The London Olympics may be long gone, but the legislation lingers on. Now many of would thing that a word that was invented in ancient Greece might not be subject to copyright, but we’d be wrong. It turns out that as far as the Olympic committee is concerned no one can refer to Olympic Games with out their permission. Now you might thing that only starting in the lat 1800’s that the modern Olympics might be coming a bit late to the party to claim ownership of a tradition millennia old, but it seems they view things differently.
Not only do they claim to have copyright on the name “Olympics”, but they also make sure it’s enacted in legislation whenever a country hosts the games and if you want to take part in the games then you have to agree that they own everything to do with the games. The Olympics Rules stating:
“14 Olympic designations*
An Olympic designation is any visual or audio representation of any association, connection or other link with the Olympic Games, the Olympic Movement, or any constituent thereof.”
Each NOC is responsible to the IOC for the observance, in its country, of Rules 7-14 and BLR 7-14. It shall take steps to prohibit any use of any Olympic properties which would be contrary to such Rules or their Bye-laws. It shall also endeavour to obtain, for the benefit of the IOC, protection of the Olympic properties of the IOC.”
So if you want to play at the Olympics you have to make sure no one else can use anything associated with it, and if you host the games well it will end up in your laws. The “London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006” defines the “Olympic Period”:
“c)the London Olympics period” means the period which—
(i) begins four weeks before the day of the opening ceremony of the Games of the Thirtieth Olympiad that are to take place in 2012, and
(ii) ends with the fifth day after the day of the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games 2012”
And later goes on to say that:
Sections 10 to 18 (including any power to make orders or give directions) shall cease to have effect at the end of the London Olympics period.”
Sections 10 to 18 cover transport only, advertising and use of thing the IOC consider theirs are in later sections and even have their very own act the “Olympic Symbol etc. (Protection) Act 1995” . So the special and increasing protection of words associated with the Olympics are still in force, which is just plain silly especially as it would seem that the IOC don’t have a sense of humour and have taken against the awesome Lancashire Hot Pots and their 2008 Classic “The Beer Olympics” or as they now call it following threat of legal proceedings – “The Beer “International Non-Profit, Sporting Quad Yearly Event” ”
Amazing how language and humour can be ring fenced and whittled away by special interest groups pushing things into legislation on a “temporary” basis.