The Vatican’s crackdown on the commercial use of its official emblems has found resistance from a Spanish website.
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The case against InfoVaticana.com, one of hundreds of copyright actions taken by the church, is part of a broader legal debate over whether the Holy See can claim full ownership of the "Vatican" brand and its derivatives.So far, Spain's trademark office has taken the Vatican's side. Founder Gabriel Ariza alleges that the Vatican is engaging in a "political witch hunt" against his site in retaliation for InfoVaticana.com's crusade against corruption in the Catholic Church, especially in Spanish religious institutions.The Vatican rejected Ariza's claim that InfoVaticana.com was targeted in a personal or unusual way.According to the Vatican, a system has been set up to monitor the way in which the pope's image and emblem, the Vatican's city and estate coat of arms, and the Holy See's emblems, flags, seals and names are being used around the world.Ariza says an international law firm the Vatican hired to deal with copyright litigation, Baker and McKenzie, has threatened to sue if InfoVaticana isn't shut down and has its internet domain transferred to the Vatican.
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