Oct 17, 2013

The "Estelada"

One news [text in Spanish] that called my attention this week was the announcement that a Spanish businessman, called José Antonio Blázquez, "copyrighted" the "estelada", a variant of the flag of the Catalonia, the senyera.

While the common senyera is simply nine-striped yellow and red, the estelada (in Catalan, "starred") has a blue triangle with a white star on the hoist:

This variant of Catalonia flag is used by independentists. Initially, it was supposed that the businessman, that labels himself "Spanish and anti-indepentist", would register the flag only to forbid its use without authorization (that he supposedly won't give), but it's now known that he made it only for the financial exploitation of flag's usage.

My personal opinion, supported by some specialists [text in Spanish] is that the flag couldn't be copyrighted, in legal sense. The businessman claims that a unofficial flag isn't protected for copyright, but it's certainly not the case: a well-known work in public domain can't be copyrighted, because it's considered an usurpation. One could argue that the flag is too simple to be registered, but it's debatable. The specialists predict that the registry will be annulled as soon as disputed and mr. Blázquez won't gain any money for his action.

I believe that the only flags that can be copyrighted are those that contain a copyrightable content (like a logo or an armorial bearing) or other types of unofficial flags (like commemorative flags, for example) that required a considerable level of originality and design knowledge.

What's your opinion about flag copyright? Your comments are welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Every comment is greatly welcome!