Olympics Continues Threatening ICANN Because It Won't Block All Olympics-Related Terms

from the fetchez-la-vache dept

We’ve established the weird fact that various countries seem to blatantly ignore the basic principles of copyright and trademark laws within their own countries to grant the Olympics special protections that go well beyond what is reasonable. It seems that the Olympics has come to expect this sort of fealty from everyone, without exception. Earlier this year, we noted that the Olympics were threatening ICANN about its new top level domains, because ICANN wouldn’t bend over and block anything that the International Olympics Committee deemed owned by itself. It protested ICANN’s new TLD proposals by saying that any benefits were “outweighed by the risks, harms and costs it poses” to the Olympics. Uh yeah.

ICANN’s response was to more or less tell the IOC to go pound sand. So, it appears that the Olympics are back and threatening a lawsuit again. I say, let them. I doubt the IOC wants to actually test it’s bizarre and blatantly expansionist interpretation of intellectual property laws in any court. The various lawyers who represent the IOC must know that it will lose and lose badly. That’s why it’s been threatening for months with no actual lawsuits being filed. You can even see this in the latest threat, where the IOC complains that it filed 11 comments on ICANN’s policies and every one has been ignored. It seems that ICANN might want to continue this policy and see if it can call the IOC’s bluff here.

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Comments on “Olympics Continues Threatening ICANN Because It Won't Block All Olympics-Related Terms”

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BruceLD says:


The olympics are a multimillion advertising industry. It’s a business that uses athletes pride and patriotism to see advertising. The corporations earns BILLIONS while the exploited athletes earn a crappy peice metal and fame. If the athlete is “lucky” the will get sponsors which of course the corporations continue to exploit the athlete, etc.

The tactics of the IOC really sound alot like other corporations (MPAA and RIAA) which I doubt is a mere coincidence.

The IOC can suck it…

Joe Magly (profile) says:

Re: Subject

I agree that the bully tactics the IOC uses are overboard but how is their business model evil?

Athletes want to compete in the Olympics in various events.

People all over the world want to watch people compete in those events.

Putting on these kinds of events requires a ton of resources (money, time, etc) and logistics to even happen.

The IOC is a business providing this service that is paid for by advertising. Is it somehow wrong for them to expect to make a profit on the venture?

The athletes are not being exploited, no one forced them (well at least for most participants) to do what they are doing and if they didn’t feel the potential pay off was worthwhile they would not do it at all.

I know the athletes are a big part of this but you are completely discounting what the IOC is bringing to the table as having little or no value. Without the IOC or some organization putting resources into such an event the Olympics would be little more than some locals running around in an empty field.

Could it be done better, cheaper or in a model that is non-profit? Sure but it does not mean that the poor athletes are being exploited because someone is making a profit somewhere.

By your logic you might as well say the host cities are exploring the athletes too since very often host cities benefit greatly from the Olympics. Let not forget those evil exploiting fans too, I mean, they didn’t do anything but they get all the pleasure of watching the event.

that_id (profile) says:

Re: Re: Subject

The IOC is a monopoly on a several thousand year old planet-wide international tradition.
For them to try to claim IP rights on the Olympics is about as dumb as trying to copyright or trademark dirt.
If they ever were successful, I would love to see “International ___ Committees” pop-up for every new sport that is adopted by the Olympics, then charge the IOC for using ‘their sport.’

Joe Magly (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Subject

A monopoly is only a problem if they are, through some action, attempting to keep competition out of the market (I don’t know if they have or not). Considering events like the X Games I would say they aren’t even a monopoly but they do hold the lions share of the market.

As I said in my first reply I don’t disagree with you on the IP rights side of things but your rant about exploiting the athletes makes no sense.

As for committees charging to the use of a sport I don’t honestly know if you can put IP rights on the playing of a sport. That seems just as twisted as what the IOC is proposing though perhaps that was your point.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Subject

> A monopoly is only a problem if they are, through some action, attempting to keep competition out of the market.

They are attempting to keep competition out of the market! Not competition on sports, but competition on their monopoly of the use of the Olympic themes and anything vaguely related to them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Subject

It is evil because it harms the spirit of the Olympic Games.
The Olympics was revived because of the romance of being able to strive against adversity, to bring people together and share those moments. We cherish amateur athletes for their achievements and the OIC is turning that into a just another circus that don’t stand for anything.

Putting on these kinds of events requires a ton of resources (money, time, etc) and logistics to even happen.

All that is mostly paid for by the country hosting the games or do you think the IOC pays for the construction of roads, olympic villages and stadiums that cost billions?

In 1998, it was uncovered that several IOC members had taken bribes from members of the Salt Lake City bid committee for the hosting of the 2002 Winter Olympics, to ensure their votes were cast in favor of the American bid. The IOC pursued an investigation which led to the resignation of four members and expulsion of six others. The scandal set off further reforms that would change the way host cities are selected, to avoid similar cases in the future


Do you really think that its the spirit of the Olympics?

The IOC is not fulfilling their obligations, they are not upholding the bar for which those games where created, they have distorted the meaning of the games to make money and that is sad.

Olympics used to be something about purity, struggle, achievement and honor, not anymore.

Did they throw out the “no Pro athlete permited” out of the window already?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Subject

Could it be done better, cheaper or in a model that is non-profit? Sure but it does not mean that the poor athletes are being exploited because someone is making a profit somewhere.

It means that what the athletes are doing has no real meaning.

It became a business and not hope, is the meaning behind it that is being destroyed.

The IOC is a symbol of everything people hate, would you want your name associated with that?

Would you want to see people not cherish athletes anymore but see them as agents of some horrible entity?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Huh

Funny you take that attitude about him considering that Apple and the others that have their roots in the Homebrew Computer Club have the same hippie vibe going on

Watch “Triumph Of The Nerds”. You CANNOT die Wozniak’s pot-loving “woah man, peace and love, maaaaan” vibe there, and even Jobs in the old days to

DogBreath says:

The pot calling the kettle black

Found this bit of trivia on the history of the IOC and their fight against others use of the words “Olympic” and “Olympiad” very telling:

The level of exasperation on the part of the IOC seemed to reach new heights in 1953. Despite its best efforts, the IOC seemed to be fighting a losing battle. Olympic Review reported, “Two cases have just been reported to us which strike us as stupidity raised to the highest pitch on the part of the organizers. At Zurich, a contest has just taken place called, ‘A chewing-gum Olympiad for Children.'” “A contest for a “Boogie-Woogie Olympiad” took place, last February in Hamburg. The finals are to be held in Switzerland….. where the Olympic Committee of that nation is too look out for squalls!” What is not done for the sake of publicity and money!” “It is sad to see organizers showing such lack of discrimination.”

Funny, because that is exactly what the IOC is about: “Publicity” and “Money”.

Well, at least we still have this to look forward to:

Opponents claim that the USOC allows events such as the “Rat Olympics”, “Beer Olympics” or “Tank Olympics” to be held uncontested. Generally the USOC and IOC are more concerned with international multi-sport competitions, that would be confused with the Olympic Games. However, in February 2003, the USOC asked Nebraska Wesleyan University to refrain from using the name Olympic for their annual “Rat Olympics” which had been held 23 years in succession.

No… not even the “Rat Olympics” is safe, anymore.

One can only hope based on the rules on Protected Game Marks laid out for the 2012 games in London that we don’t lose the annual Cotswold Olimpick Games. I seriously doubt anyone would be confused this is part of the Olympic Games:


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