The pope’s writings and image legally protected

Source: FSSPX News

The Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, which is in charge of exercising its legislative power, has updated the 1960 copyright law, so as better to protect the image, the voice and the teaching of the pope, as well as the contents of the Church’s Magisterium.  The new Vatican regulation, adopted on March 19, 2011, should make it possible to respond to “the demand for the diffusion of original documents of the Magisterium, which anyone can download for free at the website of the Holy See and distribute, provided that they derive no profit from it”.

The March 29 issue of L’Osservatore romano recalls that the modern communications media have made it much easier to share data;  hence “greater care” is required “to guarantee the integrity of the contents, especially when the teachings of the Gospel or of the Church’s Magisterium are concerned”.  Thus Article 2, which “explicitly subjects the texts of the laws and official acts of the Holy See and of the Vatican City State to copyright” allows the Vatican to guarantee “the originality and integrity of magisterial documents…, which it is illegal to modify.”

Article 3 introduces “the explicit protection of the writings and speeches of the pope and regulates the criteria for broadcasting his image and voice… thus responding to an urgent need for protection against abuses and inappropriate uses”.

Finally, the new law provides for the creation of a Commission for intellectual property.  This new commission, L’Osservatore romano announced, will be able to draw up its own by-laws and will have the authority needed to carry out its advisory activity.  (Sources : apic/imedia/L’Osservatore romano – DICI no. 235 dated May 28, 2011)