IOC Forces School To Remove Rings From Crest For Some Reason

from the champions-of-bullying dept

Have you thought about the Olympics lately? No? Then I guess you didn't drive past any of the tiny little schools in this itty bitty school district in the Poconos in Pennsylvania that serves a population of almost twenty-five thousand whole people, because, if you had, the International Olympic Committee is quite certain you would have been all, "Oh, look, that must be a school run by the Olympics for some reason." Otherwise, the IOC's pressuring the district to re-draw this district crest would make no sense.


You can probably spot the source of the problem immediately. It's those damned rings at the top-left, of course, and the IOC ain't happy that some stupid little learning institution could think that those rings could be incorporated in a logo. After all, the Olympics has nothing to do with learning, with a cooperative spirit, or with domestic institutions. Which is exactly what has me questioning why there is any trademark standing to begin with. After all, the two entities aren't competing in any kind of marketplace and the IOC, notoriously trademark-protect-y, has allowed the Wallenpaupack's district crest to exist since the 1970's.

Now, however, the IOC has convinced the school district that it must come up with a new crest. Quite unfortunately, the IOC even appears to have district officials convinced that the trademark claim is all super-legitimate.

“They obviously have a legitimate concern. It’s a trademarked item. We do have to come up with a plan of phasing it out,” said Superintendent Michael Silsby. Phasing out the rings because Silsby said an attorney for the U.S. Olympic Committee called last week, saying the school could no longer use the rings to represent athletics.
No, that isn't a legitimate concern, even if narrowly applied to athletic teams, because there's no commerce or competition here. This was simply the IOC, through the domestic USOC, bullying a school because it felt like it. Or maybe the USOC lawyers found some downtime and decided to fill it up smacking around schools. Either way, nothing about this is born out of a legitimate concern.

The district is reportedly going to have students create the new crest, which is all well and good, but that doesn't remove the bile from my mouth over the USOC's actions. You folks must be so proud...


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2015 @ 9:04pm

    I long ago had it with IOC. They can continue to play their idiot games. I don't miss the Olympics when they come up. IOC can suck that up for all I care.

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

  2. icon
    madasahatter (profile), 25 Mar 2015 @ 9:19pm

    I have basically ignored the Olympics since they are more interested in defrauding the locals for the "honor" of hosting the games.

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

  3. identicon
    twits, 25 Mar 2015 @ 10:09pm

    twits in charge

    Obviously the result of having idiots in charge of everything again as usual. Idiots are in charge and unless you get rid of those fucking idiotic idiots then nothing is going to change. Everything is just going to get worse, you will see as idiots cannot do anything constructive. Backwards we go forever you will see. Fucking god damm fucking idiots cunts.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2015 @ 10:27pm

    Wow, you're really stupid.

    It's a trademark. You don't use someone else's trademark.

    If this is too difficult a concept for you to grasp, maybe ask your helper to explain it to you.

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

  5. identicon
    John, 25 Mar 2015 @ 10:45pm

    Campaign to bankrupt the IOC

    If enough people and businesses start using rings (crossed out) in their websites, store fronts etc, it will cost the IOC a fortune. Their legal bills will be enormous after a few months of backwards and forwards using standard letters defending our right to use the rings as we aren't in competition with the IOC business so there is no confusion. No need to fight it in courts where legal costs pervent normal people getting justice. The standard procedure is to write heaps of letters for them to respond to with their $500 per hour lawyers & then come to an agreement that you will stop using it.

    If enough people did this & combined it with a social campaign "crushed by the IOC", then maybe we can convince the IOC that they are harming their brand more than a school with some rings in their logo.

    As far as the school is concerned I think its good that they are changing their logo. Who would want their school associated with such a corrupt & profit focused organisation??

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

  6. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Mar 2015 @ 11:17pm

    Re:

    Wow its a trademark that they didn't defend for a very long time.
    Wow its an overreaching group pushing a piece of IP outside of its actual constraints.

    Wow, you must have been looking in the mirror.

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

  7. identicon
    eye sea ewe, 25 Mar 2015 @ 11:26pm

    The IOC and its affiliates must PROTECT their branding

    otherwise, the various committee members won't get their junkets with high living, bribes and high class prostitutes. The last is the real clincher for them.

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

  8. icon
    CanadianByChoice (profile), 25 Mar 2015 @ 11:29pm

    Enforcement is absolutely necessary

    ... otherwise, they can't justify their existance.

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 12:20am

    Re:

    Not to mention censoring any local establishments that is not Coke, Subway, McDonalds, etc.

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 12:35am

    Their name's typoed. It's not USOC, it's USUC.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 1:04am

    Re:

    i suggest adding 2 hands holding a circle to that logo... will be most inspiring :)

    http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/43006000/jpg/_43006883_sean_stayte_416.jpg

    :p

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

  12. icon
    tracyanne (profile), 26 Mar 2015 @ 2:03am

    Re: Campaign to bankrupt the IOC

    That is such a good idea, but it will never happen, pity

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

  13. icon
    Violynne (profile), 26 Mar 2015 @ 3:18am

    As such a dick move this was, there is a silver lining:

    That crest is ugly. A re-design is a good thing.

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

  14. icon
    Ninja (profile), 26 Mar 2015 @ 4:24am

    Wait till they force condom makers to sell only square models outside the Olympics because they resemble the rings...

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 4:30am

    Look the lawyers for USOC need to find ways to make money. Do you want their families to starve, human souls don't grow on trees.

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 5:31am

    I guess Audi can call itself luicky that noone from the IOC has taken a look at their logo.
    Four (thats almost five) rings intertwined? That surely must be infringing.

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

  17. identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, 26 Mar 2015 @ 5:56am

    Re:

    Wow, you're really stupid.

    They're not competing. There is no trademark issue.

    If this is too difficult a concept for you to grasp, maybe ask your helper to explain it to you.

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re:

    LOL

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 6:58am

    Re:

    Yes, I am a moron in a hurry and I am completely and toally confused by that mark. Why just the other day I wanted to watch an Olympic event and figured I could do so at the school because they proudly display those ring things. Boy was I disappointed after they called the cops on my ass.

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

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 7:00am

    And they wonder why so many localities reject the idea of hosting the olympics.

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

  21. icon
    Oblate (profile), 26 Mar 2015 @ 7:28am

    They should change it to be appropriate anyway

    The other symbols on the crest seem to represent things that have value to the community, such as the theater, education (or book burning, can't be sure from that picture), and I'm guessing some local lake (though it could represent leaky plumbing or water sports, again can't be sure). They should replace the Olympic logo (apparently representing crass commercialization) with something that actually represents athletics or some other positive concept.

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

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 7:44am

    Re:

    You don't know how trademarks work.

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

  23. icon
    bwburke94 (profile), 26 Mar 2015 @ 8:15am

    Why can't the new crest just be the old crest...

    ...but with the purple voodoo faces thing extended to cover the spot taken by the rings?

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

  24. icon
    Scott Yates (profile), 26 Mar 2015 @ 9:39am

    Isn't there a real argument here though?

    Please pardon my ignorance, but isn't there a real concern when you incorporate someones logo into your own?

    I don't mean to be dense here. I just don't understand.

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

  25. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 26 Mar 2015 @ 10:08am

    Re: Isn't there a real argument here though?

    It depends. Trademark is less restrictive than copyright. There are many ways you can legally use something trademarked by someone else for your own stuff.

    For example, trademarks only apply to specific product categories. If I trademark my logo for a kind of cereal, that does not prevent someone else from using the same logo for sporting goods. This is a general rule -- there are complexities like "trademark dilution" than can turn such use into an infringement. As with most legal things, what is actually allowed or not can be pretty uncertain.

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

  26. icon
    Padpaw (profile), 26 Mar 2015 @ 10:14am

    simply because they can. Thy know they have power and they enjoy abusing it

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

  27. identicon
    Photographer Who References Camera Name, 26 Mar 2015 @ 10:25am

    Stupidity

    I just recently deleted all my artwork and photos from Zazzle's web site because they claimed I violated their TOS agreement. When I asked what/why, I hwas advised it was because I had posted two photographs of beach scenes three years previously, and had indicated in the caption that the photos were taken with a Leica 35mm camera. The two offending photos were removed by Zazzle, without my consent.

    After three years, someone at Leica complained that no one on Zazzle's site could use the word Leica. Thus, a TOS violation.

    Such insanity. I removed all my products and cancelled the account.

    Boycott nonsense.

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

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 10:54am

    Re:

    You forgot the little k at the end USUCk...

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

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 10:59am

    Re:

    A great idea... they should substitute something to do with sports for the rings. The rings are a symbol of ownership and IP not the spirit of athletic competition.

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

  30. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 26 Mar 2015 @ 11:01am

    Re: Stupidity

    That's particularly insane since simply saying that you used (insert brand name here) to do something couldn't be less of a trademark or copyright violation.

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 11:39am

    Re:

    You don't use someone else's trademark IN THE SAME TRADE. That's the point of the article. The school district is not in the same trade as the IOC. Arguably, the district isn't even in a trade unless it is a for-profit district. The point of trademarks are to prevent consumer confusion. Please explain to the rest of the class how this could possibly confuse anyone.

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

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 12:13pm

    Re:

    I actually have no problems with the IOC requiring everyone not part of the IOC from not using the rings logo, the "olympics" name, and similar branding -- eventually, nobody will know anything about the IOC, and they will fade into history. After all, with no visibility in everyday life, chilren will no longer aspire to "win gold" at an IOC event. Pretty much every sport has a world competition now; if people stop trying to be a part of the IOC events because they know pretty much nothing about them, that gives more time and money to the global sporting events that DO care about people.

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

  33. icon
    John85851 (profile), 26 Mar 2015 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Stupidity

    And have you also destroyed all of your Leica camera gear? After all, Leica sent a takedown notice that Zazzle followed. Sure, Zazzle could have stood up for its artists and said Leica was wrong, but their lawyers probably said it was cheaper and easier to along with Leica.

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

  34. icon
    John85851 (profile), 26 Mar 2015 @ 12:29pm

    Playing the devil's advocate...

    ... I looked at the crest and immediately recognized the Olympic logo. Could someone please explain how this is any different than displaying the Apple or McDonalds' logo?

    Okay, maybe these are different industries and the Olympics didn't enforce the trademarks and so on and so on, but the "moron in a hurry" will recognize the Olympic logo. Then, by extension, people may ask why the school is displaying the logo on their crest? Is the school a training site? Did they host the games? Then why would the school use that specific combination of colored rings?

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

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Playing the devil's advocate...

    simple answer for a simpleton question... because they didn't pay enough cash for the privilege... I am sure if the kids hand over a couple of mil out of their lunch money IOC will gladly accept the payola and approve the rings in the crest.

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

  36. icon
    dave blevins (profile), 26 Mar 2015 @ 1:02pm

    Idea for replacement of rings section:

    How 'bout 6 BROKEN rings in a pile?

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

  37. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 4:13pm

    Re:

    should read clueless coward

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

  38. icon
    connermac725 (profile), 26 Mar 2015 @ 4:14pm

    Re:

    should read clueless coward keep talking your stupid is showing

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

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2015 @ 8:41pm

    Re: Re: Stupidity

    No, he sold and bought Nikon instead. And then he came here and told everyone what douchebags Leica and Zazzle are.

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

  40. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 27 Mar 2015 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re:

    "the "olympics" name"

    The problem is that "Olympic," "Olympia," etc. are ancient historical names that have been in common use before the Olympics were a big deal. There are many people and businesses that have been forced to stop using the name even though their use was unrelated to the Olympic Games. It's just wrong to demand that they stop using the term.

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

  41. icon
    dave blevins (profile), 27 Mar 2015 @ 10:53am

    wrongness

    Yep, wrong indeed but the whole IOC setup is very wrong, old guys out to make a buck for themselves. Well, lots and lots of bucks.

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


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