London 2012 Olympics Win Gold Medal For Cluelessness By Banning Video And Photo Uploads To Social Media During Games
from the gotta-protect-those-brands dept
As Techdirt has reported, the London 2012 Olympics bring with them a range of "special" measures guaranteed to make London a place for lovers of freedom to avoid this summer. But it seems that the organizers wish to ensure that anyone attending will also have a rather miserable time:
Fans in the crowd won't be allowed to upload snippets of the day's action to YouTube -- or even, potentially, to post their snaps from inside the Olympic Village on Facebook. And a crack team of branding "police", the Games organisers Locog have acknowledged, will be checking every bathroom in every Olympic venue -- with the power to remove or tape over manufacturers' logos even on soap dispensers, wash basins and toilets.
The same thing happened four years ago in Beijing as well, when non-sponsor brands were taped over in bathrooms so they didn't get "a free ride." That's because the real focus of the Olympic games is not anything the athletes might be doing, but keeping sponsors and business partners happy.
With just a little more than three months to go until the opening of the London 2012 Games, attention is increasingly turning to what many legal experts consider to be the most stringent restrictions ever put in place to protect sponsors' brands and broadcasting rights, affecting every athlete, Olympics ticket holder and business in the UK.
That's desperately sad. What is supposedly the greatest sporting event in the world could have been turned into the ultimate demonstration of how social media let spectators become participants through the real-time sharing of experiences.
Instead, the London 2012 organizing committee's obsession with policing brands and controlling what audiences do means that the recently-unveiled motto for this summer's games -- 'Inspire a generation' -- could hardly have been more inappropriate.
The young people that are meant to be inspired by the London games will find themselves forbidden to use properly the very means that would have let them do that: the social networks where they share their most important moments. As a result, London 2012 looks likely to be the most petty-minded and joyless Olympics so far.