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Olympic Organisers Try to Ban Derogatory Linking To Its Crappy Website

by Kevin Blowe

There have been many times over the last year when the BBC award-winning comedy "Twenty Twelve", a mockumentary about the organisation of this summer's Olympics, has seemed closer to reality than the writers can ever have expected. But the latest nonsense, highlighted by Index on Censorship, seems just like the work of Jessica Hynes' brilliant character, Head of Brand Siobhan Sharpe (see above). In an apparent failure to understand anything about either the Internet or freedom of expression, LOCOG has included the following clause in its website's terms of use:

Links to the Site. You may create your own link to the Site, provided that your link is in a text-only format. You may not use any link to the Site as a method of creating an unauthorised association between an organisation, business, goods or services and London 2012, and agree that no such link shall portray us or any other official London 2012 organisations (or our or their activities, products or services) in a false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner. [my emphasis] The use of our logo or any other Olympic or London 2012 Mark(s) as a link to the Site is not permitted. View our guidelines on Use of the Games’ Marks.

What this means is that, according to the London organisers, I cannot use their web address in a link to the gathering of staggering control-freakery, deranged sponsor-driven boosterism and tacky souvenirs that passes for their principal web presence.

You see what I did there? Well, it's just an opinion. It's a free country, allegedly. Now consider this: how on earth can LOCOG possibly police the expression of personal opinions on hundreds of blogs and websites? Am I to expect a solicitor's letter over the next week, or are the London organisers likely to find that they're too busy trying to fix the monumental cock-up that global security company G4S has dropped in their lap?

This article is cross-posted from under a Creative Commons license.

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