Don't Put The Words 'Rugby' 'World' And 'Cup' Together In New Zealand, Or You Might Get Fined

from the descriptive? dept

Not again. What is it with major international sporting events and governments’ willingness to bend over backwards to give them extraordinary intellectual property protections? We all know about how the Olympics seems to always get intellectual property rights that go beyond any standard trademark laws. And we’ve seen similar things with the FIFA World Cup. Apparently, the same is happening for other “World Cups” as well. Lawrence D’Oliveiro points us to the news that the Rugby World Cup was able to get a special law passed in New Zealand that could make using those three words together in the wrong way subject to fines of up to $150,000. Basically, you can’t say those words in any sort of fundraiser, promotion or event, unless you’re an official sponsor. The Rugby World Cup people promise they’ll “use common sense” before going after anyone using those words, but already some fundraisers and car rental shops have been told to change their signs for mentioning the World Cup.

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Comments on “Don't Put The Words 'Rugby' 'World' And 'Cup' Together In New Zealand, Or You Might Get Fined”

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Anonymous Coward says:

TEDxNYED – David Wiley – 03/06/10

In medieval times the church proposed and enforced laws to limit how people should use the bible. In those days people could loose their property, cattle and life for reading the bible in their mother tongs.

We came a long way, but still not enough.

IP is the new religion that will burn in flames some day.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Rugby World Cup - bah humbug

personally, i blame the crony-ism that comes for half of the balance of powers not doing their job (doesn’t matter if it’s the Governor General or parliament. Both need to do their job for it to work, it doesn’t matter which of them isn’t, it’ll break) combined with ‘power corrupts’ greed, and the tendency for the more ‘right’ leaning parties to not actually consider how what they do affects anything other than their pockets.

of course, the more left leaning parties have their issues too (and the tendency to get reelected over and over and over due to not sucking as badly as everyone else doesn’t help…)

*sigh* i have this sneaking suspicion that we’re going to eventually end up in a defacto single party state simply because every single other party proves time and time again to be utterly incompetent on every level ….

Anonymous Coward says:

New Zealand is run by a bunch of nimrods. Who gives a crap about country with 4.6M people and 40M sheep. The idiots can sell their liberties and freedoms to a bunch of idiots that can use their heads to bounce a ball.. like anyone in NZ could do anything better with their heads. Too busy with something 45 cm below and the 9 to 1 ratio.

If NZ disappeared tomorrow, no one would notice, let alone care. But with Australia as a role model, what would you expect..

quantum says:

Re: Re:

wow, you’re spraying a lot of untargetted and unsunstantiated bile here, mostly seemingly unrelated to the substance of this issue.

yes this is a poorly-thought out IP decision – but NZ is hardly alone in this realm. and if you want to talk about selling liberties and freedoms, i suggest you look no further than the grand old US of A. can anyone say “DMCA”? or how about “PATRIOT Act”?

and clearly, you don’t know new zealanders – i doubt you’d find a single new zealander who would list australia as a “role model.”

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m wondering when all those sites that do copy things will get shut-down.

Replica of Wall-e built by technical college prototype and design students.

Those SOB’s stealing Disney ideas, I’m sick, they even give out a pirate site were people share and openly tell others how to infringe on Disney copyrights not only that they also did R2-D2, George Lucas should be furious.

How dare those pirate teaching schools use others property without paying up or asking for permission.

disneyfan says:

Re: Copyright and patent infringement

Usually in the USA, Educational institutions have rights that go beyond consumer rights based on educational purposes. They are likely allowed to use/build proprietary items due to no profit is derived from the activity. Educational systems can break copyright, break software, copy protected content for investigational purposes.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

we also like the idea of being independant from china…

we’ve had a long history of selling our stuff (other than export products, obviously) to forigeners ending Very badly (starting right back with the reason we were part of the empire, have the treaty of Waitangi, and had a whole bunch of civil wars, leading up to the most recent blatantly obvious example of both American and Australian companies dicking us over with the railways… or the banks…)

heck, even ‘free trade’ doesn’t actually seem to work in our favour most of teh time… not that that stops the government pursuing it with great enthusiasm.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

But Wait, There’s More!

The Economic Development Minister can declare a “clean zone”:

The “clean zone” is designated by the economic development minister as one that must be kept “free of unofficial advertising.” It can include roads and footpaths in the area of a major event.

The new law allows government officers to obtain warrants and to use reasonable force to search private property and “seize or cover up offending advertising.”

According to the Sunday Star Times, groups caught wearing clothes advertising a rival company will be able to either remove the clothes or leave the clean zone.

More details about the Major Events Management Act here and

Pete Austin says:

You may be exaggerating this law

I think charity fundraisers/newspapers/ordinary people should be safe

This law seems limited to “goods or services; or (b) a brand of goods or services; or (c) a person who provides goods or services”

Or use in “a business, trade, or occupation”

And it includes lots of exclusions for everyday uses.

Didn’t stop them going after this school event, but I think this was overreach by Rugby World Cup Ltd.

Would any NZ lawyer like to comment?

out_of_the_blue says:

@ NZ Citizen

“Where is their legitimate mandate for this, where is the moral authority?”

The mindless masses of those who *watch* sports have long ago legitimized this by accepting sports monopolies; this is a mere short extension. The authority may not be “moral”, but it exists de facto. — So, do you join me in calling for removing legalized monopolies from all sports? In the US, that’d include for a start NHL, NFL, MLB. … (crickets) Yeah, I thought not. Then, we’re in for a straitening of natural rights in favor of the granted privileges of monopolies.

“Or is this the action of a weak, spineless tyrant?”

No, it’s the action of a strong gov’t against feeble minded masses who are kept pacified with bread and circuses.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: @ NZ Citizen

actually, most monopolies in NZ come about due to the limited market size, more than anything. you can remove them, but they promptly reform simply due to the lack of room for competition.

which is why the government tends to heavily regulate them instead.

which is fine until something like this happens… regulatory capture, i think it was?

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Re: Not Just Those Words

Cowardly Annon asked:

So is it just “Rugby World Cup” that has been trademarked? the three words in that order?

Unfortunately, no. The TVNZ item reports that even saying “Rugby 2011” is verboten.

And there was an item on Fair Go that same evening, where the NZRU representative claimed that even a radio ad saying “be part of the world’s biggest rugby party with <company name>” was in breach.

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