British magazine The Spectator has a provocative new cover story about Olympic censorship:
According to editor Fraser Nelson, however, the magazine’s cover could cause it to be banned from sale:
I’ve been warned that this new Speccie cover may not be sold in some newsagents due to Olympic censorship laws. Precisely Nick Cohen’s point
— Fraser Nelson (@frasernelson) July 11, 2012
The issue appears to be over the unauthorised use of the Olympic rings, which the IOC (the International Olympic Committee) is notoriously litigious about (part of which forms the basis of Nick Cohen’s article). The IOC has a contract with London about the use of Olympic’s trademarks, described by Michael Joseph Gross in Vanity Fair as such:
The contract requires British customs officials and London police to confiscate all non-licensed goods bearing the Olympics name or logo, be they fake T-shirts or marzipan renderings of the five Olympic rings on cakes in bakery windows. To help officials do this job, the contract stipulates that “brand protection teams” must be formed to roam the city. Inside Olympic venues, spectators may not “wear clothes or accessories with commercial messages other than the manufacturers’ brand name.” London must ensure that there is no non-official propaganda or advertising in the airspace above the city while the Games are going on, and for two weeks prior. No Olympic venue, and no access routes to any Olympic venue, may be decorated in any way “that would conflict with or cause a breach of any” official Olympic corporate sponsorship. London must “obtain control of all billboard advertising, city transport advertising, airport advertising etc. for the duration of the Games and the month preceding it to support the marketing programme” of the I.O.C.
Nelson might be overreacting, but we certainly see his point.
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