London Olympic committee says you're only allowed to link to their site if you have nice things to say

James Losey from New America Foundation sez,

The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal, who has estimated how long it would take to read every privacy policy you encounter highlights an interesting bit from the "Linking Policy" in the Terms of Use for the London 2012 website:

"a. 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."

Hey, LOCOG! I think you're a bunch of greedy, immoral corporatist swine who've sold out London to a bunch of multinationals and betrayed the spirit of athleticism and international cooperation. You're a disgrace. And I'm linking to you. In a most derogatory manner.

What are you going to do about it?

(Thanks, James!)


    1. Um, yeah. Because an unenforceable bit of terms of conditions on a website is WAY worse than an actual law which would have drastically curtailed freedom on the Internet, and forced ISPs to monitor all their customer’s traffic. Yes. Sure.

      Which is my way of saying you REALLY need to get some perspective. 

        1.  Well ACTA, CETA, TPP, CISPA (whatever they wanna call the next internet censorship bill) are basically the same bill as SOPA and Obama and other country’s are already on board with them so were screwed regardless.

  1. Oooh!  You are so busted, mister! 

    You just wait, as soon as the legal team gets through chasing down all those e-mails sent to the wrong people who didn’t delete them (like they were asked!) they’ll be coming after you.

  2.  The Olympics is just about money these days. The people who run it make FIFA look honest. It needs to be investigated and the corruption rooted out. It will never happen. Too much power and money associated with the group.

    Why would your name to be linked to them unless you were trying to distract from a more unsavory past, like leveraged buyouts.

  3. WTF is it with the  frakkin’ LOCOG? I find I simply must derogate them as objectionably as I can for giving us such a horrific example of corporate arrogance backed by government thuggery. Truly a frightening vision of the future.

  4. I’d be careful, Cory – considering how deranged and anti-human England’s libel laws are, they might just file charges. You don’t spend much time in the Jolly Olde, do you?


    1. as horrible as they are, they only apply to individuals, and not in some implicit mitt romney “corporations are people” way. you have to actually call someone out, which cory hasn’t done.

      1.  Actually as we saw recently with the BCA Vs Singh a corporation can indeed sue for libel.  Though they lost, the BCA were able to take the case to court.  So yes, companies, organisations and corporations can sue people for libel.  In fact many companies do. 

  5. Lovely post!   This is a negative, derogatory comment about how the London Olympic Committee is doing a bad job and has degraded the spirit of the Olympics to a dirty political commercial.  I’ll spend the Olympics re-watching ‘Miracle’ and reading a Herb Brooks biography…As a side note, it appears the LOCOG site is now down.  LOCOG! You’re doing a bad job at IT as well!

  6. “The Olympics! It’s a movement! And everybody needs one, every day.” — Harry Shearer (who would probably enjoy hearing about this story)

  7. So, using the LOIC is kind of like punching an obnoxious person in the face. 99.99998% of the time it just makes you look bad and doesn’t solve anything.

    99.99998% is  not 100% and that’s all I’m saying…

  8. Next up, LOCOG tells news organizations that they can only mention LOCOG and the Olympic Games if they have something positive and uplifting to say. News coverage that criticizes London 2012 or casts it in an unflattering light is absolutely forbidden.

    1. Five of them, in different colors, please. My PS abilities are null, so please somebody do it.

  9. Kinda reminds me of the NFL here in the US who before every game declare that you can not show or reproduce any images from the game or event comment about the events of the game without their consent.

  10. London2012 / LOCOG are hostile to vegetarians.  They did a deal which gave McDonalds a monopoly on selling chips or french fries anywhere near the Olympics, except that restaurants could sell fish and chips (because even they could see than they couldn’t ban that in London.)  But McD’s potatoes are coated with beef fat – so you could either get your chips with beef or with a side of fish.  Apparently that may be fixed now, because lots of food vendors complained, but it was still annoying and clueless of them.  Meanwhile, Rapier and Starstreak are the Official Surface-To-Air-Missile Sponsors of the 2012 Olympic games!   Get one on your roof today!

    1. Actually, in the UK they don’t put beef fat in the fries because of the large number of Muslims living here who want their fries halal, please. 

        1. Halal requires that the animals be slaughtered properly, which they are most likely not when providing grease for Fryolators.

  11. Um, just go to their site. I mean, it’s just right there:

    “Linking to this site
    We are happy for you to create a text link to this site from your site. No permission from us is needed for you to do so, although please note the restrictions on unauthorised associations and false portrayals set out in our linking policy – see section 5 of our Terms of Use.
    Use of the London 2012 emblems is restricted to our official partners and suppliers, so please do not link to us using our emblem”

  12. That’s a good idea, Doctor Ow. I did the same . They’re a bunch of jerks with their “only buy our 5 pound an ounce water and don’t bring your Vuvuzelas. Bah.

    I mean, really the problem is their journey on the continued degradation of the customer/consumer/general public. These folks think “well, we’re the only game in town, so screw the little guy.”

    Well, folks, the little guy has a pretty great communication system now–and even if our collective action begins as silly links to the London 2012 site, it will only grow.

  13. The Olympic committee is just disgusting. They are greedy immoral managers who dont know anything about sport spirit. They had us remove a collage I made out of our sport photos together with a part of the olympic circles (a banner to link to olympic TV schedule). They are just sick!

  14. Well, so long as your comment is clearly personal opinion and not presented as fact, and is an opinion that could be held by a ‘fair-minded’ individual, then your right to make is it protected by law.  No ToC can strip you of your legal rights. (

    In that vein, it is my opinion that the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics are money-grabbing fascists (the brand is more important than the individual) more concerned with profit than sport, and that if they’re so worried about their reputation they should be nice people instead of being over-zealous profiteers trying to scare people into not saying bad things about them.

  15. I object strongly to the notions that the London Olympics are a great opportunity to foster international and multicultural understanding, that the Games are going to be held in a sportslike spirit with little profit orientation, and that LOCOG’s members are not gluttonously eating live baby hamsters wrapped in money on a daily basis.

    Please give this limitation due consideration when using a link to portray the London Olympics in a non-‘objectionable’ manner.

  16. Looks like the LOCOG is getting the Barbera Streisand Effect… right up the ass.

    Serves  ’em right, the douchebags. 

  17. It’s stories I read here about the London games that have convinced me not to give a damn about the Olympics. Good luck to all the athletes but fuck the organizers and greedy fuckers.

  18. Look guys, we don’t have anyone to guard the Olympics, so please be nice to and about us?

  19. Since we can’t use the actual name of the event, the Event That Must Not Be Named will henceforth be referred to as Voldesport. 

  20. Really cool post, and I agree wholeheartedly. On a side note, though, surely this must be the worst-designed civic project in history. Everything, from the ground up, is awful. The two cycloptic alien mascots? The ‘Lisa Simpson’ logo? The flag of the UK redone in blue?! What’s more, nothing seems to have a unifying theme.

    Giving the UK the Olympics was folly from a security perspective, given the recent history of trouble in London, but depressingly, the real failure has been the work ethic of the project as a whole. At every level, it’s a case of take the money and run.
    If you’d ever paid for anything in London, you’d have seen this coming.

    1. I think that the combination of modern London and the modern Olympics is exposing all that is wrong with both. They’re made for one another.

  21. Who on earth thought that would be a good addition to the Terms of service?

    Like, someone, somewhere, sat down in front of an empty Word Doc at some point and went ‘I know what will be a good idea that has no possible downside what so ever….’

  22. I think I’ll watch the Laff O’Lympics cartoons instead of the Fasc O’Lympics…

    Oops! too late They impounded every DVD and pulled it from TV for copyright infringement!

  23. I posted a link to this post.  Does the threat cascade to links to links?

    And I still think the London Oympics logo looks like an act of fellatio and the image won’t go away each time I look at it.

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