International Olympic Committee Goes Copyright (& Trademark) Crazy

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Cory Doctorow’s headline, Olympic Committee claims that photographing exterior of venues violates copyrights:

I hope that the IOC is aware that it’s about to show up in one of the most media-savvy towns in the world, and that trying to stop private citizens from posting “unauthorized” photos will be nothing short of a fool’s errand. This sort of hostility towards Olympic fans is both wasteful and pointless. Does the IOC not understand why people go to the Olympic Games? (Hint: to come home with once-in-a-lifetime memories. This includes things like… photos) If the IOC has trouble understanding what the Internet does, they can probably find someone to ask. My own consulting rate is quite reasonable.

Says Thomas Hawk, this really sucks:

Duncan [Riley] points us to the letter at left sent from the IOC’s Director of Legal Affairs, Howard M. Strupp, to photographer Richard Giles. The letter is a legal threat against Giles for hosting images of the Olympics on his Flickrstream in what the IOC feels is a violation of the terms and conditions of his ticket. You can read a large size version of the BS letter that the IOC sent to Giles here. [...]

The International Olympic Committee is being terribly proprietary with images of their events here and I hope this cease and desist letter backfires on them. I’m equally concerned that the IOC would consider use on Flickr as something other than private use. Flickr is a non-commercial website (by the definition of the terms and conditions of the site, unless approval is received from Flickr for commercial use) and a place for people to share photos with their family, friends and yes the world. That the IOC would go after non-commercial use is disturbing.

What’s even worse, it appears that the IOC is trying to argue with Giles that even using the *word* Olympics in his photostream is somehow some sort of violation.

In other Olympic bullying news, they are trying to block the Olympia, Washington, Olympian newspaper from trademarking its name:

It would appear that the Olympian has been operating since 1889. That would be seven years prior to the first modern “Olympics” in 1896.

Cory’s succinct assessment, “The Olympics may be the most overrated, corrupt, bullying institution we have on an international level (exempting corporations and organized crime syndicates).”