No Free Speech In Advertising When It Comes To The Olympics

from the you-must-pay-up-first dept

Ah, the Olympics. While many people think of great sporting events, increasingly, it seems that the Olympics is becoming associated with heavy handed attempts to stop anyone from mentioning the Olympics without paying up first. A few years ago, the US Olympics committee went cease-and-desist happy by threatening anyone who used the word "Olympics" even if it was clear that the event was separate from the real Olympics. Then, at last year's Athens Olympics, various radio stations were forced to turn off their regular internet streams because they had only paid for the radio rights, and not coughed up even more money for the internet radio rights. Then, athletes were told that they were not allowed to write about the Olympics on their own websites, as that might take away from the media companies that had paid to cover the Olympics. So, the latest news, submitted by John, is that over in the UK, a bill is being proposed that would make it illegal for an advertiser to mention the Olympics or use imagery related to the Olympics unless they were an official sponsor. This isn't about trademark violations, which would be covered by existing law -- but about specifically banning any reference to the games. Non-sponsoring advertisers could not use any combination of the following words: "games", "medals", "gold", "2012", "sponsor" or "summer" in any ads. The Olympics claims they need to do this to "protect" their sponsors -- but it's unclear why they deserve any kind of special protection. It's just yet another case of people misusing intellectual property for their own short-term benefit. In this case, all it will serve to do is make the Olympics that much less interesting.

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  1. identicon
    The Dude, 12 Feb 2010 @ 3:47pm

    You Better know where you towel is.

    Well what do you expect! England is the land where if you get an idea you get hit in the head with a shovel. (Note: this is a joke in regards to Douglas Adams novel. I am not really itending this to be serious.)

    Or at least in the judicial since. These are the same guys who say if you want your CD in a MP3 format you have to buy both formats don't use your computer to rip the CD into a MP3.

    Whats next? Animals sueing people??????

    You hit a Cat with your car and next thing you know you are having to pay some society of cats money because of wrongfulld death???

    Where is my electronic thumb, it's time to get off this rock.

    Again: Brithish people = Great, Judicial systems of the world = brain dead zombies who haven't changed mentally since grade school.

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