there are quite a few that claim to be Pope this or that :-)

Who cares? It's .17 square mile. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30508964)

The Vatican can dictate copyright in an area of 0.17 square miles. So who the hell cares?

So in response the question posed in the news post, wether "high school newspapers have to remove the Papal Coat of Arms from their Vatican news columns", I'd like to know which high schools are referred to. Because I doubt, there are schools in the Vatican, given that 80% of its 500ish citizens are celibate catholic clergy.

Statues on timelimit to "copyright" (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508986)

How does this pass those statues? I can see if someone is using the current Pope's coat of arms or his particular name, in association with their service/company/announcement etc., but simply using a past Pope's coat of arms (especially one that has long been out of active use) can be restricted. Especially for ones which were developed and first used before trademark and copyrights even were written into law. Those are all in the public domain and free to use.

Get the checkbook out ! (0, Flamebait)

redelm (54142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509008)

... with so many slashtards, /. will not qualify for the normal "news" exemption on images and stories.

With copyright, Christianity would have died... (5, Insightful)

Fished (574624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509016)

Something that I rarely hear pointed out is that, with copyright as we know it today, Christianity would have died "in the womb." Imagine if the various churches who were the recipients of Paul's letters were unable to make copies and forward them to other churches. Imagine if the Bible were originally copyrighted (the way that the modern critical texts are! I still don't really get that one--how a 2000 year-old text can be coyrighted.) Copyright is an enemy of the Christian faith, and I'm disappointed in the Vatican--of course, here I am a Baptist whose theological 40% evangelical, 30% Anbaptist, and 30% Eastern Orthodox, so maybe that's not surprising.

Re:With copyright, Christianity would have died... (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509320)

Something that I rarely hear pointed out is that, with copyright as we know it today, Christianity would have died "in the womb." Imagine if the various churches who were the recipients of Paul's letters were unable to make copies and forward them to other churches. Imagine if the Bible were originally copyrighted (the way that the modern critical texts are! I still don't really get that one--how a 2000 year-old text can be coyrighted.) Copyright is an enemy of the Christian faith

While I class myself an atheist I have always believed that people must be permitted to believe what they choose. I'm against copyright in its current form, but in this case it's a good thing. If a religious sect chooses to use copyright to self-destruct, I won't shed a tear. Copyright does far worse things than make superstition less affordable and less popular. What makes this dangerous however is that any religion whose texts aren't available publicly and for free cannot be evaluated by someone before deciding to believe in it. One could argue anyone wishing to believe in superstitious nonesense gets what they deserve but the trouble is that is exactly how a cult operates, and we're all familiar with the dangers of cults.

they don't need copyright for this (3, Interesting)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509020)

All they need to do is register their symbols, images, etc as trademarks in every country of the world.

Re:they don't need copyright for this (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509076)

All they need to do is register their symbols, images, etc as trademarks in every country of the world.

Even in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran? I wish them luck.

Re:they don't need copyright for this (1)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509124)

Just registering a trademark in the US is an expensive nine-month hassle (or more), and it's one of the easiest and cheapest places to do so in the world. At least Europe now has a way - well two ways - of registering a Europe-wide trademark, as long as nobody in any of the 27 member states complains. As Michael says, good luck with the rest.

Terrible article (5, Insightful)

coppro (1143801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509024)

Ugh... I wish people would stop mixing up the difference between trademark and copyright. Notwithstanding that the Vatican is a sovereign state and can do whatever the heck it wants within its boundaries, what they're really declaring is that the trademark of the Pope is going to be reserved for their exclusive use. Copyright isn't even involved here.

Re:Terrible article (1)

ExRex (47177) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509198)

Blame the lawyers who specialize in patents, trademarks and copyrights. Ever since they invented the term "Intellectual Property" folks have become increasingly confused. This has benefited "IP" lawyers and those rights holders who try to overreach by playing on the public's confusion.

Perverts are always trying this (-1, Troll)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509028)

http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/sns-ap-us-inmate-name-copyright,0,6423024.story [baltimoresun.com]

BTW - The Catholic church has already paid out more than a Billion dollars in settlements for priests who are child molesters.

"Former SD lawmaker convicted of raping foster daughters claims copyright of name.

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- A former South Dakota lawmaker convicted of raping his two foster daughters has sent news organizations what he claims is a copyright notice that seeks to prevent the use of his name without his consent.

A letter and an accompanying document labeled "Common Law Copyright Notice" said former state Rep. Ted Alvin Klaudt is reserving a common-law copyright of a trade name or trademark for his name. It said no one can use his name without his consent, and anyone who does would owe him $500,000.

Klaudt was convicted in 2007 on four counts of second-degree rape for touching his teenage foster daughters' breasts and genitals in phony examinations he said could help them sell their eggs to infertile couples. He was sentenced to 44 years in prison for rape and 10 more years after pleading guilty to two counts of witness tampering.

The notice, received by The Associated Press and several other news organizations Monday, carried a return address that matched that of the state prison in Springfield, where Klaudt is being held :

Power Mad Papa (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509044)

I don't think that it's a good idea for a church to be able to assert a copyright monopoly over ANY aspect of religious doctrine.

If such nonsense were lawful, the Church could bring a lawsuit against schismatics for copyright infringement. That would infringe the right of schismatics to split from the church and form their own church.

One more VERY GOOD REMINDER why we need to separate church and state!

Re:Power Mad Papa (1, Flamebait)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509100)

If a schism group wanted to form their own church, why would they even want to use the Papal symbols as they exist today? Wouldn't they want to install their own command chain with some other symbol denoting their pontiff or leader? Using the same symbols would cause confusion and possibly give credibility to the Church the schismatics want to leave, right?

You do raise a good point, but I think this is more to prevent criticism of the Church ("you used the word 'Pope' in your article, and it's critical of the Church, so we're issuing a DMCA(*) takedown notice") and/or to make sure the clergy within the Church don't use the Pope's name, images, or symbols for their own agendas that the Church may disagree with. In the former case, it denotes a distinct lack of faith in God to defend his own Church, and in the latter it denotes a distinct lack of discipline within the church hierarchy.

(*): Assuming the article is correct and they are really trying to get an actual Copyright. I suspect they want to get Trademarks, which would require a different type of takedown notice.

Re:Power Mad Papa (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509140)

If a schism group wanted to form their own church, why would they even want to use the Papal symbols as they exist today?

The history of the Church answers that question pretty nicely.

Re:Power Mad Papa (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509262)

You seem to miss the point of splitting from the source church. Groups that do this usually don't think that the source is wrong, but that it has been corrupted. Thus, when they split, they see themselves as the 'real' church, and thus would take any part that they deem 'real' with them.

Why is enforcing legitimate copyrights news? (1)

turtleshadow (180842) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509062)

Why is this even news.
It seems a bit prejudiced on /. to bring up this story. What other news stories of real importance could have been voted up.

The Catholic Church had practices for the protection of seals and other insignia long before some countries were countries or some peoples learned the the rule of Western law.
1) Vatican is a sovereign state.
2) They have a permanent observer status at the United Nations.
3) The Vatican has been more or less willing to send amassadors (Nuncios) to every major Western Nation for the bulk of history.
4) The Vatican respects the legitimate rule of law (as per their moral system which is based on natural law and their Canon system) of other sovereign nations and peoples
5) Some 2.2 billion persons have a relationship to the Vatican

So next time try the litmus test where one inserts one's own race/creed/nation into the sentence and see if it sounds awkwardly prejudiced.
[United Kingdom] Declares a "Unique Copyright" On the [Constitutional Monarchy]
[United States] Declares a "Unique Copyright" On the [Presidency]
[China] Declares a "Unique Copyright" On the [Premier of the State Council]
[Saudi Arabia] Declares a "Unique Copyright" On the [House of Saud]

Doesn't sound alarmist or noteworthy to me for the other ones.

Re:Why is enforcing legitimate copyrights news? (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509112)

Really? It seems about as ridiculous to me. To use just the first example you list, how many countries other than the UK have some form of Constitutional Monarchy? And the general pattern continues. To pick another example, there are members of the House of Saud who are out of favor or who don't reside in Saudi Arabia. Does that mean they will be breaking copyright if they try to use their legitimate titles? This is as stupid with other groups as it would be with the Vatican. The issue here isn't prejudice against the Vatican, it is that the Vatican was dumb enough to try this.

Isn't TM good enough? (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509078)

Trademark is the appropriate protection.

Of all the things for such a bunch of sticks in the mud to pick to suddenly get with the times, why did they pick copyright? And why in such a bad way? They must listen to terrible advice. They ought to be out there decrying the evils of keeping people in the dark, not dirtying their hands wielding diabolical tools for dubious ends! They ought to endorse the Pirate Party. What's next? Will they try to assert copyright on the Bible?

Re:Isn't TM good enough? (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509220)

They ought to be out there decrying the evils of keeping people in the dark, not dirtying their hands wielding diabolical tools for dubious ends!

The enlightenment was very bad for Catholicism. The Catholic Church would prefer that everyone was still in the dark.

Applicability and Scope (3, Insightful)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509084)

There's been at least one long standing battle in the US over much the same problem: people taking an image, name and/or conceptual equivalent, and using it in such a way as to ... dishonor is frequently used here, but not many understand the it from the injured parties' standing.... insult is closer but too weak ... we'll just say: to promote a commercial product, the juxtaposition of the appropriated image and the product being contrary to the known statements of the party imaged and/or the descendants.

The product in this case is Crazy Horse malt liquor. Crazy Horse spoke out against alcohol many times, specifically claiming its use was destroying his people. His descendants have been trying to get the brewer to stop using the name. No, they didn;t attempt to acquire copy right or trademark protection, because they didn't think they'd need it. In their culture, such protection is automatic and seated deeply in the cultural mores.

Re:Applicability and Scope (2, Interesting)

turtleshadow (180842) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509186)

I think your looking for a word in the thesaurus that doesn't exist but really it is a modern problem.
Steven Colbert sensed this with the "product" such as the paste on Hitler mustache for anybody's portrait.

There is not a nice politically correct way to say willfully deride, malign, or intend a vicious and ill parody of person or entity for profit.
Many hide under the guise of sarcasm of a celebrity or public figure but that is not their true intent.

Others instances are not so such as Che Guevera, and the people never get a dime from all those t-shirts did they? But his image "pushes" a lot of "for profit products", to so many hipsters who don't know what he really did or didn't do yet he himself was Marxist.

This is a strange world of legal and human relationships

Obligatory Simpsons quote (1)

SoVeryTired (967875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509104)

"...authorities say the phony pope can be recognized by his hightop sneakers and incredibly foul mouth"

Legit use (2, Interesting)

bjackson1 (953136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509106)

My guess is that if it's ever used it be against idiots like:

'Pope' Pius XIII
http://www.truecatholic.us/ [truecatholic.us]

or other people who set themselves up as the pope... Just a guess though...

Hah! (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509284)

That's one thing the Catholic Church will never support. How dare someone else swindle people out of their money with silly fairy tales.

Re:Legit use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30509322)

How is that “legitimate”? The vatican has “set themselves up as the pope” too, you know, with no greater legitimacy apart from thousands of years of theft, extortion, and deceit.

Not a real religion anyway... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30509114)

This is just futher proof that they are in fact just a business trying to make a buck... A true religion doesn't need BILLIONS of dollars to play with while watching the worlds poor suffer and die of starvation. They are all scam artists and should be put in prison for the crooks they are!

Painter Francis Bacon (1)

certron (57841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509132)

When I heard of this, the first thing that came to mind was the painter Francis Bacon and his "Study after Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X" otherwise known as the 'screaming pope'. Have fun with that. I suspect they may only want to exercise their supposed copyright claim and control over a very narrow area.

Doesn't surprise me (1, Interesting)

still-a-geek (653160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509152)

The Vatican is run like a business and has done so since its inception. It is one of the richest entities in the world that is its own country, has its own army and has its own economy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vatican_city [wikipedia.org] .

How in the heck can a religion do this? It seems to contradict everything Jesus stood for: Peace, love, and helping people, not killing countless millions and building an empire in the name of God. What a bunch of hypocrites! It wouldn't surprise me that the Vatican will try and copyright (trademark, too) the name Vatican or even Jesus Christ one of these days.

Re:Doesn't surprise me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30509194)

Me neither, the Vatican is the single largest organization that deserves to be served the RICO act.

Brand management (1)

md65536 (670240) | more than 4 years ago | (#30509196)

Vatican marketing released this statement shortly afterward:

"Only real Vatican Pope has that real Pope flavor! If you are purchasing Poap brand or generic pope products from other non-holy sees, you may be getting only as little as 60% actual pope -- The rest is filler. Don't be fooled by packaging that boasts 'Papalaty flavor". If it doesn't have the official Pope logo on it, it's not genuine Pope inside.

Choose Vatican Pope for all your papal needs."

Holy See? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30509212)

What language is that?

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