How different are the Olympics sponsorship deals from the usual arrangements made by the NFL and the like?
Via the Daily Mail, here’s Nick Cohen:
In passing the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act of 2006, the Blair Government granted the organisers remarkable concessions. Most glaringly, the Act is bespoke legislation that breaks the principle of equality before the law.
For it has given privileges to the Olympics and its sponsors and to them alone. The Games’ organisers can protect the Olympic trademarks, as any other organisation can protect theirs, but they can also control the use of words any business or shop, for example, may or may not associate with the Games. Along with bans on the use of the Olympic name, rings, motto and logo, the organisers have appropriated ordinary language
At the organisers’ behest, the Government told the courts they may wish to take particular account of anyone using two or more words from what it calls List A: ‘Games’; ‘Two Thousand and Twelve’; ‘2012’; and ‘twenty twelve’. And the judges must also come down hard on anyone, even a charity, who takes a word from List A and joins it with one or more words from what is List B: ‘Gold’; ‘Silver’; ‘Bronze’; ‘London’; ‘medals’; ‘sponsors’; and ‘summer’. Common nouns are now private property.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games does not stop there. To cover all eventualities, it warns everyone in Britain against creating an ‘unlawful association’ with the Games, which can be done without even mentioning the forbidden words!
Even the London skyline, believe it or not, is out of bounds if it is combined with, for example, an image of a runner carrying a torch…
And the punishments will not just be damages in the civil courts. The state has granted the police powers under the criminal law to enter ‘land or premises’ and to ‘remove, destroy, conceal or erase any infringing article’…
But read for yourself, and see what you think.