London 2012 Olympics Go For Gold in the Extreme 'Ambush Marketing' Law Event: 'Guilty Until Proven Innocent' – And No Streaking Allowed

from the bare-faced-cheek dept

The Olympic Games are not just about sporting success, but also legal excess – in particular, taking laws to extremes in order to "protect" sponsors, who are routinely elevated to the level of Greek gods during the games, with similarly superhuman rights over lesser beings like you and me.

Techdirt has already written about the UK police getting special powers to enter homes during the 2012 games, as well as free speech being curtailed. Now there are plans to suspend the presumption of innocence too:
One of the fundamental principles of European justice will be temporarily suspended during next year’s London Olympics to protect the commercial interests of sponsors, if Government proposals are accepted by Parliament later this year.

Under the plans, anyone suspected of so-called “ambush marketing” or unauthorized trading near the Olympic Park during the Games would be presumed guilty until proven innocent – a clear contradiction of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) believes the move is justified to facilitate the staging of the Games, which it describes as a “once-in-a-lifetime occasion”.

Regulations proposed by the DCMS state that an interference with the right to be presumed innocent “will be justified” as long as it is confined within reasonable limits.
So great is the threat of ambush marketing to the 2012 Olympic Games that other basic freedoms are being abrogated – like the right to run around naked in public with advertisements on your body:
Streakers who use their bodies to advertise during the Olympics could face a £20,000 [$32,000] fine under new rules.

The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 is being tweaked to target people who attempt marketing stunts during the tournament.

A man invaded a diving event at the Athens 2004 Olympics with a brand daubed on his bare chest.
The good news is that the tweaked 2006 Act would not apply to people running around naked without advertisements, although a spokesman said: "there may still be legal ramifications". So please do bear that in mind if you experience a sudden urge to take off your clothes in London during the Olympics next year.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2011 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Unauthorized Trading

    I'm sure you could find someone to streak with your logo for £40,000, which is still pretty cheap for all the exposure.

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