Olympics Threaten ICANN, Saying Its Trademark Concerns Outweigh Any Benefits From New TLDs

from the sense-of-entitlement-much? dept

It's no secret that the Olympics seem to have a massive sense of entitlement when it comes to trademark issues -- getting various governments to pass laws that go way beyond trademark laws in those countries to add special protections for the Olympics, barring pretty much any unauthorized mentions outside of press coverage (and even that's a bit iffy). This is not at all what trademark law is supposed to do. Its latest move is to complain to ICANN about its new plans for a .sports top level domain, worrying that any benefits "are outweighed by the risks, harms and costs it poses to trademark owners and the public." The public? Really? Furthermore, the IOC warns ICANN that it retains the "right to proceed against ICANN for damages resulting to the IOC or the Olympic Movement from the implementation of an unlimited number of new gTLDs." Nice of them.

That article highlights that the IOC already has special deals with a number of big domain registrars blocking any registration that includes an IOC trademark -- which is highly questionable, since registrations including trademarks are very much allowed to non-trademark holders, so long as the sites aren't confusing to the public (for example, with "sucks sites" which are allowed). Hopefully ICANN stands up to bullying from the IOC which has no real case here, unless gov'ts keep passing special "for the Olympics only" abusive trademark laws.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 24th, 2010 @ 10:19am

    Historical Parallels

    I wonder... there was the period of history in which we had no Olympics twixt Ancient Greece and now... any chance that was caused by the original "Olympics Committee" being douchebags too?

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

  2. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Mar 24th, 2010 @ 10:23am

    Re: Historical Parallels

    Actually a little know historical fact is the original olympics collapsed because of over commercialization ... ;)

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

  3. identicon
    Michael, Mar 24th, 2010 @ 10:38am

    Re: Historical Parallels

    I think trademark claims by the original Olympics committee prevented anyone from talking, or writing about them for that period of time.

    They were happening, but nobody could discuss them.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2010 @ 10:39am


    "This web page and related elements are for informative purposes only and thus the use of any of this information is at your risk! This is not the official Olympics website...note the word "suck", warped graphics (or am I tripping again?), negative remarks, and the links above.
    Copyright 2000 - 2008 Ron Bennett (bennett@wyomissing.com). All Rights Reserved"

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

  5. icon
    ethorad (profile), Mar 24th, 2010 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Historical Parallels

    and the reason why it is so little known is the original olympic comittee barred any mention of the olympics through trademark law.

    We also had to wait for the original copyright on the term "Olympics", registered by the ancient greeks, to expire which didn't happen until 1896.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2010 @ 10:59am

    Having never really been a fan of the Olympics for preempting my favorite shows, their abusive actions make it even easier to simply boycott the Olympic games altogether. Thank you, IOC, your restrictive policies make it easier and easier to avoid the games everyday!

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

  7. icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Mar 24th, 2010 @ 11:15am


    "your restrictive policies make it easier and easier to avoid the games everyday!"

    Unfortunately our governments still waste hundreds of millions of dollars of our money bending over backwards to get the games held in their borders.

    The IOC is like an insidious disease. Even if you never come into contact with it, you still feel its effects.

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

  8. icon
    BaggerX (profile), Mar 24th, 2010 @ 12:29pm

    I'd like to see them gone

    The IOC is a blight on sports and just gives the Olympics a bad name. While I'd hate to hurt the athletes that work so hard to compete in the Olympics, I'm thinking that the short-term pain of boycotting the Olympics until the IOC is ousted would be worth it in the long run.

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

  9. identicon
    Danny, Mar 24th, 2010 @ 1:14pm

    An idea...

    I know! How about some new sports competition comes along and actually makes it about the athletics and competition rather than about the money. Of course the IOC probably thinks their trademarks extend to something as broad as "celebrations in which athletes from various countries compete in a wide range of sports every few years".

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

  10. icon
    Grumpy (profile), Mar 24th, 2010 @ 3:08pm

    Say again?

    > Hopefully ICANN stands up to bullying from the IOC

    Ha. Haha. HahahahaHAHAH... urg. My hernia. Sorry.

    But since when has ICANN been anything but a bunch of sissies whenever some Vested Interest has had a beef with them?

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

  11. identicon
    Robert A. Rosenberg, Mar 25th, 2010 @ 9:44am

    Atlanta Olympics vs. Olympic Diner

    When the Olympics was held in Atlanta a few years ago, the IOC tried to shut down a 30[?] or so year old Diner for being named Olympic Diner. They also tried to confiscate the Diner's Domain Name (even though the registration predated the organization of the Atlanta committee - let alone when the city was granted the rights to hold it).

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

  12. icon
    Constantine Roussos (.music) (profile), Mar 25th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    ICANN Agrees to Meet with IOC about .sport

    Hey Mike,

    Your readers would be interested in reading this. This is ICANN's response. They are planning on meeting with the IOC:


    The IOC claims to hold the rights for .sport and that no-one else should be able to get a sport-related TLD. I think they are going overboard and I am sure ICANN will put them in their place. This kind of monopolistic behavior is unacceptable.

    My .music initiative is quite different because it is a community initiative with multiple-stakeholder governance. Personally I think this is an attempt by the IOC to state its dominance for .sport. Why not get .olympics? Very interesting move that will backfire in my opinion,

    Constantine Roussos

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

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