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, LiberalConspiracy.org, 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.