Tuesday, 3 July 2012

DON'T say 'cheese'

Looks like the Olympics - at which I'll be working - is going to be a barrel of corporate laughs. Apart from the cynicism of the main sponsors being McDonalds and various other corporate vampire squid, the restrictions on spectators, athletes and volunteers look utterly draconian.

This is on my tickets:
“Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a Ticket Holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes and a Ticket Holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet more generally.”
So if the BBC says 'send in your favourite picture' - banned. I can't film a segment of the event I'm attending and stick it here on Vole TV. Nor can I post pictures - I'm only allowed to view them in the privacy of my own home.

Obviously I intend to ignore these rules, and I assume everybody else will too. And there's nothing they can do about it, unless they want to be in the papers every day for suing ordinary citizens. I can understand the rules about not selling images: there are plenty of professional photographers there who've paid a lot of money for access (though I don't agree with this system), but for us amateurs, it's insane.

The other rules are for Olympic staff. According to the Press Gazette:
Athletes and other ‘accredited persons’ are banned from uploading images to social media platforms. They can’t even tweet! And if they want to post a photo or image taken in the Olympic village, they must get consent from anyone appearing in it.
Again - no chance. I have no intention of taking anything embarrassing to the athletes, of advantage to rivals or anything like that. I'll be too busy to do much anyway - but forbidding me from tweeting my usual mundanity or posting a photo of a happy medal winner is bonkers. Thankfully, our sport's boss is much more sensible. She's told the volunteers to respect the athletes' privacy, focus and need for personal space at the highlight of their careers, by not requesting photos or getting in people's faces. Perfectly reasonable.

Be sure you'll be hearing from me on the other side of the barbed wire! Oh, and if you're thinking of running a Quadrennial Sports Event Themed promotion - like everybody else - make sure you don't use 'Olympics' or '2012', because they'll sue you. However, you can use 'Olympian' as much as you like - the Wenlock Olympian Games, at which I've won several cups - carries on gloriously unsued.

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