UK Trying To Censor Parody Video About The 2012 Olympics

from the really-now? dept

We’ve discussed for many years how the Olympics has a ridiculously overaggressive approach to attacking free speech for those who criticize or mention aspects of the Olympics without permission. In most locations that host the Olympics, special extraordinary laws get passed against specific expressions around the Olympics that go beyond ordinary restrictions on speech. London, it seems, has been particularly willing to bend over backwards to appease the International Olympic Committee.

Take, for example, this story of a simple parody video about the 2012 Olympics that has been taken down over claims it violates the Olympics’ IP rights. The video is clearly a parody, making use of the 2012 Olympics’ creepy mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, to show them in what appears to be a London riot (using some computer graphics work). The original video got about 90,000 views before being taken down. As the link above notes, there is no right to parody in the UK, so while it may be legal to have the video taken down, it’s still ridiculous. The site linked above,, insists that it’ll keep posting the video if it gets taken down. But, as of the time I write this, I’m embedding the working version of the video, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s gone before too long.

Honestly, the video seems pretty tame. Perhaps the Olympics thinks it hurts its “brand” to have such a video, but it sure seems like censoring parody videos does a hell of a lot more reputation damage to the Olympics than a silly parody video of its mascots.

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Comments on “UK Trying To Censor Parody Video About The 2012 Olympics”

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when the UK has got pricks like Cameron in charge of government, and Vaizey in charge of internet related stuff, what the hell do you expect? the only reason the UK got the Olympics this time around was because no other country could afford it (same as the UK) or really wanted it, given that the attendance will be limited to those who can afford it as well (same as the UK). it’s gonna be an even bigger White Elephant than usual. wonder what they will say when the cost versus income figures are released and what they will do with the stadium afterwards? be like the Millennium Dome, complete waste!


By the way, just wondering about this; there’s something I don’t understand in this internet age: “there is no right to parody in the UK”, so what prevents you from sending it to some friend in, say, the US where they do have that right, and ask him to upload it to, say, What can they do about it then? Since the uploader, domain and servers are all US based, UK law simply does not apply anymore, right? Or is that not possible?

Not an Electronic Rodentsays:


Since the uploader, domain and servers are all US based, UK law simply does not apply anymore, right?

Very true, since the UK has the international clout to sue it’s way out of a paper bag and not a lot more these days. On the other hand, the other way round where US law doesn’t apply in the UK is seems extradition and a criminal trial is called for.


Re: Re:

And watching your government systematically dismantle your rights in order to have the opportunity to host a mega sporting event that brings in a lot of money to the IOC and sponsors but not the host nation, except maybe some Conservative campaign contributors is not insulting? Parody doesn’t need to be funny, especially if it is sending a message.


The Groove Tigersays:


Freedom of Expression, Article 19, born 1948, buried in the rain. Ignored. Is that what happens to them? No time for speech? Only our censors leave roses. Silent rights ending silently. LiberalConspiracy understood. Humans are litigious in nature. No matter how much you try to dress it up, to disguise it. LiberalConspiracy saw society’s true face. Chose to be a parody of it, a joke. I heard a joke once. Webmaster goes to analyst, says he’s depressed. The DMCA seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world. Analyst says “Treatment is simple. The funny lolcat site, YouTube, is in the internets. Go see it. That should pick you up”. Man bursts into tears. “But doctor”, he says, “I am the Webmaster of YouTube.” Good joke. Everybody laughs. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.

This video could have easily been legal

All Mothers Best Child had to do was find out who was responsible for the creation of everything they used in their vid, credit accordingly, then they could have claimed ‘Fair Dealing for the purposes of criticism and review’, making the vid legally untouchable. Further details can be found at

This video could have easily been legal

All Mothers Best Child had to do was find out who was responsible for the creation of everything they used in their vid, credit accordingly, then they could have claimed ‘Fair Dealing for the purposes of criticism and review’, making the vid legally untouchable. Further details can be found at

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