Mexican Government Officials Have Press Creds Withdrawn From Olympics Over Uploaded Cell Phone Footage

from the still-the-most-live-olympics? dept

We’ve been detailing the ridiculous lengths the IOC and other Olympics organizations go in bullying others with their super special intellectual property protections. It’s always quite stunning to watch an event supposedly about fostering international cooperation and sporting devolve into a mess of commercial protectionism, speech-stifling threats, and the kind of strong-arm tactics usually reserved for members of organized crime groups.

But I will give these Olympic goons credit: they appear to consider their bullying a matter of principle, deciding not to go any easier on an entire group of Mexican government officials because one of them uploaded one video of one Mexican athlete to a social media account.

According to a report by Mexico’s Eluniversal, the Rio Organizing Committee has taken the decision to withdraw press credentials from Mexico’s National Commission of Physical Culture and Sports (Conade) following a copyright dispute.

The publication says that Conade violated licensing conditions put in place by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after one of its members filmed the gymnast Alexa Moreno using a cellphone. The video was subsequently posted to social media. According to the Committee, Conade failed to obtain the necessary rights to broadcast Olympic content, so in retaliation nine Conade members, who work for the Mexican government, had their press credentials taken away.

Yes, why didn’t this government person secure the rights to take a cell phone video of one of their country’s own athletes competing in an event? Didn’t he or she know that the Olympics operates in a time-bubble, where the things the rest of the world does every day, like upload short videos to Facebook, don’t happen?

Making this more hilarious is that Conade is a government group specifically tasked with promoting athletics within Mexico.

While the Committee probably felt it needed to set an example, taking away the credentials of the Conade staff will be felt back home in Mexico. Conade is the arm of the Mexican government charged with promoting physical education and sport in the country. Before their punishment, they were also the conduit between the Games and their countrymen.

But while the Rio Organizing Committee punishes the whole of Mexico for the sharing of a single video, thousands of people are sharing recorded events at will on sites such as The Pirate Bay.

Because nothing says international cooperation like petulantly nixing the press credentials of a country’s government representatives for uploading a single cell phone video while pirate streams and video sharing go on elsewhere unabated. Gold medal.

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Comments on “Mexican Government Officials Have Press Creds Withdrawn From Olympics Over Uploaded Cell Phone Footage”

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DB (profile) says:

The IOC claims to own all performance rights. Which goes beyond what any country typically allows.

In the U.S. the standard is “fixed in tangible form”, which limits copyright to a specific recording. Major league sports have pioneered the effort to assert ownership to everything relating to the game, including reporting results, but that generally hasn’t been supported by the U.S. courts.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

As a society, perhaps its time to give serious thought to the idea that just because we’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider stopping it.

The IOC is insane. Drunk on power & somehow some countries still bid to host and nuke their economies thinking that this time the promises of making money will be true.

We foot the bill for building stadiums for “associations” that have billions & yet somehow accept if its not a sell out we can’t show the game to the residents who are dealing with pothole filled roads because that budget vanished to give the stadium a break.

Billions of dollars change hands and yet there is no real benefit for those having to pay the bills… perhaps we should wise up and put a stop to it.
Fuck tradition, if its stupid you stop doing it… otherwise they’d still be burning cat ladies in Salem.

Anonymous Coward says:

The Olympics are a joke. And nobody cares.

The IOC and the Olympics are everything that is wrong with modern sports taken to the nth degree; public money for private events, steroids, insane intellectual property maximalism, and so forth.

As a result, nobody cares anymore. Nobody wants to host it. The stadiums are half empty, even for top flight events. Most local bars won’t even put it on TV (instead they show NFL preseason games with 3rd and 4th stringers playing each other), and even the ones that do only put it on one TV.

As a libertarian, I’m appalled when taxpayer money is used to construct gargantuan stadiums for sports leagues worth billions, but the Olympics takes the cake by a mile. Poor families are often displaced and removed from their property by power of eminent domain. Tens of billions in public money is spent on extravagant facilities (often in places that can ill afford them like Athens, Sochi and Rio) to be used for two weeks and then abandoned. In a decade, it’s completely fallen apart, and looks like something straight out of the Chernobyl exclusion zone. I’m no more thrilled when our domestic sports leagues use public money for their Taj Mahals, but at least they get a lot more use out of them. At least 81 games a year in an MLB stadium, 41 for the NHL and NBA, and 10 for the NFL — plus playoff games.

The steroids are out of control in the Olympics. An entire country just had a significant portion of its athletes suspended for juicing. It’s everywhere. And it’s probably just the tip of the iceberg. MLB may have had a PED problem during the Steroid Era, but they’ve done a pretty good job cleaning up the sport in the 2010s.

Sports leagues are often the worst copyright and trademark maximalists. They have on several occasions claimed that facts can be copyrighted, and have been repeatedly told otherwise by US courts. Once again, the IOC takes it so much further. The IOC’s views on intellectual property are not only beyond insane, but often beyond the scope of normal copyright and trademark law that every other entity has to abide by. Come early February, non sponsor advertisers can’t say “Super Bowl” but they can show generic looking football scenes, or feature retired or even current NFL players in ads. Not so with the Olympics. Olympic athletes can’t be featured in any ad around the time of the games. Companies can’t even wish our athletes good luck. I have yet to see even one local business put up anything saying “go team USA” because they’re probably well aware that the USOC would sue them into bankruptcy. Yet, when the Pirates, Steelers or Penguins (I’m from Pittsburgh) make it deep into the postseason, the city is awash in signs cheering on the local team; and unless it’s done in a way that implies a sponsorship from the team/league (a car dealership in Vancouver got a C&D from the NHL a few years ago for that very reason), they have no problem with it, and probably even encourage it. You can’t name anything “Olympics” or “-lympics,” in spite of the fact that it’s a concept that predates the founding of both Christianity and Islam. Even small non-commercial things have gotten threatening letters from the USOC. The NFL may own the trademark to “Super Bowl,” but you can still have a “(something else) Bowl”; likewise, the NHL may own the trademark to “Stanley Cup,” but you can still have a “(something else) Cup.” In fact, the other major league in Canada, the Canadian Football League, does just that with its Grey Cup. You can’t even say “2016 Games,” even if they avoid using the dreaded O word.

The Olympics aren’t about any of the mumbo jumbo the organizers prattle on about. It’s a money pit that ruins economies, displaces the poor, and makes a mockery of the IP system.

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