News from the Vatican

It stays on even without a clip or pin, if it's not too windy Yesterday was Vatican Day in the IPKat's in-box. Since the Holy See does not yet have its own IP blogger-in-residence this member of the IPKat's blogging team — who sports a head-covering not dissimilar to that of the Vatican's Head of state — thought he'd lend a hand. Though it is known that he has catholic tastes, there is no truth in the rumour that he is now styling himself as the VatiKat. First, thanks are due to the excellent Maurizio Borghi (Brunel) for the news that the Vatican State has recently enacted a new copyright law (19 March 2011). You can download it here. Explains Maurizio: "Vatican law is in fact a supplemental to the Italian Copyright Act (l. 633, 6 April 1941), which applies in the territory of the Holy See, among other Italian laws, by virtue of bilateral treaties. The law has some weirdnesses. Here are the main points of the Papal copyright: exclusive right on the use of the Pope's image and voice for purposes other than religious, cultural and educational (art. 3); exclusive right on "purely documentary" reproductions of cultural heritage for 70 years from the fixation (art. 4); the Holy See owns all copyrights in the works published under its name or created on its commission (art. 5). Art. 6 establishes a Commission on Intellectual Property, with a power to arbitrate disputes between parties. The regime of sanctions and remedies is unspecified (IP scholars might speculate on whether excommunication is a more effective punishment than the biblical three-strikes against illegal downloading…)". The other Vatican-related news item is a little less savoury. A number of readers, of whom Chris Torrero was the first, have noted this report in The Telegraph that Hyro-gliff, a company associated with actor Charlie Sheen has applied to register 22 of the man's catchphrases, including "Duh, Winning," "Tiger Blood", "Rock Star From Mars"– and "Vatican Assassin". Registration is apparently sought for "everything from bras, drinks, electronic games, candy and even gambling machines". No doubt readers at this very moment are wondering what form an advertising and marketing campaign for VATICAN ASSASSIN brassieres might take …

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