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Businesses To Be Censored on Use of Olympics

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the 2012-is-now-offlimits dept.

Censorship 520

pitpe writes "The BBC reports that the proposed London 2012 Olympics Bill bans the use of words related to the Olympics by non-sponsors, including 'Olympic', '2012', 'gold', 'summer' and 'games', amongst others. The bill is aimed at ensuring corporate sponsors, who have provided £790m of the IOC's £2.25bn marketing revenue over the last four years, will not be deterred by 'ambush marketing' where rivals to the official sponsors try to take advantage, but businesses warn it could make it technically illegal for pubs to use chalkboards to flag up coverage of the Games." From the article: "The London 2012 website has already posted a warning listing a string of Olympic-related words and images that are off limits to all but official sponsors. And advertisers' representatives have criticised the new Olympics bill because they believe it will make it almost impossible for most companies to even acknowledge that the Games are happening without getting into trouble. "

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Easy workaround for pubs... (0)

jmp_nyc (895404) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335350)

There must be at least one brewer that's planning on putting up the cash to be an official sponsor, and if not, there should be. All they need to do is print signs which are then distributed to pubs that sell their beer that have their brand, the Olympic brand (authorized because they paid), and say that the games can be viewed here. The big American brewers do this all the time for big events...
-JMP

I have an idea... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335460)

How about we just cut the crap and stop trying to stop people from simply living. This is common sense; why are we letting corporate sponsors yet again judge where we can use common words in every day life because they're deemed competitive or inapprpriate? I don't even mean the words like "summer" or "games". If I want to throw up a sign that celebrates the Olympics, I should be able to for whatever reason.

Maybe we can start a new trend of just selling our human rights for profit! Because right now they're just being stolen.

Not so easy in the UK (3, Informative)

Potor (658520) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335504)

A large number of the pubs are owned by breweries in the UK. Only the pubs owned by the sponsor, or free houses not beholden to a chain, could use this approach.

HERE HERE! Lesbian porn here! Great Acting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335620)

two lesbians. [rapidshare.de] I laughed more than I was aroused. What, 44MB, for this crap? Over-acting lesbians, reminds me of Tammy Whinette if that realy is her name. The Lesbian Strapon Porn scene is so-fucking dry, dryer than Hillary Clinton's twat rubbing on Barbara Bush's mustache. Unfucking beleivable. Can someone throw us a friggin' boner here?

Until the on-topic Slashdot story arives, be well!
    Dr. Dean aDildo, MSH, BS, WD40

To confirm you're not a script,
please type the word in this image: openings

UK Govt Introduces Reserved Olympic Letter Law (5, Funny)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335353)

LONDON (AP) - The UK government today introduced a bill into parliament that, if adopted, would allow the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reserve use of certain letters and digits, including "O", "2", "L", and "g" through "r", to businesses who had signed official Olympic sponsorship agreements.

Prime Minister Tony Blair passionately, though unintelligibly, defended the controversial law, saying that "t[h]e I[O]C s [h]ave [it] [q]uite cl[ea]r that [o]ur role [is] [t]o def[en]d the i[n]ve[stm]en[t]s of [l]egiti[mat]e [adve]rti[s]er[s]" who have signed on with the IOC.

Blair also pointed to the limited timeframe of the bill, which only allows surveillance during a two-year period before and after the bill, and said that this showed that public opinion had been considered strongly during the formulation period. "[Wh]at m[or]e [d]o th[ey] wa[nt]?" he asked rhetorically

Free Software Foundation founder and figurehead Richard M. Stallman was unavailable comment. A source close to the activist said that "he's working on renaming GCC in Cyrillic".

This FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335355)

This first post is going for gold in the 2012 Summer Olympic games!

The games formerly known as the olymipcs... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335359)

...will begin sometime between 2011 and 2013.

Re:The games formerly known as the olymipcs... (1)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335628)

Well, in addition Londoners will read about the AU price, worry whether video-"interactive entertainment software" are the end of the world, watch the interesting documentary "Wildlife in the US National Park Named after the Mountain Where the Greek Gods Resided, You Know What We Mean, Wink, Wink". Heck, the only word they won't miss is "summer"

Yeah, and a band too... (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335361)

They won't allow The Olympic Hopefuls to use Olympic in their name either. It's amazing that this crap was written in to law. Now the band has to change to "The Hopefuls".

Seriously, I love how they were given powers over a word that was around LONG before "The Games" were.

What a bunch of shit.

Re:Yeah, and a band too... (1, Insightful)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335639)

indeed. I started tae kwon do several years back. and one year i decided to watch it. Well it was not televised on any us channel at the time, and web casting was forbidden. So if its not covered by a big network, you simply cant see it. How stupid is that?

I dont watch or pay any attention to the olympics whatsoever. Fuck them.

So where are the free games? Because its inevitable...

I also have a special needs child. I wonder if the special olympics are soo idiotic!?

Re:Yeah, and a band too... (1)

BLAG-blast (302533) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335673)

They won't allow The Olympic Hopefuls to use Olympic in their name either.

Only that they in this case is the U.S. Olympic Committee.

This fucking sucks, I think I'll boycot all Olympic sponsers.

Banning the use of the year? (3, Interesting)

hungrygrue (872970) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335366)

That would be hard on a lot of businesses... Calendar makers, for instance :-)

Re:Banning the use of the year? (4, Insightful)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335465)

No kidding.

Other banned words include games, medals, gold, silver, bronze, 2012, sponsor, summer

I guess a jewelry store owner would be forbidden from advertising: "Come and see our great selection of gold and silver on sale this starting this summer. No payments until 2012."

This is positively ridiculous.

news reporting (4, Insightful)

paper_boats (872407) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335370)

Does this extend to mean that only the sponsoring news organizations can report on olympic news. Sounds tricky.

Re:news reporting (3, Informative)

hungrygrue (872970) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335423)

That already happened in the last ******* games. The BBC World Service had to block out their feed for anyone in the US if there was any mention of the games which cannot be named because they would have been infringing on the exclusive broadcast rights of NBC.

Re:news reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335475)

Oh well who cares. The Olympics fucking blow anyway. I can find much better things to do with my time than watch a bunch of faries prancing around an ice rink. Trolling Slashdot, for instance.

Re:news reporting (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335687)

That pisses me off every time the miserable olympics roll around. I love listening to the BBC over the net here in Canada, and whenever those damnable games start, the BBC has to cut their entire feed.

I don't give a damn about who won what medal flying by down a mountain the fastest, or who won what medal by bribing figureskating judges the best, I just want my World Service fix.

Powerwalking-finals.torrent (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335371)

Coming soon to your bittorrent sites. I wonder how the Olympics will handle torrents of their events. DMCA?

Re:Powerwalking-finals.torrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335429)

USA != the world

Re:Powerwalking-finals.torrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335555)

Go tell that to the Iraqis.

Re:Powerwalking-finals.torrent (2, Insightful)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335531)

Coming soon to your bittorrent sites. I wonder how the Olympics will handle torrents of their events. DMCA?
Given the direction they seem to be taking they'll not have any problems because everyone will be so fed up with the restrictions that the stands will be near empty and everyone will find something else to watch on TV. I seem to remember stories from the Athens games where spectators weren't allowed to carry in even bottles of water if they weren't the brand of the official sponsor that provided the Olympics bottled water, now they're trying to get laws passed so they can restrict things even further.

I've always loved the Olympics, I remember looking forward to them even as a child, but this type of crap is quickly making me lose all interest in them. I used to tape what aired while I was at work (or school in the past) so I could watch all the coverage, last Olympics I didn't tape a thing. I didn't watch as much either and the whole Death Grip on Advertising (tm) wasn't quite as bad as this sounds.

So congrats to the IOC and their over-zealous "official" sponsors. It's not just anyone that can completely destroy something as special as the Olympics once were. Oh and just a tip for those official sponsors -- I don't tend to buy products from companies who encourage this type of behaivor, even if you are supporting the Olympics, so you might want to rethink your marketing strategies.

Right (5, Insightful)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335377)

And the word summer NEVER comes up in normal conversation. Nor does the word 2012 come up either...

I can see it now
Tom: "Hey, I can't wait till the summer of 2012 becau--"
Trademark Police: "Stop right there, infringer!"
Tom: "I didn't do anything wrong!"
Trademark Police: "According to this law you did. Those words are trademarked."
Tom: "How the hell did they trademark a year and a season?!"
Pitiful

Re:Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335453)

Check out this great sale between Spring and Summer! No interest until the year after 2011!

Re:Right (2, Interesting)

kie (30381) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335505)

double plus bad.

(maybe the book should have been titled 2012 rather than 1984)

1st Amendment (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335384)

Thank heavens the 1st Amendment prohibits this type of corporate welfare in the USA.

Re:1st Amendment (0, Troll)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335418)

American culture is based on the automobile, and any young man of promise
is going to own one and want to travel great distances in it. Consequently,
any young woman of aspiration should expect to spend most of her vacations
in a car, probing into unfamiliar corners. She is not required to know how
to drive but she will certainly be expected to read the road map while her
husband drives, and if she can't, or if she's abnormally slow in giving him
help, she's bound to cause trouble. Therefore, you'd think that colleges
which train the bright young women who're going to marry the bright young
men who are going to own the Cadillacs that roar back and forth across this
continent would teach the girls to read maps. None do. They teach a hundred
other useless things, but never a word about the one that will cause the greatest friction.
-- James Michener, "Space"

My chalk board (1)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335396)

My chalk board would be like this:

"This pub does not show the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games on TV."

May as well walk into jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335653)

I'm afraid you're still using the words in an advertisement of sorts. How about:

"This pub shows the internationally famous competetive events based on body movements on TV."

Of course the sentence is now unreadable to most and has ambiguities (for example, some people may think of some other internationally famous event where people dance whilst on top of a TV set and mix the two up).

It was bad enough... (1)

hungrygrue (872970) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335397)

It was bad enough when a certain network gained exclusive broadcast in the US rights and the BBC World Service had to black out their stream every time there was any mention of the Olympic games. This is ridiculous.

Re:It was bad enough... (1)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335420)

Not only them, also the dutch NOS and the Australian ABC had suspended their news-stations feeds on the internet.

unreasonable gits... (5, Interesting)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335398)

From the "London 2012" website:
You can support the 2012 Games by not engaging in the unauthorised use of the Olympic Marks

Yeah? If by "engaging in the unauthorised use of the Olympic Marks" you mean by using them at all, how about you respect the people, and not make such fuchking unreasoanble demands in the first place?

"You can"? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335631)

You can support the 2012 Games by...

A more accurate way of putting it would be "You are legally obliged to support the 2012 Games by...".

This is nothing new (4, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335403)

The IOC has always been very vigorous in defending the branding rights to the games. They even tried to get the Special Olympics to change before the public backlash made them decide to change their minds.

Think about it. If you're Coca-Cola (or some other huge multinational) that's spending 8-9 figures to be the "official whatever of the Olympics", you're going to want to be pretty sure that your competitor isn't going to just say the same thing unofficially. Pretty sure in this case means contractual language with teeth. Hence, the IOC turning around and doing the same thing.

Nothing new in the US either (2, Informative)

ceenvee703 (655877) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335441)

Official sponsors of the Super Bowl get to actually use the words "Super Bowl" in their ads or on their packaging. Everyone else who wants to sell TVs or potato chips or beer for the game usually use the phrase "the big game" since they can't use the SB word...

Re:This is nothing new (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335449)

And the government should not pass laws like this.
They are only doing it becasue they know Olympic is pretty damn generic, older then the IOC, and a total perversion of copyright law.

Put the word 'Official' in your advertising. If someone else claimes to be an 'official olympic whatever' sue them. But pubs should be able to play anything on TV and advertising they are doing so.

This is like banning any company from using the word marathon for christ sake.

Re:This is nothing new (1)

antiMStroll (664213) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335584)

And if 'coca-cola' was a term in common use for thousands of years I'ld want a society that tells them to blow it out their ass too. How are we coming to a place where using common words is mediated by lawyers?

Re:This is nothing new (5, Interesting)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335622)

Think about it. If you're Coca-Cola (or some other huge multinational) that's spending 8-9 figures to be the "official whatever of the Olympics", you're going to want to be pretty sure that your competitor isn't going to just say the same thing unofficially. Pretty sure in this case means contractual language with teeth. Hence, the IOC turning around and doing the same thing.
Sure, and it's reasonable to expect that your competitors can't imply they're official sponsors. But this is going way beyond that, a quote from the article:

But the new bill will make it illegal to combine words like "games", "medals", "gold", "2012", "sponsor" or "summer" in any form of advertising.

Heaven help you if you're having a conference of some kind in London in the summer of 2012, you might get heavily fined when you try to promote it, even if it has _nothing_ to do with the Olympics, occurs at a different time (well it'd kind of have to since the city will likely be packed because of the Olympics) or date.

If you make games for children better make sure you don't inadvertantly advertise any as summer games, you'll break this law. Again, you could be advertising a glorified lawn sprinkler for kids to play games under in the summer heat but since you "combined" summer and games in your ad the law applies and you're screwed.

I'm sure you'll say "but they'll be reasonable and won't pursue those types of cases" but we already know how well that type of stuff works. You can find many cases of the RIAA & MPAA sending out Cease & Desist letters because they found files containing words that also are used in songs/movies they own but had nothing to do with them. I seem to remember one where the C&D referred to a file that was around 500kb in size, but the MPAA thought it was one of their movies. Rationality won't enter into the enforcement of this law, it'll get the same treatment, anything that looks like it applies will get slapped with at least a lawyergram and likely charges levied. Even if they company ends up off the hook they'll have paid a penalty for defending themselves for doing nothing wrong.

No matter how you look at it this is a very bad law, and very bad precedent. Why should the IOC be given sole ownership of common words beyond Olympic/Olympics? Most of those words are used a lot, and in non-olympic references. Even if you think the words are defensible, including the damn year is insane. I suppose everyone in London will have to be sure to avoid mentioning the year in advertising in 2012 just to be on the safe side.

Commercialization blows (2, Interesting)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335410)

I wish i had the funds to start a true olympic games. A nice non-profit event. Maybe even center ed around the athletes. What we have currently just hurts my head. Spectators aren't allowed to drink the wrong drink or wear a shirt with a non-sponser on it. I feel kinda sick.

Re:Commercialization blows (3, Insightful)

spike2131 (468840) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335511)

Meanwhile, people who actually consume the sponsor's products - by eating at McDonald's and drinking a lot of Coke - are way too fat to even consider competing in the games.

Re:Commercialization blows (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335520)


Fuckem', we should all buy a pair of trainers(not nike) and hold a minilympics (tm) in the park.

Already in the US (5, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335421)

See 36 USC 220506 [cornell.edu]... the US has had the same law for a long time. The Olympic commitee has even tried to be quite heavy-handed about it [slashdot.org], on more than one occasion [slashdot.org].

Re:Already in the US (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335533)

Not to mention that the IOC was pretty brutish [bbc.co.uk] with the "ambush marketing" concept in Athens in 2004. I haven't heard anybody else use the term except for the IOC.

Already in the UK (1)

presroi (657709) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335632)

The /. and the BBC articles are quite misleading. The proposed Law for the Olymp*c G*mes only amends the current "Olympic Symbol etc. (Protection) Act 1995"

By the way, this 1995 law really has a funny name...

Advertise this (4, Interesting)

DeadBugs (546475) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335428)

So established businesses in London, who have contributed tax dollars for years to the city do not get to benefit from the event being there. The whole reason to have the games in London is so that the IOC can profit? Are businesses that do not sponsor the Olympics banned from doing business with people who show up for the games?

It won't be long until athletes are winning bronze, silver and gold coke cans.

Re:Advertise this (3, Funny)

Ithika (703697) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335503)

I don't think any businesses in London have been contributing tax dollars.

Atlanta1996 (2, Insightful)

1000101 (584896) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335436)

When the Olympics were in Atlanta back in 1996, the press (much of it foreign) lambasted the U.S. and ACOG (Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games) for all of the corporate advertising. London will be no different as far as the omnipresent billboards, electronic displays, banners, etc.

Re:Atlanta1996 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335573)

'London will be no different as far as the omnipresent billboards, electronic displays, banners, etc.'

Not if I have a working lighter and can of petrol they won't.

How about just logos? (1)

Anakron (899671) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335437)

What would make infinitely more sense is if sponsors got to use the Olympic logo (and perhaps other olympic-related logos "team GB"? ) and non-sponsors don't.
Or is there already such a provision, and the sponsors want even more? If so, that's fucking pathetic.

Re:How about just logos? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335593)

Thats already the case. They want sponsorship to be airtight, and they have the money to buy the government into submission.

Good news (1)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335440)

it will make it almost impossible for most companies to even acknowledge that the Games are happening

So we will not hear about these games?

That is good news for me. Maybe this time we'll be able to continue with our lives without being constantly invaded by this Olympics craziness...

So, what else is new? (2, Insightful)

alexo (9335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335452)


An ungodly heap of money trumps your rights.
An ungodly heap of money trumps common sense.

Come to thing of it,
an ungodly heap of money trumps everything.

Why are you so surprised?

Queen to Rook 1 (3, Funny)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335456)

'But the new bill will make it illegal to combine words like "games", "medals", "gold", "2012", "sponsor" or "summer" in any form of advertising.'

Where the hell do they get off selling "Summer 2012" to some multinational corporation like the IOC? Those are English words, and this is England. Isn't this kind of thing the reason the English keep the Queen around? Isn't it "the Queen's English"? Is she getting some kind of kickback, which requires her to sell out her subjects? Get Elizabeth in here, Slashdot wants to talk with her.

We can still call wasteful spending and bribes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335464)

Olympork, right?

In Vancouver [2010] as Well (3, Interesting)

blueadept1 (844312) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335468)

About a year back there was something like this going on in Vancouver, with alot of controversy. There was a man who owned a restaurant called "The Olympic" or something along those lines. The restaurant was around for 30+ years, and yet he still had to change the name of it. Although I understand the basis for these sorts of laws, sometimes it is a bit extreme. It should be restricted to some LOGICAL extent.

Suggested Ad Terminology (5, Funny)

DoctorMabuse (456736) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335470)

The international athletic event that takes place where city officials are willing to provide the biggest bribes to the committee is now in London.

or

The international athletic event where people from all countries use performance-enhancing drugs is now in London (and no it's not the Tour de France).

MOD PARENT UP (... please ...) (1)

oostevo (736441) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335657)

I had a really hard time deciding between moderating and replying to this. Hopefully some other kind soul with mod points will mod this up.

Yes, I realize this was a joke, and I laughed out loud when I read it, but as someone who spends an inordinate amount of his life racing bicycles, I felt the need to comment:

Bicycle racing is drug-tested to absolutely stupid levels. In general, every day in the Tour, the overall winners are tested, the winner of the stage is tested, and people who the Tour organizers don't like are tested.

I would be absolutely floored if a majority of people in the Tour de France are using performance-enhancing drugs.

Now track and field competitions on the other hand ...

I, for on, am all in favor of this. (4, Insightful)

Rahga (13479) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335474)

"And advertisers' representatives have criticised the new Olympics bill because they believe it will make it almost impossible for most companies to even acknowledge that the Games are happening without getting into trouble."

Good. It's time to kill of the olympics.

A event like this only means something when the organization running it isn't corrupt from top to bottom. They have the nerve to tell ticket holders that "You can't drink Dr. Pepper here, but you can buy a $20 can of Coke! Coke is it!". The "Olympic Village" is now corporate-sponsored Sodom and Gomorrah. Home improvement companies spend millions on advertisements to say that they are proud to support their olympians ("You've got no marketable skills outside of athletics, so as long as you work 9-to-5 for minimum wage, we've got your back!").... I'm absolutley not surprised to see London sell themselves out by grabbing the Olympic bid.

Now, if nobody CAN mention the Olympics, perhaps they'll just go away. We'll all be better off for it.

Me too. (2, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335667)

I haven't been interested in the games since about 1984. I can't imagine a reason for wanting to attend in person. Overpriced tickets, hotels, food, everything. It would take two or three years of normal "vacation" budget to go to just part of an olymic games. They have become the "Jurassic Park" of enntertainment - they can charge anything they want, and do. And they don't even have a coupon day.

I'd like to see everyone just ignore them. Unless I hear that the Swedish platform diver loses her bathing suit top and its caught on the underwater film camera, I doubt I'll even be interested much in the results, much less the actual telecast. (btw - that happened in 1984, and the vcr happened to be running. For a lad at the tender age of 15, it was a good reason to watch the olympics.)

Ummm... NO! (1)

Decius Brutus (905840) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335479)

For one, there are geographical features which have priority over copyrights, I am currently a resident of the Olympic pennisula, over here in the states. Greece also might have a problem, since they own they have good ol' Mount Olympus; Not to mention the ancient pantheon of Olympic gods. As to holding rights to 'gold', 'silver', 'bronze'... can I copyright 'steel', 'oxygen', 'water' and 'copyright'? And they want the copyright to a NUMBER!?!? I thought that sports events broadcasts were tight ("All pictures, descriptions, and accounts of the game...") but I can't even say the yeay unless I pay to be an IOC sponsor? Nobody, but nobody, has a legitimate claim to that. I might watch the games, but I now have respect only for the athletes- the games themselves have proven holllow.

Re:Ummm... NO! (1)

AstroDrabb (534369) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335664)

I might watch the games, but I now have respect only for the athletes- the games themselves have proven holllow.
Why even watch the "2012" "Olympic" "Summer" "games"? I won't. How can you respect an athlete that will sell out to such an organization as this? I for one will not watch the "2012" "Olympic" "Summer" "games"! I will boycott the "2012" "Olympic" "Summer" "games" and I think maybe even put a web site with nothing but "2012" "Olympic" "Summer" "games" all over the page!

Re:Ummm... NO! (1)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335665)

As to holding rights to 'gold', 'silver', 'bronze'... can I copyright 'steel', 'oxygen', 'water' and 'copyright'?
Probably not but I hear the US Patent office will let you patent them. ;)

Argh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335484)

I think it's appalling that they are censoring words related to the....um...you know, the international event where people play sport against each other and...eh...they get shiny metal necklaces when they win, with go...oops...yellow being the best color to get. Bah.

Bring it on! (1)

the arbiter (696473) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335499)

I couldn't be happier. The more insane and over-the-top this copyright/trademark/patent idiocy gets, the sooner it will be over. And this bill brings us all one step closer to that day.

Tomorrow on the discovery channel... (1)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335501)

"...We dive 2012 meters to where the Olymipc, the sister ship to the titanic, lays. Its luxurious interiors feature gold railings and marble floors. The shuffleboard deck, once used for games, is a feature of the ship..."

Ahh, Europe! (1, Flamebait)

AstroDrabb (534369) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335509)

You gotta love it. No matter how much the Europeans cry about America, they are becoming more and _more_ like us EVERY DAY! Heck, even this "bill/law" would be too much for us in the USA.

As I read TFA, I cannot help but think you Europeans have surpassed the USA in 'slim-ness'. You Europeans won't even be able to use the words "summer", "gold" or "games"! Damn! That is pretty bad! So umm, how exactly will you Europeans describe the period of the year where it is warmer and the Earth is farther from the Sun? Did you get a new code-word to use until after 2012? What about the word "games"? What will European kids call what they play? What will all the home-boyz call those metal teeth they have if they can't say gold? Will "bling" still be in style in 2010 + 2?

Re:Ahh, Europe! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335552)

No matter how much the Europeans cry about America, they are becoming more and _more_ like us EVERY DAY!

Ask the average Brit -- they're not Europeans.

Re:Ahh, Europe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335634)

And just where do you think the sponsors that are pushing shit like this comes from? The US spoils everything they can get their crummy little hands on.

Re:Ahh, Europe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335649)

You don't suppose any of the marketing gits that come up with this crap are Europeans / Brits, do you?

Re:Ahh, Europe! (4, Informative)

kindbud (90044) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335690)

Heck, even this "bill/law" would be too much for us in the USA.

The USA has had similar laws with respect to the Olympics for some time now.

The Olympic trademarks protected by statute (36 U.S.C. 220506(c)) include: the name "UNITED STATES OLYMPIC COMMITTEE"; the symbol of the International Olympic Committee, consisting of five interlocking rings; the words "Olympic, " "Olympiad" and "Citius Altius Fortius," and also the words "Paralympic," "Paralympiad," "Pan-American" and "America Espirito Sport Fraternite," or any combination of these words; the emblem of the United States Olympic Committee, consisting of an escutcheon having a blue chief and vertically extending red and white bars on the base with five interlocking rings displayed on the chief; and the symbols of the International Paralympic Committee and the Pan-American Sports Organization, consisting of a torch surrounded by concentric rings.


Not just trademark law, but a special statute protects the Olympic trademarks.

See INTA [inta.org] for more info about this, and of course, the text of 36 USC 220506 [cornell.edu] itself.

By statute, the USOC may file a civil action against any person if that person, without consent of the USOC, uses the Olympic trademarks for the purpose of trade, to induce the sale of any goods or services, or to promote any theatrical exhibition, athletic performance, or competition. A showing of actual consumer confusion, or even a likelihood of such confusion, is not necessary for the USOC to prevail. ... The USOC is also not required to show that an unauthorized use of the Olympic trademarks is occurring in connection with goods or services similar to those on which the USOC has previously authorized use.


Basically, the USOC owns these words and symbols exclusively, by Act of Congress. The UK is merely "harmonizing" with the USA.

Custodians of the torch... (what would zeus do?) (1)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335512)

What these great legal and business minds don't seem to understand is the spirit of the games.

Sacrifice some oxen and play ball.

Pub Scoreboards (1)

stapedium (228055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335518)

All a pub has to do to get around this type of stupididty is use a chalkboard with a logo from some beer company that is an official sponsor. I'm sure there will be plenty of these made available for free to pubs with such a desire.

No one cares about that trash anyway. (1)

sk1tch (152715) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335522)

No one really likes the ******** anyway. When was the last time you enjoyed watching one of the events, or rather, were allowed to enjoy the event without minutely interruptions from sponsors and sponsored talking heads. The events aren't that exciting in general anyway (POWER WALKING!).

Maybe in 20** when a pub isn't allowed to say they're showing the ***** without paying a million dollar licensing fee, they'll decide to just not show them. And no one will miss them.

That's possible?! (1)

CornellEngr2008 (908104) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335527)

Wow, I didn't know you could copyright, trademark, or otherwise reserve numbers! Does that apply to just the number 2012 (whoops... I used it!), or does it reach all it's factors and multiples? I can see the headlines now: "New Theorem Cannot Be Proven Without Infringing Upon Copyright Laws", and desperate pleas by mathematicians to raise the funds to use the numbers they need! I'd better hurry up and reserve 1337 so no one else can use it! Ever!

Not just in London... (1)

mstra (38238) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335528)

The famous and influential cruicible of improvisation in Chicago, Improv Olympic [iochicago.net], had to change it's name to "IO" after Charna Halpern received a letter from the U.S. Olympic Committee ordering her to drop "Olympic" from the company name.

Words (1)

Mathonwy (160184) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335536)

Is it just me, or is this past the point of even remote sanity? I mean, intellectual property laws have been getting crazier and crazier, but... getting to the point where you're not allowed to say certain WORDS because someone else "owns" them?

Uh..

How the HECK do you justify any sort of legal backing for that? None of the people with exclusive rights to the words in question invented such words. There are SURE as heck a lot of examples of prior art. It's not as if they made up some NEW words, and said they were off limits. That would be (slightly) more resonable. But you can't just take a chunk of an already existing language, and reserve certain words in an attempt to give a financial advantage to certain companies.

Er. Ok, I guess in UK you can. (And I have no doubt that such a thing could happen here in the US as well.)

But you SHOULDN'T be able to. To me, this is a very loud and clear sign that something in our system is kinda broke.

hehe (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335539)

Now taking room reservations for that athletic thingy happening between 2011 and 2013 in the big English town that sold their bridge to some podunk Arizona town. Three levels to choose from: Platinumy, Titaniumy, and Irony from only $290.oo per night.

Contact:

'Not Fall, Not Winter, Not Spring' Cottages
2433 W 'Kinda yellowish stuff' Blvd
That big city from Above
England

Aye, that makes great ad copy what's the problem :)

There won't be olympics in 2012 anyways... (5, Funny)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335544)

... our time traveling friend John Titor said there won't be Olympics after 2004 (dunno if this counts for the '06 winter olympics or not) due to too much conflict over the entire thing. It isn't until 2036 until they try and start it all back up again. I can't wait for this civil war to start, I'm gonna quit my job and head to the hills. I've learned to embrace his prophecy and understand the true meaning of life thanks to Titor.

For those who don't know about John [abovetopsecret.com] Titor [wikipedia.org]


P.S. Anyone know where I can find that video of him traveling time in his car when he goes BACK TO THE FUTURE?

Re:There won't be olympics in 2012 anyways... (1)

sameb (532621) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335696)

But it'd make sense if all history of it was wiped away 'cause of the ban on using the words. ;)

(not that i really believe the story)

Arrest me (1)

masterzora (871343) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335560)

Olympic, Olympics, Olympiad, Olympiads, Olympian Olympians, 'Citius Altius Fortius', 'London 2012', London2012.com
I'm in big trouble now.

But seriously, this is kind of ridiculous. I am now no longer allowed to post on a blog "I hope to be an Olympian in the London 2012 Olympic games."? (If you say it only applies to businesses, like the headline says, check the London2012.com Olympic Marks guidelines [london2012.org]. That definitely sounds like it applies to anybody.) That's a little extreme. If they can do that, I want a law saying that nobody can say 'masterzora' or any derivative thereof unless they give me lots of money. I mean, if they can do it, I can, right?

obvious solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335561)

Refuse to talk about, or even acknowledge the existence of the olympics.

Commercial speech---who needs it anyway?

Another reason to hate the olympics (1)

mutilated_cattle (846847) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335563)

Great, now not only do I have to pay for us to host this bloody circus out of my tax money but they can ban me from speaking the words "summer 2012" too. Nice.

The olympics has become nothing more than another oppurtunity for business to get their snouts in the trough, the public funds some pointless building program for massive sports venues that will never be used again and the only ones to benifit are the sponsors and the contractors.
Any of the old olympic values are long gone and forgotten anyway, it's all about cash.
Spend the money that will be spent on the Olympics bringing some genuinely usefull redevelopment to east london that will actually benifit people, not on this pointless joke.

I can see it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335583)

"Today is July 1, the year before 2013, and boy is it hot on this hot season-after-spring day. The kids are all in the house playing video entertainment and someone got a metallic-personal-achievement-notation. Now a word from the people who advertise thus bringing in revenue so this program doesn't go off the air."

Give me a break.

Request to everyone in the UK (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335640)

This is downright ridiclous. Everyone in the UK (like myself) should buy a plain white T-shirt and draw the Olympic rings on it then write all these words over it and wear them in London around the Olympics. If enough people did it, it'd show off the point of how ridiclous this law is.

Improv Olympic (1)

tentac1e (62936) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335644)

The 25 year old "Improv Olympic" theatre in Chicago is where Chris Farley, Mike Meyers, Andy Richter, The Upright Citizens Brigade, and others built up their chops.

Years ago, the Olympic Comittee threatened the theatre over the use of "Olympic." For a while its name changed to "Improv Olympia." They switched back to Improv Olympic with a compromise that they would phase out the title, and this year they finished the transition.

Now they're just "The IO Theatre." Officially, I.O. stands for nothing.

Canadian Businesses (2, Informative)

phorm (591458) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335647)

Canada is doing the same think. A local business in Vancouver, around for a decade (and long before the games were coming near here) was attacked [worldpress.org] by the olympic committee over having the olympic rings logo over the"Olympic Pizza" restaurant.

It's big-business greed at it's very best, especially since the coming of the olympics will ensure that the Whistler skihill will be inaccessible to anybody but the rich, as the cost of attending the olympics is beyond many average folk, and the rates in the area are already skyrocketing in anticipation of the games.

Olympics were around long before trademarks, and used to be for the people... now they're only for big-business and rich people, go figure.

bizarre Inconveniences (1)

amigabill (146897) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335669)

Hmmm. So there won't be any video games released in 2012? We can't fill in the entire date that year when we write cheques to pay bills? And there will only be three seasons to talk about?

I say we start a new Games... (1)

5n3ak3rp1mp (305814) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335692)

the No-Corporate-Assholes-Allowed games.

(What do you mean, NCAA is already taken?? What the hell does that stand for? You sure you don't mean NCSA??)
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