This article on how the Olympics have struck a deal with the UK to prohibit certain words is absolutely terrifying. In a nutshell, two lists of words have been published with the edict that combining two or more words from this list makes you liable for legal action. List A contains words like ‘games’ ‘two thousand and twelve’ and ‘twenty twelve’. List B has ‘gold’, ‘medal’, and ‘sponsors’. These are everyday words. I feel like the judiciary is going to run out of duct tape keeping track of all the violations.
This article from the Huffington Post also pokes at what it calls the chilling and censoring of free speech. And this whole saga must be true if the Huff Post is carrying it, which leads me to my next question.
Why aren’t we hearing more about this? The UK is doing its very best to eliminate any unofficial distribution of Olympic footage – including deleting Youtube videos and banning spectators from broadcasting videos via their cellphones – and the rest of the world goes on like it’s business as usual? They’re not just body-blocking the internet, either. Non-sponsors aren’t allowed to display any Olympic-related merchandise, or even to reference the Olympics obliquely. And the ‘authorised’ sponsors (or protectors of their interests) are given free reign to “remove, destroy, conceal or erase any infringing article”.
Hang on, what?
Since when can Coco-Cola ring up the police to come demolish my Pepsi-branded Olympic-torch lawn ornament? I guess around the same time they stopped letting you use your Mastercard at the Olympics.
I can’t believe a
first world government (especially one that came up with the brilliance that is the NHS) has let the corporate world trod so heavily on its rights and freedoms. But I guess everyone has their price.