Friday, October 12, 2007

Olympic Mind Games

I needed some time to look into this hence the delay.

A local author has written a book called "Olympic Mind Games" a fictional account of the 2012 Olympics aimed at a teenage market; down come the heavy boots of the London Olympic organisers telling him to remove it. Note the BBCs reference to this

Under the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 organisers have trademark rights over words such as "Olympic", "London 2012" and "2012".
Here's where it gets nasty, the 2006 Act modifies the original Olympic Symbols 1995 Act, in this case taking the easy to understand section 4 limitations and turning them into spaghetti.

Here's the original wording that would have cleared Mr Ronsson from section 4 subsection 3 regarding limitations (what isn't considered infringement)
The descriptions of work referred to in subsections (1)(a) and (2)(a) above are a literary work, a dramatic work, a musical work, an artistic work, a sound recording, a film, a broadcast and a cable programme, in each case within the meaning of Part I of the [1988 c. 48.] Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
and the same section now amended
A person does not infringe the Olympics association right by using a controlled representation in a context which is not likely to suggest an association between a person, product or service and the Olympic Games or the Olympic movement; and for the purpose of this subsection—

(a) the concept of an association between a person, product or service and the Olympic Games or the Olympic movement includes, in particular—

(i) any kind of contractual relationship,

(ii) any kind of commercial relationship,

(iii) any kind of corporate or structural connection, and

(iv) the provision by a person of financial or other support for or in connection with the Olympic Games or the Olympic movement, but

(b) a person does not suggest an association with the Olympic Games or the Olympic movement only by making a statement which—

(i) accords with honest practices in industrial or commercial matters, and

(ii) does not make promotional or other commercial use of a protected word by incorporating it in a context to which the Olympic Games and the Olympic movement are substantively irrelevant.
Much easier to understand eh?

Let's put it in simple terms, if you saw this book on the shelf would you think it was written in association with the Olympic Games? Because that's what it all comes down to.


Anonymous said...

Hi Flipc

Thanks for your comments. I am pleased to say that LOCOG has written to me to say that they recognise they have to treat creative and artistic works differently. It's a small victory.

No sensible person would look at the book and connect it with the upcoming Games. I am merely using the London Olympic Village as the location for a work of fiction.

I'm pleased to say the publicity has boosted sales and now the controversy has died down I hope young readers 9-14 get hold of it, read it and enjoy it.

Robert Ronsson

FlipC said...

Hi Robert,

I'm glad that LOCOG have seen sense, I'd be the first to admit the old laws needed a little tightening, but the result was ridiculous.

Ah well they say any publicity is good publicity and it did get you on the telly. Hmm thinking about it with Xmas coming in I might pick up a copy for Bratus Major, he's seriously into books at the moment.