Ah, the Vancouver Olympics. The example of intellectual property entitlement insanity that just keeps on giving and giving and giving. It's no secret that the Vancouver Olympics has convinced the Canadian government to grant it extra special intellectual property rights
that go way beyond what would be allowed for any normal business. This includes getting special control over words like "2010," and "Vancouver" if you use them in any way associated with the sporting event known as the Olympics (also protected
). It's using these extra rights to stop ticket reselling
and to take down signs they don't like
(even on private property).
And, of course, acting in a maximalist manner also means little respect for anyone else's
intellectual property or free speech rights. We've already noted that some musicians have complained
about a contractual gag order, that forbids any musician performing at any Olympics event to speak ill of the Olympics ever
. However, it appears that the Vancouver Olympics folks are taking the maximalism even further. Michael Scott
points us to a complaint from a musician who wrote a song which she thought the Olympic committee might like. She sent it to them, and was surprised to get back a contract demanding she sign over all ownership and royalties associated with the song before they would even listen to it
. And, of course, it would also grant them the ability to do whatever they wanted with the song.
Now, I recognize that many folks in these sorts of business will not listen to/view/read/etc. any sort of "unsolicited" material for fear of later running into a legal fight if something they do is similar. But, as such you just make it clear that you refuse to pay attention to any unsolicited material sent in. You don't send a contract that would require the creator to hand over all copyrights and royalties in a work. I guess, if you're the Olympics, however, you do exactly that.