What?!? Now we’re not even allowed to link to the Olympics website?

We’ve heard a lot about how the Olympics Games will take over London in the past few weeks: missile launchers on rooftops, non-approved chips banned from the Olympic site, protest threatened, Twitter accounts censored. But we must admit we hadn’t noticed the Olympic organisers attempts to change the way the entire internet works. Our attention has been drawn to the terms of use of the London 2012 website, which make it very clear under what circumstances you’re allowed link to the site:

  1. Links to the Site. You may create your own link to the Site, provided that your link is in a text-only format. You may not use any link to the Site as a method of creating an unauthorised association between an organisation, business, goods or services and London 2012, and agree that no such link shall portray us or any other official London 2012 organisations (or our or their activities, products or services) in a false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner. The use of our logo or any other Olympic or London 2012 Mark(s) as a link to the Site is not permitted. View our guidelines on Use of the Games’ Marks.

Got that? You’re only allowed link to the official site of the Olympics if you’re going to say nice things about the Olympics.

This obviously presents a problem. I really, really want to say that this is one of the silliest things I’ve read in my entire life, and that it demonstrates a level of control freakery that even the most hardened Olympisceptic could not have imagined. But the problem with that is that I’d be breaking the rules by linking to the page containing this information so that you could read it for yourself.

So I’m not going to say that. I’m going to say that this is a brilliant piece of brand management that’s not at all open to ridicule and scorn, and that’s it’s extremely unlikely that anyone would ever make a joke about this rule by linking to the Olympic site with language that could be “false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable”.

Here’s the link to the eminently sensible Terms of Use

Padraig Reidy is News Editor at Index on Censorship


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