Bush's Olympic Ad & Consequences

I’m posting this in Cafe Society because my question is about the IOC.


Can the IOC take any action? For example, could it exclude US athletes from further competition if Bush doesn’t comply?

Since the Olympics will be over in two days, there’s no point.

The IOC can complain all they want, but if they are going to take on the President of the United States on this issue, they would lose.

I thought the bigger complaints were from the USOC because they are granted exclusive rights to Olympic symbols in advertising in the US.

They’re still advertising those? Their principle subject, the Iraqi soccer team objected in very strong terms. I guess they’re betting on people not knowing that the Iraqi soccer team has condemned the occupation, and stated taht if they weren’t playing, they’d be killing Americans.

Well the IOC does decide where the games are held. They could pick other countries to host for a while.

That’s not exactly what they said, unless there were further quotes that I didn’t read. Frankly, the Iraqi soccer team members that were interviewed didn’t seem like the brightest bulbs in the world.

Actually, there’s a federal law forbidding anyone from using the Olympics or its logo for political or commercial purposes without express permission from the IOC. But, heeeeyyy! He’s the guy in the white house, so he can do what he wants. :rolleyes:

Cite? There is case law in which the United States Olympic Committee (cravenly and hypocritically) got a permanent injunction against the Gay Olympics, preventing the (now) Gay Games from using the word “Olympics” (while taking no action against the Police Olympics, the Chili Olympics or the Rat Olympics) but I’m not aware of any law as you describe (other than any applicable copyright or trademark law but that’s not specific to the Olympics).

zebra’s finger is on it. There’s no way New York gets the 2012 Games now.

Even Sports Illustrated, in its print editions, only has a brief item saying the Iraqi soccer players object to the ad, not the much-stronger statement of contempt they ran online.

Here’s an article on the controversy.

Note in particular the quote:

Federal copyright laws have granted the Olympic committee exclusive rights to the term “Olympics.”

I.e., the USOC didn’t do an copyright/trademark application of the term. A special Federal law was written to (retroactively) assign them the term. (As well as other secondary terms and logos.)

Commericial use of such IP is therefore clearly wrong. The USOC has routinely gone after people they felt were violating their IP. IMHO, a political ad is just a commercial selling a politician, no difference.

If the shoe was on the other foot, this would be a major “talking point” on talk radio for the next 2 weeks. Instead, most people won’t even hear about it.

Click here if you don’t want to register at the NYT site. It’s not a copyright issue; it’s a trademark issue.

And here is the actual law.

The 2012 Olympics will end up wherever the IOC thinks it can get the best deal. If NYC can provide it, then that will be the choice.

The 9 cities on the short list are:
New York
Rio de Janeiro

I’d be shocked to see the 2012 Olympics in Havana. And I doubt Rio could pull it off either.

Paris hasn’t hosted the games since 1924 and London since 1948.

Maybe Moscow could have it and EVERYBODY could show up.

But as for repercussions from the Bush commercial, I wouldn’t count on much.

The list has already been shortened to Paris, London, Moscow, and New York, with the rumors saying Paris even before the ad ran.

Reading further, I see that Havana, Leipzig, Istanbul, and Rio are already out of consideration.

I hate to say it, but I think New York is a shoo in. They got the US site because of Sept. 11. I think US television will dictate a US games in 2012. They have been stuck with Sydney, Athens, and Beijing which are all bad (time zone wise) for US television. I think US TV (not sure if NBC has the contract) will demand a US games.

What? Who cares what Pravda, excuse me, the US media want? They, thankfully, have no say in the matter.

Not exactly. The IOC and USOC have gone after many groups using the word “Olympics” in their name, including police organizations.


Enforcement seems spotty, though, since googling “police olympics” brings up two events (in Pennsylvania and Florida) using that name in 2004.

The selection of sites for the Olympics is about 90% politics.

Whatever sympathy the US had because of 9/11 is gone now, thanks to the war. Even before the ad ran, the odds were greatly against New York (or any American city) being selected. Also, the US had the Atlanta games not too long ago, so there is probably a sense that the US isn’t “due” yet.

They may be more active now but back when they were going after the Gay Olympics they were pretty nasty about it, including putting a lien on the house of the Gay Olympics organizer while he was otherwise engaged dying of AIDS.

ok, I just remember our dormitory getting threatening letters from them back in '92 because we had some kind of environmental awareness program called the ecolympics. We changed it pretty quickly, but who knows what would have happened if we’d tried to fight it.

Apparently the Bush campaign has done the math and realizes that the IOC and USOC cannot invoke any meaningful consequences before November.