Rio de Janeiro's Catholic archdiocese is demanding unspecified damages and interest from Columbia Pictures for showing the iconic landmark being destroyed in a worldwide apocalypse in the film, "2012," that came out last year. The archdiocese manages copyright issues related to the 40-meter (130-foot) high statue erected in 1931, which overlooks Rio with its arms outstretched. The archdiocese holds copyright until 2032, when the sculpture becomes part of the public domain.

In practice the archdiocese allows use of images of the statue "in 99 percent of cases." But it turned down Columbia Pictures' request to show the statue being destroyed by a giant wave.

A spokesperson for the diocese said, "many faithful have said they are shocked and offended by the images of the destruction of this sanctuary that the archdiocese wanted to preserve. We are at the start of negotiations and don't know the amount of damages we are looking at. That will depend on an expert's evaluation."

COMMENT: Surely a ruddy great statue of a god on top of a ruddy great mountain has to be regarded as "in the public domain" from the word "go." I'm not sure but I think English law reflects this obvious fact. Certainly you can photograph the outside of a building without permission but not the inside, as outside is public and inside isn't. If this was not the case then you could photograph or film any building without permission built in the last 100 years or so as architects are artists as much as a monumental stone mason.



  1. Why is the Archdiocese concerned about the image of the statue and not the millions of its sources of income, oh wait, the faithful, that would be lost if a giant wave *did* overwhelm that statue?

  2. The RCC is sort of over the top on this stuff. But then consider that someone holds copyright on the various translations of the Bible. Which is making me shudder ’cause I cannot find an ebook version of the NEB or REB, and I dislike the NIV which I can find but is incomplete (no apocrypha.) I may be reduced to the NKJV — alas.



  3. Maybe the settlement could include a “director’s cut” DVD version in which Idol Jesus walks on the wave.

  4. Jim – you could study it in the original language handed down from on high to Kansas – I refer of course to the language our Lord used, the KJV.

  5. I could indeed read the authorized version but dost thou not find its English dated? I shall consider it anon.


  6. many faithful have said they are shocked and offended by the images of the destruction…

    Not half as much asd they will be when 2012 comes around.

    Surely the judge will have to adjurn the case until Dec 31st 2012before it can be decided as to whether anything has been misrepresented.

  7. Our firm has been retained by certain interests in Brazil to represent their welfare regarding said copywrite, as well as all the Church of Rome interests in all of the Big Jesus statutes around the world.

    You are hereby ordered to cease and desist unlicensed usage of said likeness to one Jesus of Nazareth ne Mount Corcovado, aka Christ the Redeemer.

    You are also put on notice of not-too-distant cousins from Spain currently vacationing in sunny Newcastle Upon Tyne.

  8. He’s not your Jesus. He’s everybody’s Jesus. He told me once that he didn’t even particularly like the Catholics, especially the hierarchy (in fact, his exact words were, “They’re a bunch of useless t**sers who won’t leave my mother alone).