Stop Telling People You'll Live In Vancouver In Winter 2010, Or The Olympics Might Sue You

from the gold-medal-lawyering dept

Almost as storied as the history of athletic achievement at the Olympics is the recent history of the organizers of the games' attempts to control the use of the word "Olympic" and get new laws passed to protect their paying sponsors and give them a ridiculous amount of special legal protection. And, don't forget their unwavering commitment to control and stifle media coverage of the games, and the stage is set for the ultimate showcase of money and marketing. So with these sorts of things happening for the 2008 and 2012 summer games, the organizers of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver are getting in on the act. A Canadian minister has introduced a bill that would give Olympic organizers an almost unbelievable amount of control to restrict the use of not just its trademarks, but a host of other words, including "winter, gold, silver, bronze, sponsor, Vancouver, Whistler, 2010, tenth, medals, and games". Again, as Michael Geist points out, it's completely unclear why the Olympics and its organizers deserves such a high level of protection above and beyond the trademark protections available to everybody else. Furthermore, the law isn't particularly clear on where this protection ends, which could have the ruinous effect of giving Olympic organizers to stifle all sorts of free speech. While the money the games can bring in to an area can be significant, giving its organizers all sorts of special legal powers and protections is a step too far -- but one politicians are too often willing to make.


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(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 2:38pm

    The Olympics better hurry up and trademark the word "game" before the NFL beats them to it.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 3:02pm

    i hate the Olympics

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 3:03pm

    Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics

    I now owe roughly 8,000 dollars

     

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  4.  
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    wolff, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 3:03pm

    If Only..

    At times like this i wish I was a billionaire. I would take every single word they had "rights" to and make a huge ad for something else. Then I would go sit in another country and laugh as they complained and tried to sue. This stuff is getting ridiculous.

     

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  5.  
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    wifezilla, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 3:05pm

    Der!

    Stifling talk about your event...who is the marketing genius that came up with that one?

     

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  6.  
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    misanthropic humanist, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 3:09pm

    nut meet sledgehammer

    From TFA "The legislation is supposedly intended to deal with ambush marketing, which are attempts by businesses to associate themselves with the Olympics without becoming official sponsors."

    So, all that is necessary to accomplish this is to have official sponsors use the phrase "Official sponsors of the Olympic Games". Anything not carrying this precise slogan is clearly not an official sponsor. Problem solved.

    The slogan is a declaration. Any entity falsely carrying the slogan is clearly making a misrepresentation which is afforded remedy under existing law.


    Of course the organisers claim that "people get confused"

    Excuse me? Fuck You! How dare you presume who may or may not be "confused". You have no authority, expertise, insight or right to profess on matters of the genral publics ability to differentiate on such matters. What kind of disgraceful arrogance and self-important distain is that?

    And besides, from where does the assumption come that businesses forging a tenuous association with the games are harmful? Are the games not meant to benefit the local economy of the host nation and its cities?

    This is a *classic* case of the zero-sum "your gain is my loss" thinking we have utterly destroyed here so many times.

    It's not enough that the Olympic Games are a 2700 year old phonomenon, and that Winters have occured since the planet started rotating 4.5 billion years ago, no, these cretins want to patent the words used to denote the elements now.

    Is there anything more they could do to invite contempt and throw the very notion of trademarks into disrepute? I think not, but no doubt the weasels will think of something.

     

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  7.  
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    DJS, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 3:20pm

    Heh

    I think I'm going to trademark the words:

    Event
    Snow
    Athlete
    Place
    Score(ed)
    Judge.....

    That ought ta teach them cocksuckers..... oooh i think I'll tm that word too......

     

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  8.  
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    William, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 3:21pm

    Step 3: Profit.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 3:26pm

    I Own Product and Red.

    Bono, Your mine...

     

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  10.  
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    Haapi, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 3:27pm

    That's nonsense and so is this...

    Anyone who thinks it will SNOW in Vancouver in the WINTER of 2010 more than a TENTH as much as in the mountains of the Olympic Peninsula is just a Whistler in the dark.

    There, that's a few of those pesky words!

    No more nonsense than that bill.

     

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  11.  
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    DJS, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 3:29pm

    RE Heh

    I think I had better take:

    Torch
    Flame
    Spirit.......


    There we go.... I think i'm set for early retirement now!

    Note to self write my MP and tell him what i think of this Bullshit(TM)

     

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  12.  
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    dorpus, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 3:53pm

    Miss Universe Syndrome

    Miss Universe contests are taken more seriously by developing nations, who use Miss Universe as "proof" that their women are the "most beautiful in the world". Wealthy countries don't give a shit -- media barely mentions it, the contests often aren't shown on TV.

    Is the same thing happening in Olympics, where countries insecure about their place in the world make a bigger deal out of it? Chinese, Russians, Canadians bend over backward to get gold medals in their volleyball games, obscure types of weight lifting, or "curling".

     

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  13.  
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    Rick, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 4:48pm

    I think I'll just copyright the alphabet...

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Miss Universe Syndrome

    Curling is an extremly skilled sport.

     

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  15.  
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    Boost, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Re: Miss Universe Syndrome

    Yeah, but they still play it with broooms. I'm not even certain they are wearing ice skates.

    When shall we see rally racing in the games?

     

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  16.  
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    James Holmes, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 6:12pm

    I call these words

    I am now going to claim ownership on the following words:

    is
    the
    and
    I
    blunderbuss

    and the following punctuation:

    .
    '
    "
    :

    if anyone from now on uses any of these, they will owe $1000 per infraction.

     

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  17.  
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    Old Guy, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 7:30pm

    It was winter when I drove through Vancouver in my gold Cadillac. The silver light shown off the snow, the sun's light bronze as I made my way toward Whistler.The little signs along the way naming the organization who claim to sponsor each road were spaced an even tenth of a mile apart. The traffic crawled , it seemed like it would be 2010 before I got there. I imagine that, a veteran of two wars, a medal winner. What kind of games do these people think life is...

    hehe sue me!

     

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  18.  
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    |333173|3|_||3, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 7:59pm

    Official sponsor

    Even Official is unnessescary, just sponsor would do, unless the Olympics were expecting to get a lot of bribes, which would of course be unnofficail sponsors.
    I very much doubt they could completely lock down most of those words, since Gold and silver would be used by jewelers. 2010 would be virtually unprotectable, otherwise a 2010 calendar could not be sold, anmd tenth would be difficult as well.
    Prohibiting the use of Vancouver could make it hard to go to the games. Bannin gthe use of "games" would have a huge effect on reporting other sports, but would provide some entertainment for the viewers to listen to the results of the reporters hunt through the thesaurus

     

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  19.  
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    jasondoes, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 8:11pm

    Alex I'lll take trademark for 10k

    If I trademark the word trademark and refuse to grant licence will all this nonsense go away?

     

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  20.  
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    PT, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 4:13am

    If very few people show up at the games...

    Would that send a clear message to the Olympic organizers that they just destroyed the sport?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 4:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Miss Universe Syndrome

    I'm not even certain they are wearing ice skates. They don't.

     

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  22.  
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    AC, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 11:02am

    "Again, as Michael Geist points out, it's completely unclear why the Olympics and its organizers deserves such a high level of protection above and beyond the trademark protections available to everybody else."

    I'm not sure how you answer a value judgement like "deserves," but here's *why* it happens: Hosting the Olympics is damned expensive. The city needs to try to recoup as much of the cost as possible. Advertising is the typical means of doing so, but that means that advertisers need to shell out a ton of cash. They're not doing that without guaranteed exclusivity. Thus, we see inane-looking laws that are designed to prevent Bob's Electronics mentioning anything Olympic-sounding in an ad if Best Buy paid a ton for the sponsorship.

     

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