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Businesses To Be Censored on Use of Olympics 520

pitpe writes "The BBC reports that the proposed London 2012 Olympics Bill bans the use of words related to the Olympics by non-sponsors, including 'Olympic', '2012', 'gold', 'summer' and 'games', amongst others. The bill is aimed at ensuring corporate sponsors, who have provided £790m of the IOC's £2.25bn marketing revenue over the last four years, will not be deterred by 'ambush marketing' where rivals to the official sponsors try to take advantage, but businesses warn it could make it technically illegal for pubs to use chalkboards to flag up coverage of the Games." From the article: "The London 2012 website has already posted a warning listing a string of Olympic-related words and images that are off limits to all but official sponsors. And advertisers' representatives have criticised the new Olympics bill because they believe it will make it almost impossible for most companies to even acknowledge that the Games are happening without getting into trouble. "
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Businesses To Be Censored on Use of Olympics

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  • LONDON (AP) - The UK government today introduced a bill into parliament that, if adopted, would allow the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reserve use of certain letters and digits, including "O", "2", "L", and "g" through "r", to businesses who had signed official Olympic sponsorship agreements.

    Prime Minister Tony Blair passionately, though unintelligibly, defended the controversial law, saying that "t[h]e I[O]C s [h]ave [it] [q]uite cl[ea]r that [o]ur role [is] [t]o def[en]d the i[n]ve[stm]en[t]s of [l]egiti[mat]e [adve]rti[s]er[s]" who have signed on with the IOC.

    Blair also pointed to the limited timeframe of the bill, which only allows surveillance during a two-year period before and after the bill, and said that this showed that public opinion had been considered strongly during the formulation period. "[Wh]at m[or]e [d]o th[ey] wa[nt]?" he asked rhetorically

    Free Software Foundation founder and figurehead Richard M. Stallman was unavailable comment. A source close to the activist said that "he's working on renaming GCC in Cyrillic".

    • by ( 745183 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @10:19PM (#13335985) Homepage
      J.K. Rowling has suggested referring to 'the-events-who-must-not-be-named'. Support for the proposal has come from Jane (formerly "Olympia") Dukakis...
    • by xixax ( 44677 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:19PM (#13336287)
      LOMDON (AP) - A consortium of corporate sponsors today announced the Olympic Letter Management (OLM) initiative to enact mandatory technological measures to prevent uncontrolled use of alphabetic characters to steal valueable Intellectual Property.

      "It's outrageuous!" exclaimed OLM spokesperson Bert Kneecapper, "After TrendySportingShoe(TM) spends billions buying Olympic (TM) naming rights, some thieving punk can steal our trademarks using a 20c crayon bought from any corner store!"

      Under the OLM initiative, and device capable of reproducing alphabetic characters must implement a mechanism to honour the OLM Tradkemark flag, thereby preventing the device from reproducing trademarked sequences unless a valid licence exists. With time, they intend the service to extend to the enforcement of other text controls, such as micro-payments for use of famous quotes, and retrospective editing of history books.

      Bert Kneecapper went on reject crayon manufacturer representations that the scheme was impractical, "Our members lose billions of dollars in un-earned revenue, how can they justify 20c crayons in the face of such flagerant theft?".
    • LONDON (Reuters) - In a press release, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today announced its intention to pursue legal action against Robert Louis Stevenson, over his poem Summer Sun [], for two "illicit" uses of the word "golden", and one of the word "summer".

      Stevenson, being long dead, declined to respond. However, visitors to his grave on Mount Vaea on Upolu, Samoa, have reported hearing a grinding sound from underground, as of something rotating in the dirt.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:33PM (#13335359)
    ...will begin sometime between 2011 and 2013.
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:33PM (#13335361)
    They won't allow The Olympic Hopefuls to use Olympic in their name either. It's amazing that this crap was written in to law. Now the band has to change to "The Hopefuls".

    Seriously, I love how they were given powers over a word that was around LONG before "The Games" were.

    What a bunch of shit.
    • Seriously, I love how they were given powers over a word that was around LONG before "The Games" were.

      Ok, so technically most of the words they listed are English words, and English wasn't around yet during the early 8th century BCE, when the games started.

    • by MAdMaxOr ( 834679 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @10:14PM (#13335951)
      He who has the gold, makes the rules.

      BTW, At current exchange rates, this rule was bought at a price of 108 standard tons of gold. I was hoping to see how many Libraries of Congress that would fill, but that's only 181 cu. ft. Kinda disappointing really.
    • Oh come on (Score:5, Funny)

      by MochaMan ( 30021 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:23PM (#13336307) Homepage
      Where's your Olympic* spirit my friend?

      * (c), (R), Patent Pending, void where prohibited by law. "Olympic" is a registered trademark of the International Olympic Comittee. All materials and content related to the Olympic Games, including, but not limited to, images, illustrations, text, audio clips, and video clips, are protected by or consist of copyrights, trademarks, service marks, and/or other intellectual property rights ("Intellectual Property"). The Intellectual Property is governed and protected by United States and worldwide copyright, trademark, and/or other intellectual property laws and treaty provisions, privacy and publicity laws, and communications regulations and statutes. The Intellectual Property is owned or controlled by us or other parties that have licensed to us the right to use their Intellectual Property or the right to market their products and/or services (collectively the "IP Providers").

      You agree to abide by all additional copyright notices, information, or restrictions contained in any material or content on the Site. Other than as may be expressly permitted by us, in writing, (i) the Intellectual Property is provided solely for your personal, non-commercial use; and you may download any Intellectual Property solely for your personal, non-commercial use, consistent with these Terms, provided that you maintain all copyright and other notices contained in such Intellectual Property. You may not copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit, distribute, and/or exploit any Intellectual Property in any way (including by e-mail or other electronic means) without our prior written consent or that of the IP Providers - particularly the words 'Olympic', 'games', 'gold', 'silver', 'bronze', 'doping scandal', 'bribery', and other words that are implicit in the Olympic Games. Modification of any Intellectual Property or use of any Intellectual Property for any other purpose is a violation of the copyrights, trademark rights, and other proprietary rights; that includes photoshopped naughty images of Jacques Rogge. The use of any Intellectual Property on any other site or networked computer environment, or maintaining unauthorized links to the Site, is prohibited by these Terms.
    • It's a proposed law. There's lots of opportunities for it to be thoroughly mauled before it gets into the statute books.
      • Wrong, in the US it's established law:

        From this [] Star Tribune article:

        The band's lawyer, Dennis Pelowski, said it considered fighting the committee after receiving the initial letter this spring but backed down when he read up on the matter.

        "The law is pretty clearly written," he said.
  • by hungrygrue ( 872970 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:34PM (#13335366) Homepage
    That would be hard on a lot of businesses... Calendar makers, for instance :-)
  • news reporting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by paper_boats ( 872407 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:35PM (#13335370)
    Does this extend to mean that only the sponsoring news organizations can report on olympic news. Sounds tricky.
    • Re:news reporting (Score:3, Informative)

      by hungrygrue ( 872970 )
      That already happened in the last ******* games. The BBC World Service had to block out their feed for anyone in the US if there was any mention of the games which cannot be named because they would have been infringing on the exclusive broadcast rights of NBC.
    • Re:news reporting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by InvalidError ( 771317 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @09:28PM (#13335742)
      Well, yes actually.

      Some athletes ran into pretty big troubles from blogging and posting their own videos during the last olympic "games". The big media went pretty far out of their way to clamp down on everything and it really sucks. Almost every event is locked down with regional exclusivity deals.

      If you go to the games, any written, photographic, audio and video content you may acquire must be for your own exclusive use only or you risk having the media lawyers on your back.

      My guess is that this will only get much worse before some sense is knocked back in this messy circus act.
  • Coming soon to your bittorrent sites. I wonder how the Olympics will handle torrents of their events. DMCA?
    • Coming soon to your bittorrent sites. I wonder how the Olympics will handle torrents of their events. DMCA?
      Given the direction they seem to be taking they'll not have any problems because everyone will be so fed up with the restrictions that the stands will be near empty and everyone will find something else to watch on TV. I seem to remember stories from the Athens games where spectators weren't allowed to carry in even bottles of water if they weren't the brand of the official sponsor that provided t
  • Right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PunkOfLinux ( 870955 ) <> on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:35PM (#13335377) Homepage
    And the word summer NEVER comes up in normal conversation. Nor does the word 2012 come up either...

    I can see it now
    Tom: "Hey, I can't wait till the summer of 2012 becau--"
    Trademark Police: "Stop right there, infringer!"
    Tom: "I didn't do anything wrong!"
    Trademark Police: "According to this law you did. Those words are trademarked."
    Tom: "How the hell did they trademark a year and a season?!"
    • Re:Right (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kie ( 30381 )
      double plus bad.

      (maybe the book should have been titled 2012 rather than 1984)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:36PM (#13335384)
    Thank heavens the 1st Amendment prohibits this type of corporate welfare in the USA.
  • My chalk board would be like this:

    "This pub does not show the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games on TV."
  • unreasonable gits... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Travelsonic ( 870859 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:38PM (#13335398) Journal
    From the "London 2012" website:
    You can support the 2012 Games by not engaging in the unauthorised use of the Olympic Marks

    Yeah? If by "engaging in the unauthorised use of the Olympic Marks" you mean by using them at all, how about you respect the people, and not make such fuchking unreasoanble demands in the first place?

  • by winkydink ( 650484 ) * <> on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:38PM (#13335403) Homepage Journal
    The IOC has always been very vigorous in defending the branding rights to the games. They even tried to get the Special Olympics to change before the public backlash made them decide to change their minds.

    Think about it. If you're Coca-Cola (or some other huge multinational) that's spending 8-9 figures to be the "official whatever of the Olympics", you're going to want to be pretty sure that your competitor isn't going to just say the same thing unofficially. Pretty sure in this case means contractual language with teeth. Hence, the IOC turning around and doing the same thing.
    • Official sponsors of the Super Bowl get to actually use the words "Super Bowl" in their ads or on their packaging. Everyone else who wants to sell TVs or potato chips or beer for the game usually use the phrase "the big game" since they can't use the SB word...
      • But they probably ban neither "super" nor "bowl" but only the combination. Nobody would have a problem with the exclusive use of "Sponsor of the Olympic Summer Games 2012" but banning each separate word is ridiculous.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )
      And the government should not pass laws like this.
      They are only doing it becasue they know Olympic is pretty damn generic, older then the IOC, and a total perversion of copyright law.

      Put the word 'Official' in your advertising. If someone else claimes to be an 'official olympic whatever' sue them. But pubs should be able to play anything on TV and advertising they are doing so.

      This is like banning any company from using the word marathon for christ sake.
    • And if 'coca-cola' was a term in common use for thousands of years I'ld want a society that tells them to blow it out their ass too. How are we coming to a place where using common words is mediated by lawyers?
    • by Maestro4k ( 707634 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @09:08PM (#13335622) Journal
      Think about it. If you're Coca-Cola (or some other huge multinational) that's spending 8-9 figures to be the "official whatever of the Olympics", you're going to want to be pretty sure that your competitor isn't going to just say the same thing unofficially. Pretty sure in this case means contractual language with teeth. Hence, the IOC turning around and doing the same thing.
      Sure, and it's reasonable to expect that your competitors can't imply they're official sponsors. But this is going way beyond that, a quote from the article:

      But the new bill will make it illegal to combine words like "games", "medals", "gold", "2012", "sponsor" or "summer" in any form of advertising.

      Heaven help you if you're having a conference of some kind in London in the summer of 2012, you might get heavily fined when you try to promote it, even if it has _nothing_ to do with the Olympics, occurs at a different time (well it'd kind of have to since the city will likely be packed because of the Olympics) or date.

      If you make games for children better make sure you don't inadvertantly advertise any as summer games, you'll break this law. Again, you could be advertising a glorified lawn sprinkler for kids to play games under in the summer heat but since you "combined" summer and games in your ad the law applies and you're screwed.

      I'm sure you'll say "but they'll be reasonable and won't pursue those types of cases" but we already know how well that type of stuff works. You can find many cases of the RIAA & MPAA sending out Cease & Desist letters because they found files containing words that also are used in songs/movies they own but had nothing to do with them. I seem to remember one where the C&D referred to a file that was around 500kb in size, but the MPAA thought it was one of their movies. Rationality won't enter into the enforcement of this law, it'll get the same treatment, anything that looks like it applies will get slapped with at least a lawyergram and likely charges levied. Even if they company ends up off the hook they'll have paid a penalty for defending themselves for doing nothing wrong.

      No matter how you look at it this is a very bad law, and very bad precedent. Why should the IOC be given sole ownership of common words beyond Olympic/Olympics? Most of those words are used a lot, and in non-olympic references. Even if you think the words are defensible, including the damn year is insane. I suppose everyone in London will have to be sure to avoid mentioning the year in advertising in 2012 just to be on the safe side.

      • "Our 2012 line-up is the gold-standard in auto-mobiles and we're giving you these GREAT deals for this Summer only!" *men with machine guns jump through the windows to detain the anti-Olympic "terrorists"*
  • by phoenix.bam! ( 642635 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:39PM (#13335410)
    I wish i had the funds to start a true olympic games. A nice non-profit event. Maybe even center ed around the athletes. What we have currently just hurts my head. Spectators aren't allowed to drink the wrong drink or wear a shirt with a non-sponser on it. I feel kinda sick.
  • Already in the US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interiot ( 50685 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:41PM (#13335421) Homepage
    See 36 USC 220506 []... the US has had the same law for a long time. The Olympic commitee has even tried to be quite heavy-handed about it [], on more than one occasion [].
  • Advertise this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DeadBugs ( 546475 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:42PM (#13335428) Homepage
    So established businesses in London, who have contributed tax dollars for years to the city do not get to benefit from the event being there. The whole reason to have the games in London is so that the IOC can profit? Are businesses that do not sponsor the Olympics banned from doing business with people who show up for the games?

    It won't be long until athletes are winning bronze, silver and gold coke cans.
    • by Ithika ( 703697 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:50PM (#13335503) Homepage
      I don't think any businesses in London have been contributing tax dollars.
      • Re:Advertise this (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nzkbuk ( 773506 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @10:44PM (#13336117)
        The as of next year the council tax (similar to property tax or rates in most countries) will include a component for the olympics.
        As business (like indivuals) are required by law to pay the council tax, they WILL have contributed money to the games. Admitteditly £'s (pounds) not $'s (dollars).

        From many sites "The government has said that, initially, £1.5 billion will come from the National Lottery and up to £550 million from London council tax."
    • Re:Advertise this (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RedWizzard ( 192002 )

      So established businesses in London, who have contributed tax dollars for years to the city do not get to benefit from the event being there.

      Of course they do. The increase in tourism will benefit a large proportion of London businesses. What they don't get to do is associate themselves with the Olympics without permission. There's nothing unreasonable about that. What's unreasonable is enacting a law to cover the situation (it should already be covered by existing trademark legislation).

  • Atlanta1996 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 1000101 ( 584896 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:43PM (#13335436)
    When the Olympics were in Atlanta back in 1996, the press (much of it foreign) lambasted the U.S. and ACOG (Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games) for all of the corporate advertising. London will be no different as far as the omnipresent billboards, electronic displays, banners, etc.
  • it will make it almost impossible for most companies to even acknowledge that the Games are happening

    So we will not hear about these games?

    That is good news for me. Maybe this time we'll be able to continue with our lives without being constantly invaded by this Olympics craziness...
  • by alexo ( 9335 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:45PM (#13335452) Journal

    An ungodly heap of money trumps your rights.
    An ungodly heap of money trumps common sense.

    Come to thing of it,
    an ungodly heap of money trumps everything.

    Why are you so surprised?
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:45PM (#13335456) Homepage Journal
    'But the new bill will make it illegal to combine words like "games", "medals", "gold", "2012", "sponsor" or "summer" in any form of advertising.'

    Where the hell do they get off selling "Summer 2012" to some multinational corporation like the IOC? Those are English words, and this is England. Isn't this kind of thing the reason the English keep the Queen around? Isn't it "the Queen's English"? Is she getting some kind of kickback, which requires her to sell out her subjects? Get Elizabeth in here, Slashdot wants to talk with her.
    • If the Queen speaks English, she sure wouldn't understand half of Slashdot...
  • About a year back there was something like this going on in Vancouver, with alot of controversy. There was a man who owned a restaurant called "The Olympic" or something along those lines. The restaurant was around for 30+ years, and yet he still had to change the name of it. Although I understand the basis for these sorts of laws, sometimes it is a bit extreme. It should be restricted to some LOGICAL extent.
  • by DoctorMabuse ( 456736 ) * on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:46PM (#13335470) Homepage
    The international athletic event that takes place where city officials are willing to provide the biggest bribes to the committee is now in London.


    The international athletic event where people from all countries use performance-enhancing drugs is now in London (and no it's not the Tour de France).
  • by Rahga ( 13479 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:47PM (#13335474) Journal
    "And advertisers' representatives have criticised the new Olympics bill because they believe it will make it almost impossible for most companies to even acknowledge that the Games are happening without getting into trouble."

    Good. It's time to kill of the olympics.

    A event like this only means something when the organization running it isn't corrupt from top to bottom. They have the nerve to tell ticket holders that "You can't drink Dr. Pepper here, but you can buy a $20 can of Coke! Coke is it!". The "Olympic Village" is now corporate-sponsored Sodom and Gomorrah. Home improvement companies spend millions on advertisements to say that they are proud to support their olympians ("You've got no marketable skills outside of athletics, so as long as you work 9-to-5 for minimum wage, we've got your back!").... I'm absolutley not surprised to see London sell themselves out by grabbing the Olympic bid.

    Now, if nobody CAN mention the Olympics, perhaps they'll just go away. We'll all be better off for it.
    • Me too. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Overzeetop ( 214511 )
      I haven't been interested in the games since about 1984. I can't imagine a reason for wanting to attend in person. Overpriced tickets, hotels, food, everything. It would take two or three years of normal "vacation" budget to go to just part of an olymic games. They have become the "Jurassic Park" of enntertainment - they can charge anything they want, and do. And they don't even have a coupon day.

      I'd like to see everyone just ignore them. Unless I hear that the Swedish platform diver loses her bathing suit
    • Hear, hear.

      The Olympics has turned into just another way to turn public money into private money. Quite frankly, I can't think of a single legitimate reason for anyone to bid to be the host anymore.

  • I couldn't be happier. The more insane and over-the-top this copyright/trademark/patent idiocy gets, the sooner it will be over. And this bill brings us all one step closer to that day.
  • The famous and influential cruicible of improvisation in Chicago, Improv Olympic [], had to change it's name to "IO" after Charna Halpern received a letter from the U.S. Olympic Committee ordering her to drop "Olympic" from the company name.
  • Is it just me, or is this past the point of even remote sanity? I mean, intellectual property laws have been getting crazier and crazier, but... getting to the point where you're not allowed to say certain WORDS because someone else "owns" them?


    How the HECK do you justify any sort of legal backing for that? None of the people with exclusive rights to the words in question invented such words. There are SURE as heck a lot of examples of prior art. It's not as if they made up some NEW words, and said
  • by ModernGeek ( 601932 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @08:55PM (#13335544)
    ... our time traveling friend John Titor said there won't be Olympics after 2004 (dunno if this counts for the '06 winter olympics or not) due to too much conflict over the entire thing. It isn't until 2036 until they try and start it all back up again. I can't wait for this civil war to start, I'm gonna quit my job and head to the hills. I've learned to embrace his prophecy and understand the true meaning of life thanks to Titor.

    For those who don't know about John [] Titor []

    P.S. Anyone know where I can find that video of him traveling time in his car when he goes BACK TO THE FUTURE?
  • by darkov ( 261309 )
    They can kiss my coloured ring sporting festival in seven years time.
  • Canadian Businesses (Score:3, Informative)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @09:12PM (#13335647) Journal
    Canada is doing the same think. A local business in Vancouver, around for a decade (and long before the games were coming near here) was attacked [] by the olympic committee over having the olympic rings logo over the"Olympic Pizza" restaurant.

    It's big-business greed at it's very best, especially since the coming of the olympics will ensure that the Whistler skihill will be inaccessible to anybody but the rich, as the cost of attending the olympics is beyond many average folk, and the rates in the area are already skyrocketing in anticipation of the games.

    Olympics were around long before trademarks, and used to be for the people... now they're only for big-business and rich people, go figure.
  • meh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by medelliadegray ( 705137 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @09:30PM (#13335755)
    with the olympics becoming more and more like a professional sport with the advertising, lucrative contracts and shit, i am getting more and more turned off to it.

    If a country wants to host the olympics, the requirement should be that it have ZERO corporate logo's anywhere on the properties of the stadiums. and that news stations can get equal coverage of the games.

    Or better yet, LOTTERY off coverage of games. So that i dont have to flip through 12 channles of figure skating or gymnastics. I would like to check out some of the other sports--outside of what the news feeds think will get the best coverage.

  • by CaptainPotato ( 191411 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @10:02PM (#13335899) Homepage
    The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) threatened non-sponsors in 2004 (ie - Athens Olympics, not Sydney Olympics). I know of one case in which a student union (I worked there at the time) produced posters to advertise that it was showing telecasts in one of its catering outlets.

    The posters were only on campus, but the AOC threatened legal action over them.

    Stupid thing is that the official advertisers would have only benefitted as by having more people watching the telecasts, more people would have been exposed to the advertising...

    Somewhat over the top, IMO.

  • by AnotherEscobar ( 852831 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @10:04PM (#13335909)
    My plans for are now officially on hold 38243&tid=153&tid=95&tid=103&tid=219 []
  • by bezuwork's friend ( 589226 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @10:08PM (#13335923)
    ensuring corporate sponsors, who have provided £790m of the IOC's £2.25bn marketing revenue over the last four years

    So where did the other 2.25bn - 790m = 1.46b come from? I'm guessing from country contributions which came from their taxpayers.

    So do the taxpayors of these countries get to use all of these words too?

  • by fireman sam ( 662213 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @11:15PM (#13336271) Homepage Journal
    The London 2012 Olympic organisation has released this template for all companies that have not obtained a sponsorship deal.

    Example only:

    (Black screen)

    (each line of text fades in to white while the line is being read)

    Voiceover: "You know why you are here,
                            We know why you are here,
                            We cannot say why you are here,
                            While you are here,
                            Eat at Hungry Jacks."

    (fade in corporate logo)

    (fade to black)
  • by Builder ( 103701 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:34AM (#13337280)
    I was cheering for Paris all the way through the selection process.

    As a result of London winning the olympics, my council tax is going to go up. I have to pay more each month for the next several years, to make the IOC richer. What did I do wrong ? I simply picked the wrong place to live.

    Apparantly about 300 businesses are being forced off their land for this circus as well, and the potential job losses look to number around 20,000 at the moment. This is 20,000 local people who will be out of work so that some people can run around in circles.
  • by t_allardyce ( 48447 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @05:05AM (#13337390) Journal
    This is exactly what happened in the last Olympics and the one before that, this is basically what the Olympics is about. As a Londoner I say go with it - Im not going to bother watching any of that bullshit, but if it means we can fleece stupid tourists out of their money and can all get something out of this for free (more transport systems etc) then go for it! You just have to remember that the Olympics is a bastardised version of some ancient Greek custom and its sole purpose is to make wonga. As far as im concerned, sponsors can have their advertising and businesses can make their profit as long as the general population is not going to be hampered by this, the locals are the most important people here.

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