Vatican Claims Trademark on Jesus
In a controversial move which many industry observers saw as an inevitable upshot of the increasingly rigid bounds of intellectual property law, the Catholic Church today filed to have the name and likeness of Jesus Christ declared to be their "trademarks". Simultaneously with the filing, Pope John Paul III issued a Papal Bull warning other branches of Christianity to "cease and desist from using images and names of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Holy Birth, and related persons and events" without obtaining the necessary licenses.
"We were there at the beginning," said a spokesmonk for the Vatican (GSX: VAT), which owns and operates the Catholic Church. "The story of Jesus, and related characters and situations, were clearly created by and for the Catholic faith. When the other branches of the faith generally referred to as Christianity were spun off and subsequently distanced themselves from Catholicism, over the ages, they lost their right to use the intellectual properties of the parent company, er, church. It's as simple as that."
The Catholic Church is a privately-held, not-for-profit organization.
New Copyright Law Upholds Right to Monitor Quality
The President today signed into law a bill which is intended to allow trademark owners to prevent abuse of their trademarks. In effect, any depiction or mention of a trademarked name is now subject to approval by the owner of said trademark; violators risk fines, imprisonment, or both.
"Public image has long been recognized as an immensely valuable commodity to any business; this law simply allows businesses large and small to protect their image investment, and prevent it from being vandalized by competitors and mean-spirited individuals who want a free ride on our coattails," said a spokesman for Warnerfox-Disniacom.
The new legislation is expected to cause a minor shakeup in the consumer advocacy industry, as reviewers of commercial products will now be forced to either universally praise the products they review or else refrain from mentioning the make. "We give up, we'll come along quietly" said a spokesman for the Consumer's Union.
Global Copyright Claimed
An unexpected message from the Universal Creator today alerted world leaders that God plans to assert his ownership of copyright on all global landmasses and bodies of water. The announcement, which was received in the form of email apparently delivered to every computer in the world (and rejected by many as spam), also stated that copyright symbols would soon be relief-etched (as "landmarks" and "watermarks", respectively) onto all continents and into undersea rockbed in all major oceans.
God stated that He had no current plans for licensing the world, but would be reviewing several proposals. "I have an awful lot of time and energy invested in this property, and I want to be sure that any development maintains the quality of that effort," God stated, concluding that although he appreciates various ongoing efforts to limit deterioration of the world's existing ecologcal systems, those systems now reflect substantial changes from his original vision and he no longer believes that the current usage is in the planet's best interest.
Speculation in the industry rumor mill has centered around a possible big-budget action-adventure thriller using the Earth™ as a setting.
Related but more political: Hurt and Offended