On Friday morning, we published a post that included an embedded video player that linked to live coverage of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. On Saturday afternoon, we received what appears to be an auto-generated takedown notice from the International Olympic Committee, which is apparently using UK-based monitoring service Friend MTS to help it scour the Web.
To the best of our knowledge, the source of the video stream — ItsGameTime.tv — hasn’t been providing Olympics coverage since Friday afternoon; the embedded video player we had originally published has displayed a blank screen since then. Nevertheless, we’ve taken down the entire embed pending further legal review. Legal notice follows:
I am writing to you on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
During the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the IOC is conducting an internet monitoring programme, focused on protecting broadcast rights-holders? exclusive rights in moving images of such Games.
Through its monitoring system, the IOC has become aware that on your website, there is video from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, found through following URL(s)/Channel(s):
Date seen: 09/08/08
Please note that the IOC owns and controls all rights in relation to moving images of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Olympic material may not be transmitted or communicated via the Internet or any other interactive media or electronic medium without the express prior written approval of the IOC, which has not been granted to you in the present case. Moreover, your unauthorised display of video over the Internet causes prejudice to the exclusive rights holders who have received the authorisation from the IOC to do so. The IOC has good faith belief that your use of moving images of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games is not authorised by the law. The availability of moving images related to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on your website is therefore a clear violation of the IOC?s rights.
Therefore, in view of the above, the IOC requests that you immediately and permanently remove all moving images of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games from your website.
The IOC hereby states, under penalty of perjury, that the information in this notice is accurate.
The IOC reserves all rights and remedies it deems necessary in relation to this matter, including seeking injunctive relief, costs and damages, including punitive damages, where appropriate.
Please confirm immediately, to the following e-mail address [email protected] or to the following fax number +86.10 6512 8830 that you have complied with the above.
Director of Legal Affairs
See Also: How To Watch The Olympics: Gymnastics, Beach Volleyball
How To Watch The Olympics: Live Ceremony, Basketball
How To Watch The Beijing Olympics Live On The Web: Even If NBC Doesn’t Want You To
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