Vancouver Olympics will own words like "winter," "2010" and "Vancouver"

Canadian Industry Minister Maxime Bernier recently introduced Bill C-47, the Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act, through which the Vancouver Olympics are guaranteed exclusive public use of the following words: winter, gold, silver, bronze, sponsor, Vancouver, Whistler, 2010, tenth, medals, and games.

It's amazing how the Olympics have come to symbolize bullying corporate greed; overreaching, violent "security measures;" drug abuse and destruction of public facilities and low-income housing.

Bernier has no time to deal with spam, spyware, privacy, or net neutrality but commits to legislation on behalf of the organizers of a sporting event? Moreover, the legislation grants the Olympic organizers enormous power to police the use of anything approaching association with the Olympics. For example, the bill contains a list of expressions to be considered by the federal court to determine whether someone has misled the public into believing that their business is endorsed or associated with the Olympics. The expressions include: winter, gold, silver, bronze, sponsor, Vancouver, Whistler, 2010, tenth, medals, and games. While this looks like a recipe for abuse, the Olympic organizers have assured the public that it "is committed to applying the proposed legislation in a disciplined, sensitive, fair and transparent manner." Perhaps, but many Canadians may justifiably be left to ask whether anyone should be granted the right to govern the use of generic words such as winter or Vancouver.
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Update: Fat Cramer sends us this "trailer for a movie made by Conrad Schmidt (of the Work Less Party) documenting opposition to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics."

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