Authoritative British IP blogger Peter Groves has characteristically well-developed thoughts about the UK’s widely-reported reign of terror over enforcement concerning “unauthorized” use of the word OLYMPIC ahead of that island nation’s hosting of this year’s Summer Olympics. And it has been ridiculous, at least for a free-type country. Here’s what happenedto one bunch of disestablishmentarianists:
Twitter has cracked down over online infringement of the Olympic logo after the Games’ organisers, Locog, complained that an activist group had used the trademark 2012 image to parody the London sporting festival. A week after Space Hijackers set themselves up as the “official protesters of the London 2012 Olympic Games”, Twitter suspended the account without warning, saying the satirists’ use of the logo as a Twitter picture was an abuse of its rules as it meant they could be “confused” with an actual Olympic sponsor.
A couple of items in the press this long weekend draw attention to the draconian laws protecting any trade reference to those Games taking place not only in the capital but also in various other places around the country this year. I’m not avoiding mentioning them by name because I fear the consequences of writing prohibited words, but as a small indication of how appalled I am at what small businesses are having to put up as a result of the event being visited on them. . . . No matter that no-one in their right minds would suffer a moment’s confusion: this is not a crypto-trademark law, it’s a pretty complete monopoly. I’m looking forward to several weeks of great sport – on my television. I have a feeling even getting to the office in London is going to be out of the question, and that is not going to improve my opinion of the commercial interests which have blown what should be a wonderful event up into a colossal, and – as the laws on the use of what should, except in very narrow contexts, be part of the great common of the English language, illustrate – ludicrous folly.
Of course, you know me: no Peter Groves. Olympics! Olympics! Oh-limp-pics!!