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2012 Summer Olympics to look more like 1984

Picture this: Michael Phelps goes to watch Usain Bolt run in the 100m Final at the 2012 Olympics in London. Bolt shatters the World Record. Phelps tweets, “What a run by Bolt!”.

Under the draconian rules set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Games organizers Locog, Phelps could be punished for merely tweeting about another athlete.

Via The Guardian, here are the rules imposed on athletes, fans, and companies:

Banned during the Games: What the rules say

Athletes don’t …

• Blog about your breakfast cereal or energy bar if it’s not an official sponsor – in Games Period all endorsement is banned.

• Post video clips from inside the athletes’ village to your blog or Youtube. No audio or video content from inside any Olympic venue can be uploaded to any site.

• Tweet “in the role of a journalist”. Athletes “must not report on competition or comment on the activities of other participants”.

Non-sponsor companies and businesses don’t …

• Say: “Supporting our athletes at the 2012 Games!” or “Help us make it a Gold 2012!”

• Use images that suggest an assocation with the London Olympics.

•Offer tickets as part of a promotion.

Crowd members don’t …

• Upload a clip of William and Kate tripping up the steps of the Olympic stadium to Youtube: “A Ticket Holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet.”

• Post your pictures to Facebook – this may fall under the same restriction.

• Take part in an ambush marketing stunt, “including, for the avoidance of doubt individual or group ambush marketing”.

To some extent, a few of the rules make sense. Companies that aren’t associated with the Olympics shouldn’t be able to piggyback off of those trademarks. Visitors shouldn’t be able to broadcast on their own from inside venues. Still, a pub should be able to say that they are showing the Games on TV, and fans should be able to take photos to record their memories.

In this era where everyone has the ability to take photos, video, or write from anywhere in the world, the restrictions on fan photography are severe, not to mention unenforceable. The police in London will have far bigger considerations to worry about during the Olympics, such as morons floating around in the Thames.

The athlete restrictions are even worse. The majority of competitors struggle to get funding, relying on corporate sponsors while working other jobs while they train. To ban them from talking about companies who supported them along the way (and are not official Games sponsors) makes their lives even more difficult.

The Olympics are supposedly about the athletes. Yet with rules like these, it’s clear that it’s only about the money for those in charge.

Olympics 2012: branding ‘police’ to protect sponsors’ exclusive rights [The Guardian]
London’s dystopian Olympics: criminal sanctions for violating the exclusivity of sponsors’ brands [Boing Boing]

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