The London Olympics had a special law passed to guard its brand, and it’s crazy:
As well as introducing an additional layer of protection around the word “Olympics”, the five-rings symbol and the Games’ mottoes, the major change of the legislation is to outlaw unauthorised “association”. This bars non-sponsors from employing images or wording that might suggest too close a link with the Games. Expressions likely to be considered a breach of the rules would include any two of the following list: “Games, Two Thousand and Twelve, 2012, Twenty-Twelve”.
Using one of those words with London, medals, sponsors, summer, gold, silver or bronze is another likely breach. The two-word rule is not fixed, however: an event called the “Great Exhibition 2012” was threatened with legal action last year under the Act over its use of “2012” (Locog later withdrew its objection).
The law also means that pubs can’t post a sign saying “watch the Olympics on our big screen TV”, and that athletes can’t mention non-sponsor brands in any kind of social media messaging during the games.
This is a goaled-medal post. I hope the pub owners start posting signs about the Olimpyk Gaymes.
All these big events now have crazy rules imposed by the commercial sponsors. Here in the Caribbean, hotels were required to remove id on TVs in their rooms that weren’t the “right” brand. One country couldn’t host an event in the main stadium because there was too much established advertising in the vicinity for the wrong soda. It just keeps getting worser and worser.
It’s a good thing 2012 is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year and not Gold or Silver, or the London Olympics folks would be suing Buckingham Palace’s ass.
I hate this kind of stuff. ACOG was the same way about the Atlanta Games in 1996, and it was just stupid.
Oh fine. I’ll just watch the Oh-Limp-Ick festivities in Lun-Done instead.
Two-Zero-One-Two Activities Providing Entertainment or Amusement
At some point, the folks at The Onion are going to have to show us their TARDIS.
I vaguely remember watching the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 on TV as a very young child.
I haven’t watched any since then.
Sometimes it’s very lonely being an utterly non-sport person.
What exactly is it supposed to gain them? I don’t see how this guards profits. It’s offensive and stupid too but really I just don’t see where the money is in taking it to this extreme.
Our world’s corporate/nation-state bureaucracy is choking the fun out of everything.
Someone at the NCAA or NFL must be moonlighting across the pond.
Thank god for intellectual property rights! Civilization as we know it would surely grind to a halt w/o them.
The culmination of decades of tradition and actual celebration of ‘decisions by committee’, on steroids and trotted out on podium every 4 years.
A perfect shitstorm of committees on top of committees bringing together the worlds of sports, media, politics, nationalism, lawyers and $$$. The current issue surely to be brought to new levels of bureaucracy as only the British can do.
Um…this has been the law in the US for quite some time, and it doesn’t just protect the O-word *ames. Any big time sports business has these protections (even without the special federal legislation that benefits – directly and by name – the O-word *ames). NCAA claims to own “Final Four,” for example, in just about any context. And they’re not shy about protecting their rights. Hey, it’s for the kids (‘student athletes”), right? Anything for the kids…
This is only news because many Europeans still think that the rule of law has something to do with reason. Here in the US, of course, we have long realized that the point of the law is to protect and enable our corporate overlords…
Damn, I guess when a city calls itself a corporation we shouldn’t be shocked when it behaves as a corporation, but this is still crazy.
And here I was, going to ignore the whole damn thing anyway. Like I’d pay attention now?
Around the time of next year’s Super Bowl, keep an eye out for how many snack/drink/etc. ads refer to “the big game” rather than using the trademarked term “Super Bowl.” These’d be your non-NFL advertising partners.
Actually the NCAA had to buy the rights to “Final Four” from some jackhole that grabbed the rights first & then blackmailed the NCAA into paying him for them. Like internet squatters there are copyright squatters who are pulling the crap regularly.
As long as the courts allow this sort of thing to happen they just encourage the behavior.
But the ring-thing quadrennial greed’gasm are a whole ‘nother level of ugly. At some point it seems they are just going to piss off enough people that it will kill the nice little scam they have been running. Hasn’t happened yet but they keep pushing for it.
Thank god for amateur sport!
Well. I’m glad to see that the UK has no pressing problems at the moment.
Makes me not want to watch the Olympixxxx.
Devalues them, in pursuit of filthy lucre.
This is what happens when the “Olympic” sponsors are paying a ridculous price for 10 days of display. Most of these business’ are advertising in others ways that are as effective and cost less per eyeball.
What they are really worried about is the point in time when the corporate folks cannot justify the exhorbitent expense of “sponsoring” the games.
When the Olympics were in Calgary in 1988, the IOC had the same kind of IP jihad in effect.
I remember they went after the Olympic Bingo Hall in Halifax, NS for trying to capitalize on the Olympics as a non-sponsor.
Halifax is 3,000 miles away from Calgary. And the bingo hall had had the name in place since the ’60s.
I love the Olympics, but this bullshit just makes it harder to enjoy it.
Fuck Circenses Londinum MMXII.
Now sue me.
PS: I like that version of the number better than the original. And sorry guys, you can’t have the rights to it.
Makes me even more glad Chicago didn’t get the games.
yopd1 (formerly BDeevDad)
I’m sure the NBA players that are participating will make sure to follow that rule.
@Schlemizel: They pissed me off in the 1970s, when they (the U.S. Olympic Committee, I think) sued a local Greek guy with a hole-in-the-wall restaurant named the Olympia and drove him out of business.
I haven’t paid any attention since and don’t plan to, although I get fund-raising appeals from time to time.
Have they ever sued the state of Washington, I wonder?
Villago Delenda Est
These people join the ranks of MPAA and RIAA, the two organizations most dedicated to destroying the concept of intellectual property, by opening up a new front on branding.
This idiocy, this overreach, will destroy them in the end.
I’m more than happy to let guys like this and the NFL (who not only sue if someone uses “Super Bowl” but also sue if someone uses “Big Game”) to refuse to let other people promote their waste of money event in which we route money to already wealthy people.
Fine by me. I don’t want to watch anyhow. Making it impossible for everyone else to bombard me with Olympic speak in every imaginable realm is actually doing me a favor.
@Villago Delenda Est: I’d add Chik-Fil-A and their ownership of “eat more” and the aforementioned NFL and their attempt to own “big game.”
I’m going to open a business called “e” and then refuse to let anyone else use the letter “e”. That or England should charge the rest of the world licensing fees for the usage of the English language.
Big sporting events have been doing this for a while in the US. I’m surprised it took the UK so long to catch up with our idiocy.
@gvg: I think it is a bad move. When the NFL tells Best Buy they can’t try to sell TVs using the phrase “Super Bowl” what they are really doing is trying to sue someone for giving them free promotion. What they would normally pay for, they want to be paid for. But we are well into the rent seeking phase of the US’s economic development. They’d want us to pay them a fee every time we think about their sport.
@Lex: AND the NFL continues to try to sue people for using “big game” too.
We have pretty much the same law here:
So does Canada.
@SRW1: Londinum MMXII has already got a logo (based on benzene, so properly slightly toxic) and a motto pacta sunt servanda, Go MMXII Summer of Athletic Mzpllng!
Wonder what the fines are? It could be a real moneymaker or a nightmare?
Should spawn some clever workarounds. Can’t wait. What about just mispelling Olympics? Olympiks, O’Lympics, Olimpiks. Two-double ought-Twelve.
Or writing it in a different way – O-Lymp-ics.
Well I’m not so clever, but you can bet ad agencies will be. Maybe just using images instead of words.
“Final Four” – back in the eighties in KC there was a serial killer named Bob Berdella. Before he was found out he ran a store with a street side window. During Halloween he would put four skulls in the window and call them, you guessed it, The Final Four. Too bad he couldn’t have been sued. I didn’t pay much attention to the display. It just looked corny to me, but I did like his store. I always wondered after he was found out and arrested if the skulls were real. Probably not.
I guess Apple is reading the Onion for ideas.
I have completely faith in the pub owners of London to find creative ways to invite people to watch the games in their establishments.
This is why capitalism is so awesome!
The Olympics (can I use that word at all?) have already suffered though things like the USSR boycott, hostage situations, cold-war proxy b.s., and general silliness like scary Disneyesque +/- Anime mascots that are least common denominator taken to creepy.
Now we have brand defense to the point that the Olympics are going to pull a Komen (ie: sue anyone who dares use the color pink to do/say/sell anything). Its vile.
The whole Olympics industry is frightfully bizarre and wasteful. Nations spend billions, go into hock, and create temporary insanity zones for what? Some somersaults and a poll vault or 20.
Sure, Michael Phelps was cute and swam really well. But is this global entertainment cum reality TeeVee show worth the cost and this over the top brand facsim?
So Olympia Snowe, Olympia Dukakis and Goldie Hawn should all be expecting sternly worded letters any day now?
hunger GAMES released in 2012! Suck on it, Olympics.
OH! Limp Dicks
in honor of the folks running the show
Karl The Crap Blog Detective
Eat More For The Cure At London Olymipcs Two Thousand And Twelve!
OMG, that symbol is a benzo[a]pyrene. That thing is mutagenic and highly carcinogenic. Nice choice.