Olympics Trademark Law Insanity: Officials Can Enter Homes, Issue $10,000 Fines

from the please,-make-it-stop dept

In the past, we've noted how much the Olympics loves to overreach with trademark claims, trying to prevent anyone from using any phrase or word associated with the Olympics without having to pay up. Amazingly -- and to the detriment of the people they're supposed to represent -- politicians all too often grant the Olympics extra special trademark laws that just apply to them. Reader Jesse lets us know of the latest insanity up in Vancouver, where special new "bylaws" let officers enter homes to remove unapproved "signage" while also granting them the ability to issue fines up to $10,000. There are already lawsuits filed about this, but at what point do politicians tell the Olympics "enough is enough?" Update In the comments, reader Brendan points out that Vancouver's police chief is insisting this is an exaggeration, saying:
Just as ridiculous in my opinion, is the charge that the VPD will enter homes to confiscate signage.

Once again, I would ask that those speaking on our behalf, regardless of your motives, please stop, or at least ask us.

The additional powers that the City has obtained are intended to control unauthorized marketing.

If normal processes, such as a warning, ticket or summons, do not convince a person to abide by a by-law, in extreme circumstances, a warrant to enter premises can be obtained.

We have been assured by City license inspectors that they will be focusing on "guerrilla marketing" efforts that are prominent, and near official venues.

They will not be focusing on signage that is a political or personal statement.

The VPD has no intention of entering the home of any Vancouver resident for a sign issue during the Games. We are not the sign police.
Okay... but that still does say that they could get a warrant to enter people's homes for marketing signage. Why, exactly, should that be allowed? On personal property, if someone puts up a "guerilla marketing" sign, shouldn't that be their right?

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  1. identicon
    Johnny Canada, 27 Oct 2009 @ 1:41pm

    What they have said is it OK to have a sign that states "Olympics Suck" but you better not have one that states "Drink Pepsi" as Coke is a sponser.

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