Russian Communist Party Seeks to Copyright Red Star Symbol


Perhaps paradoxically, Russia’s Communist Party is embracing the concept of intellectual property and seeking a copyright claim over the party’s red star symbol. Party officials said that through the move they hope to prevent foreign companies like Macy’s, Heineken beer, and the California Republic from using the symbol in their own logos. “Sometimes our symbols are used for commercial purposes, and the state must protect state symbols from commercial use by foreign firms,” said Vadim Solovyov, chief lawyer for the Communist Party, to The Moscow Times.

The move is not solely aimed at American companies. Italy’s San Pellegrino mineral water and Australia’s Jetstar also use a red star. And the company is not seeking a blanket ban on all uses of a red star by foreign companies. Solovyov said that the party, under its proposed copyright, would be allowed to continue using the symbol if they did not “intentionally distort [it] or use in an incorrect form.” He did not specify what kind of use would qualify as distortion.

One primary obstacle for the Communist Party’s copyright quest: several of these companies used a red star prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917, during which the red star was first used by Russian soldiers. For now, the red star might be out of reach; maybe the hammer and sickle would be a safer bet.


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