Obama And Romney Each Have An Ad Disappear As The Olympics Gets Snippy About Anyone Referencing The Olympics
from the non-political-because-politics-don't-pay dept
While we’ve had plenty of stories about the Olympics being overly aggressive in over protecting its (loosely defined) intellectual property rights, it appears that it’s now also targeting both major parties’ presidential campaigns. Both Obama and Romney apparently launched commercials recently with “Olympic Themes.” The Olympics then called out the Obama Super PAC campaign for supposedly infringing on its copyright. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) claims that it does not allow footage to be used for political purposes, though I do wonder how it deals with cases of fair use (which this may or may not be). Either way, soon after that a Romney ad that also had an Olympics theme (both ads used footage of Romney in his role as CEO of the Olympic Organizing Committee for the Salt Lake City Olympics a decade ago) went offline as well.
One would hope that — yet again — these stories get the campaigns interested in the ways in which copyright law can restrict certain forms of speech. No matter who you support for President, the idea that neither major candidate can reference the Olympics seems absurd. Yes, the Olympics doesn’t want to be associated with politics (for obvious reasons), but that’s a moral rights issue, and in the US, such moral rights don’t apply to (most) forms of copyright (and definitely don’t apply in this case). What’s left, then, is that the two campaigns are limited in their ability to express themselves freely. That seems like a serious issue, but one which it’s likely the two campaigns will mostly (unfortunately) ignore.