Friday 27 July 2012

Going loco for the Olympics

After months of preparation, the Olympics are finally upon us! This blogger is not in London but it seems that Olympic fever is everywhere. Here are a couple of Olympic copyright stories to get us warmed up.

As many of you will know, the opening Olympics ceremony rehearsal took place earlier this week. Despite the organisers' best efforts to keep the ceremony secret, a video of the rehearsal managed to make its way on to YouTube. It was removed yesterday "on copyright grounds". Thirty-second clips of the rehearsal were however permitted to be shown on the BBC. Bet the Paris '24 Olympics did not suffer from such problems!

After the recent Al Green copyright debacle one might have thought that Obama and Romney would want to keep their campaigns free from copyright protected work however the US Olympic Committee recently registered a copyright complaint in respect of an advert released by Priorities USA, backing President Obama. The advert, which used the Olympic "parade of nations" to mock Romney's reported overseas investment accounts, was removed from YouTube and will not be aired on television.

The International Olympic Committee agreed with the decision, saying that "The IOC does not allow footage of the Olympic Games or an association with the Olympic rings to be used for political purposes, in line with the Olympic Charter."

You may be interested to know that Mitt Romney is in the UK for the Olympics which he has said he thinks will be "highly successful". Glad to have his approval!

And finally, its not really a copyright point, but this blogger could not help reporting that Oddbins (a UK off-licence) has launched a "marketing counter-strike" against the Olympic branding restrictions imposed by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG).

Apparently Oddbins will reveal special window displays intended to ruffle LOCOG's feathers, and will reward customers wearing or using Nike, Vauxhall, RBS MasterCard, Apple, British Gas, Pepsi and KFC goods with 30% off Oddbins purchases.

Oddbins' managing director Ayo Akintola has said that the company has taken steps to ensure that its planned window displays do not flout any of the "asinine rules", but that it is taking a stand to highlight "the absurdity of the fact that the British people - who are paying for these games - are at the same time being subject to ridiculous rules", adding that "even though our window designs will be within the rules, we would not be surprised if LOCOG goes loco."

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