Vancouver Olympics Using Copyright Law (Rather Than Scalping Laws) To Ban Ticket Reselling

from the misuse-of-copyright dept

Michael_S points us to the news that the Vancouver Olympics -- no stranger to massive abuse of intellectual property law -- is now using copyright law to prevent ticket resales. Now, lots of places around the world have anti-scalping laws that forbid reselling of event tickets (or reselling them above a certain price). Vancouver, however, does not have any such law. No problem for the Olympics folks... they're using the special copyright they were granted on a whole host of common terms, including "Vancouver 2010" to sue resellers offering the tickets. Obviously, that's got nothing to do with the purpose of copyright law, but when you grant silly monopolies, don't be surprised when they're abused.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Mike Shore, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 6:57pm


    These guys trademarked certain terms to "prevent abuse" (read: abuse the law) and shut down any business with "Olympic" in their name, like "Olympic Pizza". This pizza joint has been around for years and somehow they are infringing a trademark? Buncha BS.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Casey, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 7:20pm

    Re: VanOC

    I am a Vancouverite myself and am in no way supportive of VanOC's strong-arm tactics, but in all fairness to them, the pizza place was using the Olympic rings in their logo. A quick search on Google brings up a host of Greek restaurants with Olympic or Olympia in the name against whom VanOC has not brought any action.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Re: VanOC

    And it was just recently that the "olympic" rings were added to their logo ?

    If it was not a problem before ... why is it now ?

    In all fairness my ass

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Dan, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 7:34pm

    I hereby vow not resell any O-limp-ic tickets, in fact I vow not to buy any at all. The Olympic committee is nothing more then a greedy scheme to profit from the talents of the contestants. Until they return to the original spirit of the games they will be no more important then any other greedy monopolistic corporation. They can keep their games, trademark, paraphernalia, broadcasts and any other crap they sell all to themselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Casey, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: VanOC

    It is a problem now because before Vancouver was a host city, we were merely a blip on the IOC's radar. Now that we have the Olympics, anything 'Olympic' takes on a new meaning.

    And this is purely anecdotal, but I highly doubt that VanOC owns the olympic or olympic rings trademarks and copyrights. I will bet that VanOC licensed those trademarks and copyrights from the IOC and is bound by those licensing agreements to protect them - regardless of whether or not it makes sense. So while all this scorn is being heaped on VanOC, I would bet that the IOC probably has some blame to take here. Again, this is my opinion only, but it does make sense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Craig, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 10:59pm

    Another thing VanOC wants to hush-hush

    There is a major gang war going on in and around the city. In Surrey and Langley and others in the metro Vancouver area you get daily reports of people being targeted for execution, gangsta style. Drive-by shooting are all the rage right now. Both men and women have been either seriously hurt or killed. One woman was murdered while driving with her 4 year old son in the back. The woman was "known to the police".

    Anyway, come to Vancouver and Whistler in 2010 to enjoy that event and be sure to keep your head down, because who can say if the bullets won't still be flying around town next February.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    jFiveNYC, Mar 21st, 2009 @ 12:37pm

    I'm from Atlanta and I remember when the Olympics can to town. The AOC was completey corrupt from top to bottom. The IOC came in and threaten to sue the Varsity restaurant because they added the rings to their to-go cups without permission. That is understandable but those restaurants I'm Vanc that have the rings are subject to intl copyright law, so if the IOC says take them down they must comply. But none of this matters because Canada sux, I blame them for harboring Terrence an Phillip, known international terrorists.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Rollie Cole (profile), Mar 21st, 2009 @ 12:51pm

    Use/Abuse of Copyright Law

    Does Canada have a "first sale doctrine"? Under US law, it is NOT a violation of copyright to sell a copy that you obtained legally.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2009 @ 2:07pm

    Bullets may still be flying during the Olympics, but at least we know they won't be bullets bearing an Olympics logo. Wait. I forgot, the IOC will license darned near anything, so maybe people who get shot will have the satisfaction of knowing that they were shot by the official bullets of the Olympics.

    I haven't watched the Olympics the last couple of rounds because they seem to have become a contest to see who is best at using steroids without getting caught.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2009 @ 7:52pm

    Olympic Rings

    One way to beat any copyright infringement allegation IMO is to alternate the colors on the rings -- just move em around.

    No sig. (I don't want any Olympic hit men after me!)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    eq2 plat, Mar 21st, 2009 @ 10:48pm

    Re: Use/Abuse of Copyright Law

    I don't think Canada has that law, for me, reselling of tickets is not a problem at all. Sometimes it's actually convenient to buy someone else's ticket than stand on a long queue in a booth that sell events tickets. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    ChrisB (profile), Mar 22nd, 2009 @ 4:25pm

    Scalping laws are nuts...

    Scalping laws have always driven me crazy. It is a perfect example of the nonsense that happens when you interfere with a free market economy. All tickets should be sold using an auction, then all scalpers would disappear and artists would gain all the profits currently going to scalpers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2009 @ 5:35pm

    Scalping isn't the issue

    Scalping is bad for many reasons. However, using copyright law to go after scalpers is just plain nuts. It diminishes the power of the copyright law and just gives otherwise law abiding citizens one more reason to laugh at and ignore laws.

    Not a good precedent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    TW Burger (profile), Mar 22nd, 2009 @ 6:04pm

    Scalping is Bad?

    The concept of scalping has always confused me. If I buy a stereo that was on sale at a deep discount and then resell it at a profit that is considered commerce. But, if I buy a concert ticket and resell it at a profit that's a crime or at least immoral? This smacks of RIAA style brain-washing.

    It would seem that scalping means that the tickets were sold too cheaply or were not made available in a manner that allowed the general public access to the exchange. If a scalper is willing to line up at three in the morning to get the much in demand tickets why should that person not make a profit? I would rather pay extra and get my sleep and not miss work.

    I think ChrisB's idea of an auction system is a good one. The price is what people think the ticket is worth, not what a scalper or a ticket selling monopoly set it to be.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Jeff, Mar 22nd, 2009 @ 9:45pm

    Grizzly Adams DID Have A Beard!

    Scalping is bad in the fact that a normal guy can't pay face value for tickets anymore. I played by all the rules and the only tix I could muster was to a prelim hockey game on a Wednesday for 2 teams I don't even know who are playing. Then you search and you can find tix to any event, but you have to pay dearly for them. It's hard to beat a company that knows all the tricks to getting ticks. I know I'm gonna end up paying for them, but I don't have to be happy about it!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 6:00am

    Had Enough

    I have had enough of the Olympic runners massive abuse of trademark and copyright laws.
    They are now being boycotted by me.
    Pity, always enjoyed watching them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 6:59am

    I have bought scalped tickets at a Toronto Leafs game with a copy standing about one foot from me while I made the transaction. Got a good price too... just waiting until they started to sing the Canadian Anthem and the scalper was more than pleased to sell them. If scalping is illegal then the cops have to enforce all cases not just selectively do so.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    JustMe, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 8:26am

    Scalping laws are a joke

    They know people don't like paying inflated prices, so their solution is to go after the customer (person who just wants to see an event) instead of the source - because the venues are more than happy to sell to the scalpers so they can say they sold out. Here is a clue. Don't sell large blocks. Don't sell to corporate accounts. Don't sell to hobos standing in line for the scalpers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    VanIsOverrated, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 5:03pm

    Vancouver is primordial in its provincial laws as the government lets companies get away with what is illegal in other provinces...

    Of course there's no lawsuit filed in Vancouver, because it's NOT illegal here. This just protects corporate behemoths like ticketbastard who can get away with tacking on ridiculous "convenience" charges that are illegal in most other provinces, countries etc.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 11:07pm

    Re: Scalping is Bad?

    middlemen are greedy jerks

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2009 @ 8:54pm

    Just another reason not watch the Olympics next year

    I've got better things to watch than a two-week festival of greedy corporate sponsors and steroids.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    tikky, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 1:53am

    Usually the professional teeth whitener whitening done at dentists is quite harmful and damages your teeth and gums.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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