Saturday, February 16, 2008

Level Playing Field? IOC to allow limited athlete blogs at Beijing Games

The International Olympic Committee has decided to allow athletes to blog during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Many unofficial blogs have appeared during previous competitions.

But there are draconian restrictions regarding what content an athlete can post. The IOC has taken the tack that blogs are personal expression, not journalism, and it is guarding the intellectual property associated with the event and the broadcast rights. For example, video and still photography of events and medals ceremonies is disallowed or limited.

Is this censorship in the name of branding? "Domain names for blogs should not include any word similar to 'Olympic' or 'Olympics,'" reports The Canadian Press. I would think Olympics qualifies as public domain after several thousand years; fair use at the very least.

Has anyone heard how the IOC intends to enforce this policy? In addition to the usual medals being stripped for steroid use will we see an angry IOC dragging athletes to court for copyright infringement?


Tom Brandt said...

I saw the related article today in the BBC on-line news source. I confess to saying a bad word or 2 about the IOC. The nerve of them! Give a committee a little power and they think they can control everything about the people over which they exercise control.

I'm going to make a point of seeking out these blogs and offer any support I can to the writers.

Audrey said...

I can't help but wonder how this can possibly be enforced. I too will do all I can to support those who blog from there.