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IOC Trademarks Part of Canadian National Anthem 412

Posted by kdawson
from the can't-say-that-eh dept.
gravis777 sends us to BoingBoing for news that the International Olympic Committee has trademarked a line from the Canadian National Anthem and is threatening to sue anyone who uses it. The line in question is "with glowing hearts." "The committee is so serious about protecting the Olympic brand it managed to get a landmark piece of legislation passed in the House of Commons last year that made using certain phrases related to the Games a violation of law. The list includes the number 2010 and the word 'winter,' phrases that normally couldn't be trademarked because they are so general."
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IOC Trademarks Part of Canadian National Anthem

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  • That's ok (Score:5, Funny)

    by khendron (225184) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @08:49PM (#25212435) Homepage

    Most of us Canadians don't know the words anyway.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by philspear (1142299)

      Hey, the article was tagged "YOUR rights online," talking to ME. I'm not canadian, it's not affecting MY rights. WHAT'S THE DEAL!?!?

      • Re:That's ok (Score:5, Insightful)

        by just_another_sean (919159) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:43PM (#25212981) Homepage Journal

        Hey, the article was tagged "YOUR rights online," talking to ME. I'm not canadian, it's not affecting MY rights. WHAT'S THE DEAL!?!?

        Here, try this as an expermient then. Grab a domain, WINTERGLOWINGHEARTS.COM will do and start selling snowglobes with the words Vancouver - Winter 2010 on them.

        If no one hassles you then, yes, you're right; it has nothing to do with you. Please return to your regularly scheduled programming.

    • by urbanriot (924981)
      We went through thirteen years of school singing and/or listening to it, how can you not know the words? Seriously, sit there and try, or load up the background music... I bet the words will just come to you.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:20PM (#25213281)

        Geeze I'm from Texas and I know the Canadian Anthem, it's the theme to Hockey Night in Canada, right?

        • by Alsee (515537) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @01:23AM (#25214577) Homepage

          Geeze I'm from Texas and I know the Canadian Anthem

          They should join the US.

          Ummm, and the Canadians too, if they want.

          -

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheLoneDanger (611268)
      Actually, most of us know it in two languages. They just told you that to make you feel better, which was very kind of them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by tomhudson (43916)

      Most of us Canadians don't know the words anyway.

      You can't use them now anyway ... at least not in the "not-spring-not-summer-not-fall" season, or in "that-time-between-2009-and-2011".

      frak the greedy SOBs [frakkedcompany.com]

  • O Canada! (Score:5, Funny)

    by KillerBob (217953) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @08:49PM (#25212437)

    Hmm... not too keen on them trying to copyright my national anthem... but the copyright on the use of the word "winter", I like. We get too much snow as it is. Mother nature fears a lawsuit...

  • Ok so... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @08:50PM (#25212445)

    "The IOC are a bunch of fascists - with glowing hearts"

    How was that? Sue me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dgatwood (11270)

      Always fear those with glowing hearts. They might still be radioactive.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Always fear those with glowing hearts. They might still be radioactive.

        Or, you know, aliens [wikipedia.org] in Spielberg movies. :-P

        Cheers

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by calidoscope (312571)
        I'm due for another Cardiolyte imaging in February, so may have a glowing heart when the games are on.
  • Coming (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rinisari (521266) * on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @08:50PM (#25212449) Homepage Journal

    Coming Winter 2010.....

    SNOW!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @08:50PM (#25212451)

    I hereby claim invention of the phrase 'fuck litigious international committees', and release this phrase into the public domain.

    • Re:Public domain (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DrLang21 (900992) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @07:22AM (#25216387)
      Does anyone even care about the Olympics anymore? After crap like this, and all of the crap they let China get away with breaking their rules, I don't want the Olympics anywhere near the US. They have come to represent poor integrity and greed to a degree worse than the investment banks that are now putting our economy in the crapper. Somehow I don't feel that they still represent good sportsmanship.
  • by Secret Rabbit (914973) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @08:51PM (#25212461) Journal

    ... is that this Canadian and a lot of people that I know will, with glowing hearts, ignore this piece of nonsense on the basis of prior art.

    p.s. With the Conservatives in power when this was done, and the fact that they are more than likely to get back in, does anyone think that this will change?

    • by dubbreak (623656) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:49PM (#25213037)
      Trademark has nothing to do with prior art. That's patents. They aren't attempting to patent the words. It has to do with rights for a certain use of the words. So in this instance the use of "with glowing hearts" in relation to the olympics. If you use the words in other ways commercially that don't attempt to tie into the olympics in any way shape or form, then you are in the safe (the measure is whether you are diluting the brand of the IOC by using the trademarked phrase).

      While I don't agree with this TM being granted, I don't really think it limits anyone. Sure Bell can't use the Canadian anthem in a special olympic cell phone deal for the upcoming olympics, but it won't (or shouldn't) affect canadian citizens in general. It does prevent people who attempt to jump on the olympic money wagon for free without paying the IOC fee and possibly goes overboard to affect innocent advertisers that are overly patriotic (pretty rare in Canada compared to the US).

      It overly favours the IOC, but the gov't has a lot to gain from that.
      • Myself... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NotQuiteReal (608241)
        ... and like minded folks, look forward to the Winter of 2010, with glowing hearts, to ignore another two weeks of bad network TV.
      • by ubernostrum (219442) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @04:33AM (#25215497) Homepage

        So in this instance the use of "with glowing hearts" in relation to the olympics.

        Not quite. The IOC is not happy with merely controlling use of what they perceive to be their trademarks in relation to the Olympics; they actually seek to control any use, for any reason. For example, the role-playing/card game(s) "Legend of the Five Rings", which takes its name from a Japanese book on dueling published long before the IOC ever existed, was forced to change its visual-identity branding -- even though it had not one single thing to do with the Olympics -- because that branding included five interlocked circles, something over which the IOC claims control in any form and in any context.

    • by illegalcortex (1007791) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:53PM (#25213071)

      Considering they passed a special law, prior art really has nothing to do with it. In the US, the Olympics long ago go a heinous law passed that gave them trademark rights on things you couldn't normally trademark. They didn't go so far as the anthem, but you cannot legally put the name "Olympic" in your business. Who cares of the thousands of years of prior art. This came to my attention when they recently forced the band named the Olympic Hopefuls to change. And it was, unfortunately, all very legal of them to do so.

      Here's the law:
      http://www.inta.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=187&Itemid=59&getcontent=1 [inta.org]

      Here's a story on the band:
      http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1507047/20050805/index.jhtml [mtv.com]

    • by antic (29198)

      "... is that this Canadian and a lot of people that I know will, with glowing hearts, ignore this piece of nonsense on the basis of prior art."

      Just looking to clarify - would you say that "2,010 people that you know" will, with glowing hearts, ignore it?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      ... is that this Canadian and a lot of people that I know will, with glowing hearts, ignore this piece of nonsense on the basis of prior art.

      Another poster has already pointed out that prior art doesn't apply, but I'll provide a sample nonetheless here [cornell.edu]. ;-)

      p.s. With the Conservatives in power when this was done, and the fact that they are more than likely to get back in, does anyone think that this will change?

      I move we make these mice honorary Canadian citizens. They might be better than the weasels we ha

  • by Majik Sheff (930627) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @08:52PM (#25212473) Journal

    Please will the insanity stop?

    2010 2010 2010

    They can kiss my ass with glowing hearts.

  • by GlobalColding (1239712) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @08:54PM (#25212491) Journal
    Is it 2010 base 10, or 2010 base 8? 'Cause that still leaves a lot of wiggle room.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @08:54PM (#25212493)

    Oh no!

    2010 winter
    with glowing hearts afire
    I mock Olympics

  • Hey IOC... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by actionbastard (1206160) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @08:56PM (#25212507)
    Take off, eh.
    Hosers!
  • "The IOC, what a bunch of hosers, eh?"

    The more exposure the IOC's lawsuits bring to their activities the the more idiotic their actions will be perceived. The lawmakers will eventually cave as the whiplash from the public outrage nails them...

  • by theheadlessrabbit (1022587) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:01PM (#25212557) Homepage Journal

    so how will counting work with this new trademark in place?

    2008
    2009 ...
    profit!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Yvan256 (722131)

      The Americans went ahead and changed the range of dates for the daytime savings.

      We're doing one better by skipping 2010 completely.

  • by kaufmanmoore (930593) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:01PM (#25212563)
    How dare they not consider the French Version on the same level as the English version. This is an insult to Quebec. Its time for revolution! Viva Quebec!
  • Sydney Olympic Games (Score:5, Interesting)

    by myowntrueself (607117) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:02PM (#25212581)

    Reminds me of when they found that they could not use the phrase "Sydney Olympic Games" because Mr Syd Games -- Mr Sydney *Olympic* Games -- had registered it as his trademark.

    Boy was John Clarke pissed about that.

  • Beat them ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ProfM (91314) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:03PM (#25212597)

    Quick ... need to trademark all even numbers between 2012 and 2100.

  • I rushed off to register domain names in protest :D withglowinghearts.ca redirects to one of the worst designed pages ever: "From play to Podium" with no TM noted by any of the text. GoDaddy tells me pretty much every tld is taken. IOC and RIAA have probably shared a couple beers in the past.
  • by andreyvul (1176115) <andrey...vul@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:05PM (#25212627)

    I O C
    Shut the fu-u-uck up!
    Go fuck yourselves
    You greedy heartless fucks.
    With glowing hearts,
    We will block your channels
    Say goodbye to your ratings!
    Fu-u-u-uck you,
    I O C_______,
    You're the Sciento-lo-gy!
    Of organized
    Spo-o-o-orts
    Shove Winter up your ass 2010 times.
    Shove the medals up your ass and go-o broke.

    • by vorpal22 (114901)

      Indeed. The one benefit of global warming that I'm looking forward to is that it'll (hopefully) kill the Olympic winter games, thus cutting the stupidity in half. Still, half of infinity is still infinity, so perhaps my hopes are in vain.

  • by aingleby (606690) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:07PM (#25212637)
    .. oh wait ....
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by joneil (677771)
      ...actually, yes in America, indirectly. The man who wrote "Oh Canada" first served as a Lieutenant in the Northern Army during the Civil War, a Rhode Island regiment. Perhaps the line "we stand on guard for thee" was somehow inspired or influenced by his military service in the USA. In which case, maybe the US government can claim "prior art" to part of the anthem, and in turn sue the IOC. Just stick the RIAA on the case and see what happens. :)
  • by hedgemage (934558) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:15PM (#25212707)
    that they are able to subvert the host country's laws so effectively? I know that they have muscled around 'smaller' countries, but I would think that Canada wouldn't be so easily swayed. What am I missing that makes the IOC so powerful? Is it simply the 'investment opportunity' and business that the Olympics bring? Is national pride so easily wounded that we have to kowtow to their every whim? Its no secret that the IOC is incredibly corrupt and profit driven... how come modern democratic states aren't telling them to fuck off and clean up their act? Instead the US, Britain, Canada, etc. seem to be bowing and scraping to meet their every demand.
    • What am I missing that makes the IOC so powerful?

      Does Canada have "campaign contributions"?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yes. Money. Yes. Irrelevant. Apathy.

    • by jimicus (737525) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @04:22AM (#25215437)

      that they are able to subvert the host country's laws so effectively? I know that they have muscled around 'smaller' countries, but I would think that Canada wouldn't be so easily swayed.
      What am I missing that makes the IOC so powerful? Is it simply the 'investment opportunity' and business that the Olympics bring? Is national pride so easily wounded that we have to kowtow to their every whim? Its no secret that the IOC is incredibly corrupt and profit driven... how come modern democratic states aren't telling them to fuck off and clean up their act? Instead the US, Britain, Canada, etc. seem to be bowing and scraping to meet their every demand.

      They've been getting special laws passed in the UK too.

      Remember this isn't just one group of people with a lot of money. It's one group of people with a lot of money who will also make a lot of money for a lot of other people - for instance, when Coke sponsors the games, you won't be able to buy Pepsi in the olympic village. Money talks, and when there's a lot of money it not only talks, it gets up in Parliament, makes speeches and proposes laws.

  • Very funny (Score:3, Informative)

    by thewils (463314) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:20PM (#25212745) Journal

    I thought about registering withglowinghearts.com but someone [withglowinghearts.com] beat me to it :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dschl (57168)

      And withglowinghearts.ca [withglowinghearts.ca] is also taken. Looks like a site for a book about paralympic athletes. Wonder when (not if) the sick heartless [expletive deleted] at IOC will try and yank the domain.

    • winter2010.com, vancouver2010.com, all taken.

      WinterGlowingHearts.com is free! Grab it while you can! :-)

      Some chinese company got 2010.com, ha, ha*.

      *in my best nelson

      • by thewils (463314)

        Man, you'd think they'd know by now to register the domains before major announcements like this.

  • Prior art. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AJWM (19027) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:28PM (#25212825) Homepage

    The estate of Sir Arthur Clarke and MGM might have a thing or two to say about attempting to claim 2010 [imdb.com].

    • by dcam (615646)

      I believe trademarks are specific to domain.

      Also I thought you couldn't trademark numbers?

  • by Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:29PM (#25212845)
    can anyone remember when this was true? Certainly not in my lifetime... the IOC seems to be run by bigger arse hats than the RIAA... at least the RIAA haven't started trademarking phrases in lyrics... yet.
    • by barzok (26681)

      at least the RIAA haven't started trademarking phrases in lyrics

      Maybe we should let them, on the condition that they can only do so if they explain the meaning of the lyrics of that song.

      Then we'd finally find out WTF Stairway to Heaven is all about, who You're So Vain is about, and WTF a Karma Chameleon is.

    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      They're just harkening back to the original Olympics. I hear they're going to start burning hecatombs of oxen to Zeus again, soon.
  • Are "Winter 2010" and "with glowing hearts" the new 09 F9?

    Wow, Winter 2010 is shaping up to be really cold. I'm glad I got my firewood in, my family can sit in comfort with glowing hearts in our family room. So bleh.

  • To the IOC (Score:5, Funny)

    by SageLikeFool (547462) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:34PM (#25212895)
    Dear IOC,

    FUCK YOU.

    With glowing hearts,
    Canadian Citizens
  • We can commission him to sue Canada for infringing our dumb law patent. All we have to do is demand $700 billion, and our little banking problem is all cleared up!
  • by mnslinky (1105103) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:43PM (#25212977) Homepage

    I really think it's time to just bury our heads in the sand. This world has become fucking crazy. What happened to common sense? What happened to old-fashioned business? Why can't we trust a smile and a handshake anymore?

    I know this sounds a little pie-in-the-sky, but it's how I feel. I run a business. I'm honest. I make enough money for me, my business partner, and our employees. As honestly as I can. Sure, cheap, slimy people sometimes snake a customer away, but the ones to come to us are loyal. Almost crazy loyal. This world is truly getting sad.

  • I have a great idea. I'm gonna write a Python script that goes, word for word, through a dictionary file for each of the world's 13 most common languages, and compares each of those words to the list of copyrighted words in each of the world's 20 most influential countries, and automatically spits out a trademark form, completely filled out, in PDF format, for each word that is not already trademarked. Now in just about any lawsuit relating to one of these trademarks, it is pretty obvious that the trademark
    • by kesuki (321456)

      sadly, it's not quite that easy, trademarks are easily denied. however a the IOC is given a lot more room for trademarking that normal people and corporations don't have. also, it cost money to trademark 'everything' it's not quite like copyright where you can copyright 5000 pages for the same price as copyrighting 1 page, at least as far as i know it isn't cheaper to trademark a whole lot of phrases all at once,

      they have to make money after all, if they gave a big discount for mass trademarking then wh

  • Actually... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    An article I read about this last week said that the IOC would only seek to prevent people from using it in Olympic-esque aspects. You could still use the phrase for a knitting store (which there is, apparently, somewhere in Ontario), but there would be a problem if that store tried to sell sweaters with the Olympic rings on it, for example.

    I don't agree that it's right, but that summary up there's a little wrong.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @09:55PM (#25213081)
    Clearly the Olympics isn't about games anymore, that's why I stopped paying attention. I hear more about the crap surrounding it than the games itself. It's not fun anymore.
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:00PM (#25213127)
    Steven Spielberg has announced a sequel to ET (The Extra-Terrestrial) for release in February 2010.

    Tagline:

    He is afraid. He is totally alone. He is 3 million light years from home. The IOC is after him...

  • Olympics = Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:03PM (#25213143)

    The Olympics are for sell outs and commercialization. It baffles me why people still put such high value on this parade of stupidity. I almost feel sorry for the athletes that participate.

    It's become such a joke.

  • Winter (Score:3, Funny)

    by tompaulco (629533) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:13PM (#25213227) Homepage Journal
    Winter, winter, winter, winter, winter, 2010, winter, 2010, 2010, winter, Chicago, 2010, winter.

    With glowing hearts,
    Me.


    P.S. IOC, I would be happy to translate this for you in case you can;t figure out my point.
  • by Dzimas (547818) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:23PM (#25213313)

    The most appropriate response to the IOC's increasing reach and commercialism is to make an effort to tune out the Olympics (TM). There are a great many amateur meets that happen throughout the world on a regular basis, and they're always in need of volunteers and spectators. If you can't do without a regular fix of Olympic (TM) patriotism, steer clear of the Olympic-branded (TM) merchandise and take a few minutes out of your life to let major sponsors of The Games( TM) know that you're avoiding their products because of the way the IOC has corrupted amateur sport (TM).

    This is one instance where money really talks. A sharp downturn in funding and public opinion would work wonders.

    I'm Canadian, so I'm going to take 10 minutes following the upcoming federal election to write a letter to my member of parliament complaining about the IOC's misappropriation of lines from our national anthem. The work is in the public domain, and it is quite obvious that the organizers of the Vancouver games are attempting to exploit its patriotic meaning for inappropriate commercial gain.

  • Glowing hearts? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eagl (86459) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:24PM (#25213325) Journal

    Does that mean that Spielberg is gonna get sued for E.T.? What if I watch E.T. in winter 2010... Will they have to re-release an edited version with glowing heart censored out?

    Anyone else wondering if the IOC has strayed so far from the original spirit and intent of the Olympics and become such business-focused greedy rat bastards, that we need to give them the big finger and start over with a governing body that is actually focused on the athletes and the games rather than the money?

  • by Lars T. (470328) <[moc.liamelgoog] [ta] [regearT.sraL]> on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @04:40AM (#25215541) Journal
    After the IOC got sued because some idiots "bought" tickets for the Beijing Olympics online from "beijingticketing.com"? Yes, you heard right, the IOC got sued because a lawyer claims they didn't protect their trademark. http://www.gamesbids.com/eng/other_news/1216133744.html [gamesbids.com]
  • by swordgeek (112599) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @11:34AM (#25219545) Journal

    Folks, quit lambasting the IOC. They didn't do this. VANOC did. Go after them if you want.

    Advice to a lynch mob: Get your facts straight before lighting the torches.

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