Sunday, December 20, 2009

VANOC Disrespects IP amd Creators in 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

VANOC has shown that it can disrespect intellectual property - actual intellectual property - and its actual creators - just as much or even in a faster, higher and stronger way than the so-called "ambush" marketers who dare to combine such generic words as "Vancouver" & "Games" or "2010", etc., and thus potentially offend the very odd statute that VANOC managed to get enacted.

It apparently wanted to pre-record the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's version of a performance for the opening ceremony and then have someone other than the VSO and its actual and much esteemed conductor, Bramwell Tovey, pretend to perform the recorded performance. In other words, deception and "passing off" on an Olympic scale.

Pre-recording is one thing - and it was necessarily done during President Obama's inauguration because it was about -20 degrees celsius outside and Stradivarius fiddles and 'cellos and Leblanc clarinets and Steinway pianos don't work too well or last very long in such conditions. But at least the real performers were present and got credit.

Here's the story.

Tovey, to his great credit, refused this offer. He said:
"In our field, for you to plagiarize somebody else's recording - to mime it and pretend that it's you - is absolutely on a par with Ben Johnson's fraud. ... It's non-Olympian in spirit and VANOC really should have known better."
VANOC has backed down, apologized, and made a presumably much more legitimate proposal to the VSO, which has been accepted.

This follows reports earlier this week that professional singer-songwriter Nicole Scoffield was told she had to assign her copyright to VANOC before her song was even looked at for potential use in the Vancouver Olypmic Games in 2010. Oops, I did it again - combining all those words.

Actually, one useful aspect of the special statute is that it provides "clarification" that using all of these words together for criticism or parody isn't illegal because it's not "use" according to trade-marks law principles. Thank goodness they got that much right!
s. 3(5) For greater certainty, the use of an Olympic or Paralympic mark or a translation of it in any language in the publication or broadcasting of a news report relating to Olympic Games or Paralympic Games, including by means of electronic media, or for the purposes of criticism or parody relating to Olympic Games or Paralympic Games, is not a use in connection with a business.
So, let the criticism and parody continue at an even faster, higher and stronger level.



  1. Finally parody gets some respect. Let's hope this creates a precedent for other kinds of IP.

  2. This bit of news tickled my funny bone lately, too.

    "'Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place Between 2009 & 2011". Laugh!