UK Trying To Censor Parody Video About The 2012 Olympics

from the really-now? dept

We've discussed for many years how the Olympics has a ridiculously overaggressive approach to attacking free speech for those who criticize or mention aspects of the Olympics without permission. In most locations that host the Olympics, special extraordinary laws get passed against specific expressions around the Olympics that go beyond ordinary restrictions on speech. London, it seems, has been particularly willing to bend over backwards to appease the International Olympic Committee.

Take, for example, this story of a simple parody video about the 2012 Olympics that has been taken down over claims it violates the Olympics' IP rights. The video is clearly a parody, making use of the 2012 Olympics' creepy mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, to show them in what appears to be a London riot (using some computer graphics work). The original video got about 90,000 views before being taken down. As the link above notes, there is no right to parody in the UK, so while it may be legal to have the video taken down, it's still ridiculous. The site linked above, LiberalConspiracy.org, insists that it'll keep posting the video if it gets taken down. But, as of the time I write this, I'm embedding the working version of the video, though I wouldn't be surprised if it's gone before too long.
Honestly, the video seems pretty tame. Perhaps the Olympics thinks it hurts its "brand" to have such a video, but it sure seems like censoring parody videos does a hell of a lot more reputation damage to the Olympics than a silly parody video of its mascots.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 10:53am

    Guess they learned a few tricks from China in 2008 :)

     

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  2.  
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    Nate, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 11:09am

    The bigger question here is What The Hell are those mascots supposed to be?!? It almost makes me want to cry out for Odysseus to come save London from the monsters.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 11:09am

    when the UK has got pricks like Cameron in charge of government, and Vaizey in charge of internet related stuff, what the hell do you expect? the only reason the UK got the Olympics this time around was because no other country could afford it (same as the UK) or really wanted it, given that the attendance will be limited to those who can afford it as well (same as the UK). it's gonna be an even bigger White Elephant than usual. wonder what they will say when the cost versus income figures are released and what they will do with the stadium afterwards? be like the Millennium Dome, complete waste!

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 11:09am

    "Olympics' IP rights"

    The Olympians still have rights to the IP? Why weren't we told sooner?

    Hooray! Greece is saved!

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    I-Blz, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    Re:

    Apparently, they"re slag from the last girder of the London Olympic Stadium. Dont ask me why, that's the official origin story.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 11:23am

    By the way, just wondering about this; there's something I don't understand in this internet age: "there is no right to parody in the UK", so what prevents you from sending it to some friend in, say, the US where they do have that right, and ask him to upload it to, say, youtube.com. What can they do about it then? Since the uploader, domain and servers are all US based, UK law simply does not apply anymore, right? Or is that not possible?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 11:26am

    Not feeling the parody here. Seems mostly like a mean spirited dig by the anti-Olympic games crowd. Parody would get a laugh or something, this is just insulting.

     

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  8.  
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    TheStupidOne, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    And watching your government systematically dismantle your rights in order to have the opportunity to host a mega sporting event that brings in a lot of money is not insulting? Parody doesn't need to be funny, especially if it is sending a message.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    CharlieBrown, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 11:34am

    Re: Olympic Costs

    Aparrently the Nine Network Australia paid $80,000,000 for the right to broadcast the 2012 Olympics in Australia. A few more like that should offset the cost of building the stadium.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 11:36am

    Re:

    Well, even if they weren't part of the "anti-olympic games crowd", I'm most certain that they are now.

    If the goal of the Olympic Committee (or whoever holds the IP) was to ensure that people keep hating them, then they have succeeded brilliantly.

     

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  11.  
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    GMacGuffin (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 11:44am

    Re:

    Perhaps "satire" is the word we're looking for here. But I'm not a good barometer. I thought it hilarious.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

    If they send a DMCA takedown - sue

    Would be a great case to try and get the DMCA invalidated

    If the video is taken down then sue claiming your first amendment rights were violated. To me the DMCA is clearly unconstitutional, I'm surprised I haven't heard of any court cases on it

     

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  13.  
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    Deirdre (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    Why are Olympic mascots always so creepy? Considering the amount of money spent on everything you'd think they could hire some kick ass design work.

     

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  14.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Olympic Costs

    That money goes to the IOC and not the host nation...

     

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  15.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re:

    And watching your government systematically dismantle your rights in order to have the opportunity to host a mega sporting event that brings in a lot of money to the IOC and sponsors but not the host nation, except maybe some Conservative campaign contributors is not insulting? Parody doesn't need to be funny, especially if it is sending a message.

    FTFY

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

    Re: If they send a DMCA takedown - sue

    Wrong Country, wrong laws

     

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  17.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 12:35pm

    Re:

    There is this funny thing that happens with parodies. That is that they tend to make some people really mad while making others laugh. I'm willing to bet a lot of people over the years have felt upset and insulted by Weird Al.

     

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  18.  
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    V (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 12:40pm

    Olympics

    I don't think anyone takes the Olympics seriously anymore. I can't even remember the last time I watched them.

    If the Spartans were alive today, they would no doubt put the entire Olympic Council to the spear.

     

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  19.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Re:

    Nah, we're a polopice state all our own in the World of London. Plus, those shitheel at the Met run the show, so...comedy gold.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

    it's a stupid video and the olympic committee has made it more popular with their stupid attempts at censorship.

     

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  21.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 3:05pm

    Re:

    Since the uploader, domain and servers are all US based, UK law simply does not apply anymore, right?

    Very true, since the UK has the international clout to sue it's way out of a paper bag and not a lot more these days. On the other hand, the other way round where US law doesn't apply in the UK is seems extradition and a criminal trial is called for.

     

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  22.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 3:09pm

    Re:

    Why are Olympic mascots always so creepy?

    Well they had a good start with the olympic logo... ahem!

     

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  23.  
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    Watchit (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 3:23pm

    Streisand effect

    Oh I love Streisand effects!!!! I'm gonna go share this on FACEBOOK!!! :D

     

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  24.  
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    TechnoMage (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 3:23pm

    Actually parody isn't legal of the Olympics

    I know USA and other countries had to alter their copyright laws before the Olympics could be held in their country, I wouldn't be surprised if this take-down _IS_ legal in the UK right now.

    I thought Mike had covered this before....

     

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  25.  
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    Watchit (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Actually parody isn't legal of the Olympics

    It is legal, and he did point it out. There is now right to parody in the UK

     

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  26.  
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    Watchit (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: Actually parody isn't legal of the Olympics

    it is illegal*** in the UK. oops :P

     

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  27.  
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    Watchit (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Actually parody isn't legal of the Olympics

    oh wait... ummm... actually i don't know if it is illegal per se to parody in the UK just that you have no right to do it i guess...?

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 3:34pm

    Re:

    Well that's like you're opinion man, and you're obviously easily insulted.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Re:

    Creepy. Uh, guys, "1984" was supposed to be a warning, not a blueprint.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 7:41pm

    Those mascots kinda look like ReBoot characters. You know, the blocky ones with one eye?

     

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  31.  
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    Watchit (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 10:16pm

    Re:

    whoa your right! o.0

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    Andrew F (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 11:34pm

    Re: Re:

    So the mascots for the London Olympics are slag ... how appropriate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 5:38am

    Re:

    Freedom of Expression, Article 19, born 1948, buried in the rain. Ignored. Is that what happens to them? No time for speech? Only our censors leave roses. Silent rights ending silently. LiberalConspiracy understood. Humans are litigious in nature. No matter how much you try to dress it up, to disguise it. LiberalConspiracy saw society's true face. Chose to be a parody of it, a joke. I heard a joke once. Webmaster goes to analyst, says he's depressed. The DMCA seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world. Analyst says "Treatment is simple. The funny lolcat site, YouTube, is in the internets. Go see it. That should pick you up". Man bursts into tears. "But doctor", he says, "I am the Webmaster of YouTube." Good joke. Everybody laughs. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.

     

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  34.  
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    to be honest, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 12:41pm

    Re:

    i think it desrcibes the bitish government perectly....and the american government....and the french....

     

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  35.  
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    Sheogorath (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 6:52pm

    This video could have easily been legal

    All Mothers Best Child had to do was find out who was responsible for the creation of everything they used in their vid, credit accordingly, then they could have claimed 'Fair Dealing for the purposes of criticism and review', making the vid legally untouchable. Further details can be found at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/section/30

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 6:53pm

    This video could have easily been legal

    All Mothers Best Child had to do was find out who was responsible for the creation of everything they used in their vid, credit accordingly, then they could have claimed 'Fair Dealing for the purposes of criticism and review', making the vid legally untouchable. Further details can be found at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/section/30

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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